Healthcare Recruitment & Retention in the Mass Resignation Age – Recap

One of the biggest issues in healthcare right now, and business in general, is the current recruitment shortage and mass resignation trend. Our first Healthcare Marketing Trends 2022 webinar focuses on this very topic.

You can watch the full video below or keep reading for a quick overview.

You can also download the slide deck here.


Spoiler Alert – We are Pro-Vaccination

Smith & Jones is very much pro-vaccination, and we encourage our colleagues who are rolling out vaccine mandates at hospitals and health systems to stay the course in combatting COVID-19.

History is on your side. The first vaccination mandate goes back to 1809 for Smallpox. Nearly 100 years later, the Supreme Court upheld this mandate, saying that people don’t have the right to place others at risk.

Your core job is to protect patient care. Everything you do should support that goal. Listen. Learn. Roll it out over time, in an organized way, and be ready to accept the criticism, controversy and demonstrations. But at the end of the day, know that you are doing the right thing.

Chronic Recruitment Issues

Nursing shortages have been persistent since as early as the 1930s but now are moving towards a full-blown crisis. Nursing school enrollment is down, coupled with the fact that more and more nurses are retiring, there aren’t enough experienced staff to train the nursing students they have at an effective rate. There are also more options for nurses now besides just hospitals as healthcare becomes consumerized.

So how can you begin to attract Registered Nurses or nursing school recruits? Sign-on bonuses can only go so far. You need to be able to retain and keep your employees happy. What is your point of differentiation? Why would someone want to work for you and not the hospital down the street? Really dig deep and evaluate your culture. Find the nuggets of truth of why people love to work there and highlight them in your recruitment efforts.

Acute Recruitment and Registration Issues

COVID-burnout is real. Overall, employment in healthcare is down by 524,000 jobs since February 2020. That means the remaining employees are overworked, over-tasked and overwhelmed.

Nineteen percent of workers who retained their job during COVID have considered leaving the profession altogether.

As healthcare leaders, we must do our part to take care of our doctors, nurses and staff. Think about how you can address:

  • Bureaucratic tasks
  • Pay equity
  • Communication with management
  • Employee appreciation
  • Long-term growth plans
  • Work/life balance
  • Company culture

Strategies, Tips and Tactics

Recruitment-specific campaigns

Before starting a recruitment campaign, think about it as a subbrand, similar to a service-line campaign. What is your positioning within your market? Build this brand as you go. Make sure your ads and messages are reflective of you. You shouldn’t be mistaken for any other hospital. Yes, you’re recruiting others, but your brand should shine through. And should ultimately be a strong reason why someone would take the next step to learn more or apply for a job. Also, Marketing and HR should work together to share budgets and resources to determine where time and money would be best spent.

Building an internal culture of caring

Invest in your people. Think about investing in some of these timesaving perks. They may seem like little things, but they can go a long way for employee morale.

  • Daycare and eldercare (Working mothers are especially susceptible to burnout!)
  • Dry cleaning service (drop off/pick up at hospital)
  • Bagels for new hires
  • Free coffee
  • Discounts on personal housekeeping services
  • Car maintenance services (oil change, inspection, etc.) performed while at work
  • Take-home family dinners that can be ordered and picked up at the end of shift
  • Discounts and coupons for local food establishments or businesses

In addition, are you helping their career? Are you giving them the incentive to stay for the long term? Think about…

  • Mentorship/buddy programs
  • Personal career counselors
  • Recognition programs
  • Scholarship programs

Share your message externally

All the while, you should celebrate the human moments and achievements of your staff. Not just work anniversaries and birthdays (though those are great) but think outside the box, like someone completing their first 5K or marathon, the birth of a child or family achievement, finishing a degree or new certification. With their permission, these can also be used as PR and marketing moments. These moments, these happy, uplifting stories are things your audience wants to see. Generally, images or videos with real people perform better than stock photos or your standard blog post on social media. So document these moments and share them!

To learn more, download our eBook, 2022 Healthcare Marketing Trends: Getting Back to Getting Better. And subscribe to our email list to get notifications about new webinars and resources for healthcare marketers.