What Are the Current Challenges in Medical Recruitment?

Written by: Eyvonne Barrett

If you’re an HR manager or physician seeking new medical recruits, your life has likely become a Tetris game. Unless you’re a medical recruiter, most people don’t realise the number of factors involved in making a successful hire. 

Whether you’ve worked in the healthcare industry or have been a patient in it, you know that burnout, proper coverage, and healthy wages seem to be unending battles in this business.

Hiring locum doctors is a hopeful solution for medical recruitment. A locum tenens doctor helps short-staffed teams, stressed locations and burnt out workers through flexible, independently controlled schedules.

While medical recruiters have found there’s great interest in the locum tenens jobs, it’s just one part of the whack-a-mole hiring process. When one issue is fixed, another pops up. 

As a medical recruiter, you’re not just working to meet your agency’s requirements, but those of the entire healthcare industry. No pressure.

Medical Recruiting Madness

The difficulties of medical recruiting are no surprise to anyone. Even those uninvolved in the healthcare industry know that it’s one of the hardest. Finding a healthy work-life balance in healthcare is the ultimate irony.

If you’re seeking a position in healthcare, however, it remains a question as to why, if the industry needs more workers, it takes so long to get hired.

If healthcare systems need stronger foundations, why then, do 39% of hospitals wait for up to half a year to fill managerial positions? 31% can wait an entire year. The million-dollar question remains: What in the world are they waiting for? 

As you wait on a healthcare company, it seems they’re waiting on something else. The impact of a medical recruiter’s battles is systemic; one hire influences everyone from the top-down.

Medical recruiters work to manage the ripple effect.

The Challenges of Medical Recruitment

One thing is clear: the recruitment process is far greater than what an applicant sees through their screen. While medical recruiters look for the best prospects, they have to abide by specific guidelines.

Here are the most common challenges for a medical recruiter.

Finding Qualified Employees

While this is always a priority when finding new hires, the healthcare industry has a hard time finding quality employees. This is, in part, due to the endless education versus experience debate.

The industry finds that new medical graduates are educated and resilient but often inexperienced. Oppositely, the experienced employees tend to lack credentials. Here lies the fractured foundation upon which a medical recruiter stands.

Regardless of who’s hired, this is only part one of the recruitment process. Proper training is imperative, which leads to the next challenge.

Lengthy Onboarding Processes

Recruitment can only be so effective if there are not efficient training programs on the backend. Recruiters are the first relayers of the job. If the next step, training, contrasts the applicant’s first impression of it, they won’t keep the position.

While some companies have digitised their training processes through cloud-based software, even technology has some backlash due to its overwhelming, multistep process for the new hire. The debate between whether online or in-person training proves to be the most effective remains up in the air.

Ultimately, what the recruiter offers depends on a seamless follow-through, not only to obtain—but maintain—new hires.

Diversity Dips

Finding diversity (in one’s background as well as talent) in medical recruiting is a challenge. This is in large part to the history of medical staff consisting of mostly white men. The ultimate detriment to a non-diverse medical staff is an inability to relate to a diverse patient population. 

When it comes to race, gender, sexuality, religion and socioeconomic backgrounds of healthcare staff, finding and maintaining quality candidates is a tall order.

Due to the heightened pressure to find these diverse backgrounds, there may be a greater need for incentives to hire these prospects. In the same breath, the medical recruiter may not be able to provide them.

So the hamster wheel continues.

Lack of Competitive Compensation

If a medical recruiter needs recruits, there have to be incentives for the applicant. During any hiring process, there are many factors for an applicant to consider before signing on. The following benefits most commonly incentivise applicants:

  • Signing bonuses
  • Room to grow
  • Flexible schedule
  • Health care benefits including dental and vision
  • Generous pay
  • Paid time off

Since the healthcare industry has high turnover and a high retiring population, there’s a constant battle to provide the above things. 

If the company cannot show what makes them different from their competitors, new hires won’t stick.

It’s All About Priorities

Above all else, medical recruiting is not about fixing a fractured healthcare system. It’s about strategies and prioritisation. If you’re a medical recruiter, you might find yourself asking the following questions in your search for new hires.

Is it most important to:

  • make cost-effective decisions and hire sparingly on behalf of the company?
  • hire immediately to alleviate the current team?
  • fill a managerial position instead of several lower to mid-level positions?
  • hire full-time or part-time workers?
  • hire employees with multi-talented backgrounds or one specialisation?
  • hire based on education or experience?
  • hire based on long-term or short-term availability?

The list goes on and often, the answers to these questions are “both.” The quest for qualified healthcare workers is a game of hiring the best people under complex conditions.

iRecruit Wants You

iRecruit’s medical recruiters do things differently. We put your needs first. With open jobs for emergency medicine consultants, general family medicine practitioners, intensive care registrars, anaesthetic specialists and more, we help you find the right position based on your desires and talent.

We prioritise your work-life balance in a way that ensures long-term job satisfaction. Our recruitment process has no ulterior motives other than to make sure your first “YES!” with us stays a “YES!” long after.

If you’ve been burnt out in previous positions, we’ve found the solution. We offer weekly payroll, hundreds of jobs and long-term career support. We’re committed to resurrecting the healthcare experience. 

Check out our open positions and apply now for a personalised application process unlike any other!

Chat with us about your next locum doctor job.