Posted By Phase2 on 06/02/2022

It’s Time for Health Systems to Evolve Their Digital Recruitment

It’s Time for Health Systems to Evolve Their Digital Recruitment

In the wake of the past three years, healthcare talent acquisition has become an urgent need. With an increasingly competitive environment, leading healthcare systems are breaking away from the pack by evolving their digital recruitment strategies.

Even before the pandemic, the healthcare industry was anticipating a labor shortage due to the nation’s aging population. The older generation will require more healthcare and a large percentage of the current workforce will be retiring, with an expected shortfall by 2034. Cue the pandemic, and the shortage is now exacerbated by widespread burnout. Some recent studies report that more than half of healthcare workers are experiencing mental health problems related to burnout.

This shortage is leading to heightened competition among health systems to recruit top talent. In addition to the competition, talent acquisition teams are finding that candidates are looking for more than competitive compensation and traditional benefits. In a recent study by IBM, workers placed work-life balance (51%) and career advancement opportunities (43%) as top priorities, and 41% of workers prioritize employer ethics and values.

So how can health systems attract top talent in this new hyper competitive landscape with evolving candidate values and requirements? 

Below, we’ll discuss how you can begin to assess your digital recruitment strategy to identify opportunities to stand apart from the crowd and convert quality candidates while increasing application completion rates.

Brand Awareness

First impressions make all the difference when it comes to talent acquisition, and your candidates' awareness of your organization and job openings often start on digital channels. Yet over 50% of surveyed talent acquisition leaders in a recent study feel they are missing crucial digital touchpoints. And while leveraging digital channels is crucial, we often find that the digital recruitment experience can be inconsistent and clunky due to siloed digital channel strategies within health systems.

The Candidate Experience

Your brand reputation should be enhanced by every interaction between the candidate and your job application process. This means the cohesion, consistency, and user experience across your digital recruitment channels and touchpoints will dictate your candidates’ perception of your organization.

The digital recruitment experience is an opportunity to introduce your candidates to your brand and values through messaging and the user experience. An efficient, intuitive, and thoughtful application process can show (rather than tell) the candidate that you respect their time and value them as an individual. 

Ready to Revamp Your Digital Recruitment?

The first step to evolve your experience is to assess your current strategy and identify gaps, friction points, and opportunities to delight, along the candidate’s application and interview journey.

Here are three, top considerations when evaluating your current digital recruitment strategy:

1. Meet Your Candidates Where They Are

What digital channels and tools are you utilizing to attract talent? A good place to start your assessment is by mapping your current recruitment ecosystem and the paths that candidates take through your various digital channels to complete an application. What is the most popular entry point channel? Are you missing out on a digital channel where you could increase awareness? Small improvements like asking interviewees to rate their experience on Glassdoor can make a difference to your brand reputation. Are your messaging and visuals consistent across your channels? Once you have your channels mapped out, it should be easy to identify some low-hanging fruit opportunities for improvement. 

2. Evolve Your Employee Value Proposition

Does your employee value proposition (EVP) need to evolve? What can you uniquely promise to your employees about their experience working at your health system? Beyond your mission and values, how can you speak to individuals about your culture and their experience as an individual working there? In a recent PWC study, 72% of candidates reported they need to understand a work culture before accepting an offer. In today’s market, where recruitment candidates are looking for more than competitive salary, an effective employee value proposition can make the difference in setting you apart from your competitors. An example of a fresh compelling value proposition can be found on the Mayo Clinic careers site. Mayo Clinic clearly displays their culture and values in addition to presenting a compelling narrative around the experience of being part of the staff.

3. Make it Easy to Apply

How many steps does it take to find the job listings on your website and complete an application? A CareerBuilder study recently reported that 60% of job seekers quit a job application in the middle due to its length or complexity. With so much competing content on health system homepages in order to accommodate the diverse audiences that need to navigate the website, we often find that job seekers have trouble even finding career information in the first place. 

In addition to navigation issues, how many times is your candidate asked to fill out the same information throughout the application process? Is your application process mobile-friendly? Ninety percent of job seekers now use mobile devices to find a job. With these questions in mind, the most effective way to increase application completion rates is to streamline and automate the online application process. We recommend cutting down your application to only the essential questions that will indicate qualification: leave the rest for later in the hiring process. Optimizing the application process can be achieved by identifying efficiency and automation opportunities. We recommend working with an agency like Phase2 to map your data flow and tool ecosystem to pinpoint the most impactful ways to improve your candidates experience.

The Long View: Change the Paradigm

Beyond optimizing your current experience and processes, consider in the long term the opportunities to change the paradigm when it comes to the candidate experience. One example: instead of the traditional application experience, consider creating an opportunity for candidates to submit their expertise, experience, and interests, and have your tech stack use AI, automation, and team review to identify the open position that’s ideal for the candidate. This strategy removes unnecessary burden on the candidate and provides more actionable and flexible data for the talent acquisition team to efficiently place qualified candidates into their workforce. 

As you consider priorities for the next fiscal year, keep in mind that organizations need to put as much rigor and process into the candidate experience as they do the patient and provider experiences in order to see real impact on their talent acquisition goals. There are many ways to evolve your digital recruitment strategy. The most effective way to get started and make an impact is to assess your current candidate experience, use your findings to craft a strategic optimization roadmap for your organization to rally around with quick wins, and commit to a long-term vision.

Annie Stone

The original version of this page was published at:

From engineering interconnected patient experiences to designing new digital platforms, our experience with hospitals and healthcare systems is extensive and touches on every facet of the business.

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