Given the unprecedented outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), organizations in the healthcare space are in need of qualified employees across specialties and roles. Not only are hospitals overwhelmed with patients, but home healthcare agencies also need to fill more caregiver, CNA, registered nurse and other roles to care for high-risk individuals who are housebound. At the same time, many long-term care facilities are also facing an increased demand for frontline staff. 
During these uncertain times, it can be stressful and challenging to prioritize what is needed to to best support employees, patients and their loved ones, making sure everyone is safe and healthy. It’s important to focus on the best patient care possible while also ensuring you’re fully staffed with qualified, compassionate caregivers. 
We’re here to help make hiring easier on your team so you can focus on other critical tasks. Below, we’ve outlined several steps your team can take to streamline hiring and staff with the employees you need to navigate this crisis. 

Optimize and manage your job descriptions

The goal of any job description is to get prospective, qualified job applicants interested in joining your team. And now more than ever, it’s important to ensure job requirements and qualifications are clearly outlined in your job descriptions, so you attract the right candidates that can provide the best patient care during these challenging times.

In your job descriptions, include a compelling company overview, list of responsibilities and requirements and an overview of company benefits. In the company overview section of your job descriptions and on your career site, highlight your location, company history, community involvement, training resources and career growth opportunities.
For responsibilities and requirements, break these sections out into bullet points, so job seekers can easily scan the bullets to determine whether or not they would be a fit for the role. Also include “you” statements throughout these sections, like “As a member of our team, you will…” so prospective applicants can picture themselves on your team.
For additional tips on making the most of your job descriptions, we’ve highlighted a few key resources below. Our team is also here to help and share direct feedback to help you attract qualified talent through your job descriptions.

Build your employer brand 

While healthcare organizations are looking to hire qualified talent across roles, many other industries have unfortunately had to layoff employees – at least temporarily. This means not only will applicants with previous healthcare experience apply to your open roles, but job seekers from outside industries will be seeking new career opportunities as well. 
To attract top talent from both inside and outside the healthcare industry, your team needs a strong employer brand. By building a strong employer brand now, you can set yourself up for long-term success – even once this crisis is behind us. 
Some job seekers might be hesitant to apply for healthcare roles at this time. In your employer brand assets – including your job descriptions and career site – share content that speaks to strategies your organization is taking to ensure the health and safety of employees and patients. 
As part of your employer brand, your career site should include strong, SEO-friendly job descriptions, defined career paths across departments, employee testimonials, a comprehensive list of benefits and continuous job openings.

Streamline hiring steps and effectively screen candidates 

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, not only is there an increased demand for healthcare employees, but employers also need to adapt the hiring process because in many cases, in-person interviews are not an option. However, there are several steps your team can take to ensure candidates are qualified – even in the absence of in-person interviews. And several of these steps can be automated to save your team time.
Since you’ll likely see an influx of job applicants, one step your team can take is tapping into prescreen surveys, so you don’t have to spend time manually reviewing each applicant – including those that aren’t a fit. 
By tapping into prescreen surveys, as soon an application is submitted, an automated email is sent to the prospective candidate with a link to the survey. Applicants who score well on prescreen surveys can immediately move forward with next hiring steps. This will save your team time that would have otherwise been spent reviewing applicants who aren’t a fit – and enable you to dedicate this time to other critical business tasks.
Another key step in the hiring process is the interview stage. Without the option of in-person interviews, your team can turn to phone and video interviews to help gauge each candidate’s fit for your open roles. Like many employers, chances are you already kick off the interview process with phone screens to save your hiring managers and candidates time during initial hiring steps. But video interviews might be new to you.
Many user-friendly, free tools are available for your team to complete video interviews – including Google Hangouts, Facetime and Skype – and many candidates likely already have access to these tools. While phone interviews can help you get to know candidates from a high level, video interviews enable you to gain a better understanding of candidates’ body language, communication skills, personality and professional appearance that wouldn’t otherwise shine through during a phone interview.
> Read our resource, “Best Practices to Run Effective Phone and Video Interviews.”
An additional step you can take to verify candidates – ensuring they’re qualified and helping avoid liability down the road – is automated reference and background checks.
For automated reference checks, candidates simply fill in their references’ contact information and surveys are automatically sent out. This saves your team from playing phone tag with potential references – which would ultimately slow down the hiring process. And for background checks candidates submit the required personal information and the rest of the process is taken care of automatically.
Challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve day-by-day and nobody can predict how long or to what extent this crisis will have a far-reaching impact. Hireology is here to drive hiring efficiencies and help you put your best team in place no matter the circumstances – if you have any questions or need assistance, contact your Hireology Customer Success Manager or support@hireology.com.