healthcare hr week Keeping up with industry trends is critical to developing successful healthcare HR and recruitment strategies for your organization. But it’s hard to stay abreast of everything while meeting all your job’s demands.

So we’ve done the heavy lifting and reached out to the experts to bring you eight of the biggest trends affecting healthcare HR today:

Healthcare HR Trend #1: Optimized Sourcing

“Lack of an optimized sourcing model will cause you to die a slow and painful death,” quips Brian Brazda, Sales Director at Lean Human Capital by HealthcareSource. That’s why process optimization is one of the biggest healthcare recruitment trends.

Optimized recruiting strategies are tied directly to operational priorities and staffing challenges. To adopt an optimized sourcing model, leverage key business insights and performance indicators, such as the cost of vacancy and time-to-fill, to mitigate waste and inefficiencies.

Learn about the major sourcing trends transforming healthcare recruitment.

Healthcare HR Trend #2: Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

SLAs are growing in popularity between recruiting teams and their hiring manager partners. The documents ensure accountability by outlining key requirements, deadlines, and expectations. “We see more recruiting managers driving accountability throughout the process,” says Dana Cates, SPHR, SWP, Consultant at Lean Human Capital by HealthcareSource. “Recruitment doesn’t happen in a silo. There are many handoffs and others involved to make it successful.”

Get more advice on implementing a service level agreement with hiring managers.

Healthcare HR Trend #3: Salaries & Wages

“In general, salaries in healthcare have been heading upward, particularly as demand for workers grows in response to increased healthcare usage, not to mention the increased rate of retirement among the aging workforce,” says Colleen Madden Blumenfeld, an expert from global outplacement and career transitioning firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Additionally, as acceptance of integrated medicine has grown, so have salaries for professionals providing non-traditional forms of healthcare like acupuncture, massage, and chiropractic, Blumenfeld says. And as competition for top talent increases, the salaries and compensation of talented HR and recruiting professionals also rises.

Learn five ways to ensure your organization offers equitable wages.

Healthcare HR Trend #4: Demand Forecasting

“You can migrate 30% to 40% of hiring with demand-forecasting,” Brazda says. More and more recruiters deploy this tactic to ensure they have the right staff in place to meet patients’ needs, ensure optimal outcomes and drive cost efficiency.

An academic review of forecasting models, Handling Healthcare Workforce Planning with Care: Where Do We Stand?, found that “an integrated approach is a way to solve such a complex problem, as it combines elements both from supply and demand.”

Healthcare HR Trend #5: Organizational Culture & Hiring for Fit

More and more, healthcare HR teams are using the organization’s culture as a strategic recruiting tool. “As competition grows, organizations are looking to use their culture to attract candidates with better-defined culture and employee engagement,” Cates explains. “More sophisticated organizations are performing correlation analyses with their pre-hire behavioral assessments to drive employee engagement, patient satisfaction, and/or HCAHPS scores.”

See how to align your healthcare organization’s culture to the interview process.

Healthcare HR Trend #6: Employee Engagement

In healthcare, employee engagement can be a matter of life or death. Research from Gallup found that engagement levels of nurses were the top factor in determining mortality rates and that fully engaged physicians were 26% more productive than unengaged physicians.

“Put simply, a satisfied employee is likely to show up to work on time, but an engaged employee will go out of his or her way to make a day-to-day impact on behalf of the organization because she or he values the mission,” Blumenfeld says. “The ability to tell potential hires that your organization is committed to employee engagement is a major selling point, particularly for millennials who want to feel like they have an active voice in helping to achieve an organization’s goals.”

In another Gallup poll, millennials ranked opportunities to learn and grow, interest in the type of work, and quality of management higher than compensation.

Explore the four reasons healthcare organizations must invest in employee engagement.

Healthcare HR Trend #7: The Candidate Experience

According to the Talent Board’s 2016 North American Candidate Experience Research Report, 41% of global candidates who had “negative” job-seeker experiences take their loyalty and purchases somewhere else. And these candidates share their bad feelings 66% of the time, usually on popular sites like LinkedIn. That’s a huge price to pay for poor candidate experience, and it’s a key factor driving the trend to improve the entire process from attraction through onboarding. “You simply cannot afford delays or hiccups when trying to secure a great candidate,” Cates says.

Learn about making the most of a new hire’s first 90 days.

Healthcare HR Trend #8: Professional Development for Recruiters

“The profession has changed rapidly, thanks to technology and the ability to utilize big data to analyze candidates in ways that simply weren’t possible 20 years ago,” Blumenfeld says. “Yet, even with all this technology, the rate of hires that don’t work out remains staggeringly high. And the cost of these mis-hires is also staggeringly high — anywhere, from 5 to 25 times that person’s salary, per some estimates. Organizations are demanding better results in talent acquisition, [and] they are going find and reward recruiters who have continued to evolve and learn new ways to identify high potentials.”

Investigate certification through The Recruiter Academy.

Is your healthcare organization on top of these trends? Now that you know what’s driving healthcare HR, try capitalizing on them to stay competitive and attract and retain the best candidates for your organization.

Are you interested in learning more about how you can improve healthcare employee engagement in your organization? Download our free how-to guide:

Building Employee Engagement: How to Improve Employee Retention and Increase Patient Satisfaction

Employee Engagement in Healthcare Guide

About Margot Carmichael Lester

Margot Carmichael Lester is a North Carolina-based business and brand journalist who has covered healthcare and staffing for more than 20 years. She also writes about moviemaking for the International Cinematographers Guild, specializing in action cinema, and co-authored the award-winning teen writing book, Be a Better Writer. She earned her BA in journalism from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and is a rabid Tar Heel basketball fan.