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    Connecting the Dots: Why Healthcare Should Embrace Talent Sourcing

    8 October, 2020
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    Throughout your career, you are going to learn a lot of lessons. If you’re lucky, you get to see the industry you love to grow and change and be able to connect the dots between “old” and “new” pretty quickly.

    For those of you who know me, my entry into this industry was as the Owner and CEO of a healthcare staffing agency. My clients relied upon me to have skilled talent on-hand that could fill their open positions quickly. Today, as a leader at Newton Talent, and introducing HR leaders to our unique sourcing offering, I’m stunned by how much healthcare organizations lose when they heavily rely on the kind of staffing agency I myself used to run! 

    And when I connect the dots for my former clients, they’re stunned, too. Here’s why:

    There’s a time for staffing agencies, but you should first use sourcing and lead with your brand.

    Staffing agencies fill a valuable service, but honestly, most of the healthcare organizations I worked with used my staffing services for more than “crisis fills.” Often, their own internal teams were just not able to fill roles in a timely manner. Two week-long vacancies sometimes turned into two months, and the organization’s recruitment process began to fray as individual unit leaders “went rogue” in an attempt to fill their open positions faster.

    Being in perpetual crisis mode had a devastating effect on the employment brand. Using a staffing company as a primary source of hires meant there was no time or resources dedicated to engaging candidates or helping them buy-in to the employer value proposition. And on the inside, managers were so underwater, they barely had time to onboard in a meaningful way. So, some positions and units became a “revolving door.”

    Sourcing, on the other hand, allows organizations to develop a community of talent so that they are better prepared for unit growth or employee turnover. Sourcing is a planning stage to help with current and future hiring needs. Sourcers not only scour multiple resources to find the best talent for their organization but also act as brand ambassadors so potential candidates understand the organization’s mission and differentiators, which ensures a better fit long-term. They literally lead with your brand.

    The long-term benefits of sourcing

    Because staffing agencies are getting paid for each placement they make, they “own” each candidate that they present to you.

    That means that you can’t go back at a later date and offer a position to a candidate that was previously presented to you by a recruiting agency unless you want to pay them for that placement – even if your contract with the agency is complete.

    When your organization brings in sourcing support, those potential candidates are yours. They are sold on your brand. And if you continue to nurture them, they can provide you a ready source of candidates for similar roles in the future.

    Sourcing lowers cost-per-hire and improves candidate quality

    I’ve seen this with nearly every organization I worked with: a new position opens up and the first thought is “crap, now what do I do?” When panic mode takes over, it’s common to spend money to make that panic go away. You might sponsor an ad on Indeed, or host a job fair, or go to a staffing agency or headhunter to fill the role. It’s a cycle that never ends because you are not solving the problem. Albert Einstein once said, “If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it,”

    Defining the problem is what helps to set your sourcing strategy in the right direction. Not just filling an open role, pipelining and nurturing potential candidates is “the solve” in almost every situation. Once you have built a community of candidates, you can be more selective in the talent you hire and choose the best fit for your role and organization, today and in the future. You’ll also spend less per hire because you’ll fill those positions faster.

    Sourcing also REALLY IMPROVES the candidate experience. And that’s of HUGE value.

    If you think about it from the candidate side, sourcing creates the ultimate candidate experience. Candidates chosen to be part of your talent community have the opportunity to get to you your organization before they make that final commitment. And because they’ve been chosen for your community, there is a “loyalty” factor that goes into play upon hire that often dramatically reduces turnover.

    Sourcing really represents a different kind of strategy: a pull for your brand, rather than a push to fill the job.

    There will never be a “lull” in the continuing battle to find talent for healthcare organizations. Between the strain put on talent acquisition due to the pandemic, and the ongoing needs brought on by today’s changing patient demographics and evolving care delivery models, it is hard right now for HR to catch a breath. But even once COVID is under control, the underlying issues that make filling talent needs so difficult will still remain.

    That’s why it’s important for healthcare organizations to discuss implementing a sourcing strategy today. To ignore the issues that make “just in time” staffing the norm, rather than the exception, essentially keeps HR professionals from addressing bigger needs that can help their organizations thrive through change.

    Sourcing puts so much control back into the hands of the healthcare organization and serves it so well long-term that I feel good reconnecting with healthcare leaders I’ve worked with in the past. If you’d like to learn how sourcing can help your organization, let’s talk. Together, we can connect the dots and prepare your organization for the future of healthcare recruitment.

    Jason Rellick

    Vice President of Client Service & Delivery for Newton Talent, Jason Rellick has over 25 years of experience developing and delivering customized, cutting-edge recruiting solutions for HR organizations across all industries. His well-rounded knowledge of the human resources space makes him a popular blogger and interview guest.

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