Hard-to-fill jobs

Checklist of 6 discussion points for changing hard-to-fill jobs (revised)

HealthcareWhen the time to fill of a job has reached an unacceptable level, it may be a good to time to discuss options.

Below is a partial list of things you could discuss with the hiring manager regarding changing the job vacancy for the purpose of increasing qualified applicants:

  1. Adjust the salary range of your offering or posting. Oftentimes, employers refrain from posting salary ranges on the advertisement, which has pluses and minuses. So if the posting of salary is prohibited, have an updated target range available for candidate responses, as well as passive recruits, upfront.
  2. Extend the timeframe to hire. No matter what the level of difficulty, virtually any job can be filled with sufficient time. Since most healthcare organizations do not have the luxury of unlimited time to fill a position, expect resistance on extending timeframes. However, with more time we may be able to find that perfect candidate. So find out from the hiring manager if more time will be granted in order to find the best match. If not, consider the next 4 options to sweeten the pot and entice the desired candidates.
  3. Decrease the experience and/or education requirements. Sometimes the requirements are no longer relevant or required. For example, for physicians, perhaps Board Certification or Fellowship training was required before; however, eligibility to sit for the exam (Board Eligible) may now suffice. In lieu of fellowship training, perhaps proven experience may be acceptable. Avoid freezing the conversation with the hiring manager in time. There may be some variation of experience/education acceptable now that some time has passed and the position is still open.
  4. Add work/life balance options. This can raise the attractiveness of your offering or help to compensate for a lower salary range. Does the hiring manager allow for 'work-from-home' days? Does the hiring manager allow for flexible shift scheduling to help enhance work/life balance? Are there other options worth mentioning that may entice a top candidate?
  5. Splitting the job into two roles positions is sometimes a possibility. Perhaps there are several other health systems that have the same job split into two roles when the current requisition calls for both in the same role. (Of course you will need to adjust the salary accordingly to reflect a lesser amount of requirements/responsibilities for each position.)
  6. Expand your horizons to related experience that does well in the position. Is there a skillset that typically exists in another unrelated role that would prove to be an asset in this position? For example, the detail-oriented, analytical skills of a candidate in an unrelated position/function may translate well into your detail-oriented, analytical based role. This will take some extra thought and discussions, however, it may prove to be a fruitful exercise. We recommend using a separate job advertisement to appeal to the slightly different audience. In short, sometimes it is easier to train business knowledge in a candidate than complex or critical skill sets.

BONUS TIP - As Keith Gallagher, FACHE, BG (R), former CEO of several hospitals in the US and abroad, recommends that clients "look internally at the processes and actions taken to find that talent." This is because the current process can result in "complete frustration" with the prospective employee. This advice comes from someone who has managed thousands of employees. I think it goes without saying that employment branding is key to stay relevant in the war for talent. I will focus on some of these internal processes in an upcoming article.

Hopefully these discussion points prove helpful in your search for talent. I would love to hear your comments on this as well adding anything that I missed.

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Rollis Fontenot IIIRollis Fontenot IIIPresident and Business Development Executive for Ascend HR Corp. Rollis recruited healthcare clinicians, professionals, managers and executives since 2004. Some examples titles include: CEO, Director, Nurse Manager, RN, nurse practitioner, physician, physician assistant and more. Rollis has also recruited many other functions within healthcare as well as escrow officers and assistants within the title insurance industry.

Ascend HR Corp offers recruitment services on a monthly subscription. We specialize in recruitment process enhancement from finding qualified and interested candidates all the way to full life-cycle recruitment for our clients. We specialize in fixing the most difficult recruitment issues/challenges. No problem is too large. We can help turn around the results of any recruitment department that wants to improve. Please download a sample of Rollis' book "Winning the Talent Acquisition Game with Recruitment Process Enhancement"