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Healthcare Recruiting


Healthcare recruiting is often challenging, but it’s never impossible. With the right tools and processes, you can control your hiring practices and provide first-rate care, all while building a healthy workplace culture.

We review everything you need to know about healthcare recruiting, from common pitfalls to strategies for success.

Healthcare Recruiting During the Worker Shortage

Let’s face it: it’s not an easy time to be in healthcare recruiting.

Healthcare is facing many hiring challenges, from restrictive budgets to antiquated credentialing systems. But no other issue poses the same challenge to healthcare recruiting as the industry’s infamous worker shortage.

The Healthcare Roles in Highest Demand

In one frequently-cited analysis of Emsi data, Mercer projects that within the next five years, healthcare will be short over 3.2 million lower-wage workers

While employers are also struggling to find LPNs and RNs, the most extreme shortages are concentrated around fast-growing roles like nursing assistants and home health aides. Although these positions have less stringent educational requirements than RNs or LPNs, they also tend to be among the lower-paid clinical roles. 

The Educational Crisis Driving the Worker Shortage

It’s not only clinical facilities that are suffering from candidate shortages. In reality, the clinical worker shortage stems, in part, from another staffing problem: an undersupply of healthcare educators. 

In 2019, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing found that over 871 surveyed schools, nursing programs had a total of 1,715 unfilled positions for full-time educators. The surveyed schools reported anywhere from zero to 38 full-time vacancies.

Without adequate healthcare educators, these programs are unable to accept, educate, and graduate enough students to meet the industry’s needs. 

Growing Demand for Healthcare Services

In 2034, America is projected to reach a new milestone. For the first time in history, the population of citizens aged 65 and older will be larger than the population of minors.

Healthcare employers can expect both continued increases in retirement rates and greater demands for services. People over age 64 use healthcare services more heavily than any other age cohort, and 84% of older citizens have one or more chronic conditions. 

Searching for a Solution

Even with the severe challenges of healthcare recruiting today, there are strategies businesses can employ to recruit and retain staff successfully. 

For more information about tackling healthcare recruitment during the worker shortage, check out our free ebook on solving the candidate shortage.

Healthcare hiring strategies. Two illustration figures extend their arms in celebration.

Strategies for Healthcare Recruiting

Healthcare hiring managers might share the same struggle, but there’s no single agreed-upon solution.

In fact, hiring managers employ a whole range of strategies to deal with worker shortages and keep their businesses growing. That’s not to say that every healthcare employer consciously designs their own hiring strategy. Sometimes, strategies take shape organically, formed from the hiring manager’s instincts, budget limitations, and last-minute experiments. 

But the most successful healthcare organizations tend to use some combination of the ten strategies listed below. Knowing how and when to use strategies can be the difference between floundering and thriving during healthcare recruiting. 

Ten Strategies for Healthcare Recruiting


Improve speed-to-hire.

Enhance your chance of employing the best workers by being the first business to send top candidates job offers.


Focus on social recruiting.

Tap into social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Snapchat, and TikTok to build an audience who could apply to roles in the future.


Offer competitive benefits.

Empower employees to protect their quality of life by offering flexible and unique benefit packages.


Build workplace culture.

Entice candidates with the promise of a supportive, protective workplace environment where they’ll be able to grow.


Center your mission.

Demonstrate exactly how new hires will make a difference in your business and positively impact the surrounding community.


Make opportunities for new workers.

Give recent graduates and new healthcare workers room to grow with in-house training and mentorship programs.


Leverage current employees.

Solicit employee referrals for open roles, promote and hire from within, and encourage employees to reshare your optimized job posts.


Form a talent pool.

Re-engage past applicants and former employees, and give candidates the opportunity to submit resumes even if you’re not actively recruiting.


Recruit on multiple channels.

Simultaneously recruit with job boards, social sites, radio ads, job fairs, and more.


Control employer branding.

Improve your reputation by crafting attractive career pages, improving communication, and monitoring employee reviews.

Read more about the top ten strategies for healthcare recruiting >

5 Steps for Faster Healthcare Recruitment

Healthcare recruiting can be infamously slow, with some estimates putting the average time-to-hire in healthcare at 49 days. For competitive employers, that won’t cut it. 

Link to ebook


Get your guide “How to Keep Candidates Engaged During Recruitment”


Here are five steps to faster hiring.

Step 1: Assess Your Process

Start by understanding exactly where you’re losing time. Complete an audit of your current process to get a clear picture of what needs to change.

Step 2: Make Your Jobs Easy To Find 

Help candidates find your open jobs by:

  • Distributing job posts widely to a variety of job boards and social media sites.
  • Keeping job descriptions updated and accurate.
  • Including important keywords in your job description’s body and title.
  • Investing in software that will distribute your jobs and track applications for one fee.

Step 3: Enable Easy Apply 

Easy apply software lets candidates submit an application in seconds. When managers invest in this software, they encourage more candidates to apply and diversify their candidate pools. 

Step 4: Automate Manual Tasks 

Automation is a software tool that makes manual and repetitive tasks happen automatically. As a result, it can greatly cut down on hiring managers’ manual work and speed up hiring. 

Step 5: Streamline Candidate Communication

Keep communications organized and consisted by:

  • Drafting message templates, including offer and rejection letters. 
  • Sharing these templates with your team.
  • Using interview guides while screening candidates.

Read more about hiring faster >

Where and How To Find Qualified Candidates

Where do great healthcare candidates come from? We have an answer—in fact, we’ve got seven. 

Here are some of the top sources of healthcare candidates, tried and tested by successful businesses in the Apploi community. 

Seven Sources for Healthcare Candidates


Job boards

If you’re working with a budget, prioritize highly popular job boards like Indeed and ZipRecruiter, or distribute jobs for a single fee with human capital management software.

Employee referrals

Incentive programs to encourage your current workers to refer candidates from their social networks who they think may be qualified.

In-house training

Educational programs to help new workers gain qualifications (for instance, as a CNA) or to help seasoned workers brush up on skills.

Social media

Job distribution software may also allow you to instantly cross-post jobs to social platforms.

Past applicants

Keep digital records of former candidates and reach out six months to a year after your last contact. At this point, they may be looking for a new role.

Former employees

Employers who rehire old employees are able to skip many screening steps and hire faster. Plus, rehired employees are often happier than they were the first time around.

Your existing workforce

Finally, cultivate careers within your own organization. You’ll still need to recruit externally, but you’ll always have candidates who know your business in the pipeline.

Learn more about finding qualified healthcare candidates >

What Hiring Tools Should Healthcare Businesses Use?

There are plenty of healthcare recruiting platforms out there, but the most popular ones fall within these categories.

Job Board

Chances are, you already use job boards. This is any site used primarily to advertise jobs. Candidates can send in their materials directly from the job site, which may then link to a human capital management platform or an applicant tracking system. 

Applicant Tracking System

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a piece of software that hiring managers use to organize all their applicants. An ATS can manage applications from multiple sources. Even if you receive applications from dozens of different job sites, an ATS will give you one central place to go through resumes and screen candidates. 

Human Resources Management System

A human resources management system (HRMS) is a platform that HR professionals use to complete a variety of tasks. An HRMS will generally help workers manage payroll, time and attendance, and benefits enrollment. Typically, an HRMS is only used to manage current employee information—not to screen applicants.

Human Capital Management Software

Human capital management (HCM) software bridges the gap between applicant and employee management. Like an ATS, an HCM platform lets users store candidate information, review resumes, and screen applications. But HCM software can also handle ongoing employee management tasks, like credentialing, file storage, and work-readiness reports.

Learn more about the tools every hiring manager should know and use >

Healthcare hiring terms. Illustration of three people around a large dictionary.

Healthcare Recruiting Terms

The world of healthcare recruiting comes with its own vocabulary. But that shouldn’t create confusion or be a barrier to recruiting effectively.

We’ve put together a glossary of some of the most important recruiting terms to know. Share it with a colleague, use it for reference, or just keep it on your desk and flip through it when you want to look like you’re doing serious work. We all have our ways of getting through the day.

View and download the complete healthcare recruiting glossary >

Interested in learning more about tackling healthcare recruiting, hiring, and onboarding from a single platform? Contact us today for your free demo of our human capital management solution.