Insights from NAHCR’s 2019 Meeting: Unlocking Your Potential as a Health Care Recruiter

Wolters Kluwer recently sponsored the 45th Annual Meeting of the National Association of Health Care Recruiters (NAHCR), held right in our backyard in the nation’s first skyscraper, the Philadelphia Loews Hotel. Our team of recruitment advertising specialists had the opportunity to spend some quality time with members throughout the jam-packed informational agenda, themed “Unlock Your Potential as a Health Care Recruiter.”

 

We asked them to share some of their observations and takeaways from the meeting so we could give you a flavor of the meeting if you weren’t able to attend. In general, they noted that there seemed to be more representation this year from the Mid-Atlantic Region, perhaps because of the meeting’s convenient location along the northeast corridor rail line. They also enjoyed the positive energy of the attendees within a well-laid-out exhibit space that was very conducive to chatting about the current challenges faced by a wide-range of roles within recruitment: the hands-on nurse recruiters, the team leads responsible for organizational initiatives, as well as staffing agencies.

 

Against a backdrop of the recurring subjects often covered at healthcare recruitment conferences, including the overall healthcare workforce shortage, employer branding, retention, and social media, there were a few of the hot topics that bubbled to the top most frequently in their conversations with the attendees.

 

Shift to Home Health Nurses as an employment need

 

Anecdotally speaking, in previous years, there is typically one type of nurse that recruiters mention more than others as their “top need”. This year, the emphasis seemed to be with home healthcare nurses, which is not surprising when considered as part of a widespread and growing workforce gap in all types of in-home care. Attempts to reduce the strain of in-patient care on an overburdened system has naturally redistributed the need to within the home. According the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the US spent an estimated $103 billion on home health care last year. That impact is now felt acutely as the job market scrambles to keep up. One projection translates this need into a 7.8 million job openings by 2026.

 

Artificial Intelligence in health care recruitment

 

Beware the singularity! All kidding aside, AI in healthcare recruitment got a lot of mindshare throughout the meeting, with multiple sessions talking about this topic and other technology solutions. The attendees had understandably complex takes on the role of AI – everything from “It’s going to replace all of our jobs as recruiters” to the idea that AI is merely one highly-efficient step within an overall process that will always require a human touch and oversight. Automation is elevating many job sectors that benefit from data-driven decision making and recruitment is no exception. However, regardless of the tech used for screening or other administrative workflows, your strategy needs to be multifaceted to ensure that you have a healthy pipeline, that you continue to engage in a meaningful way with your candidate pool, and that you develop and sustain a positive candidate experience.

 

The growing importance of transformational nurse leaders

 

Nursing administrators have a predicted job growth of 22% by the year 2020 according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The takeaway from conversations at NAHCR was that great, transformational nurse managers are tough to find. In many ways this is less of a recruitment issue than it is a systemic problem with a perceived lack of leadership development opportunities for nurses and a traditional expectation of what it takes to be successful in a leadership role. The industry is beginning to look at new ways to identify the characteristics of an exceptional nurse leader and develop innovative ways to foster those skills as a new “alternative route” to leadership. The impact to recruitment, of course, is that it’s tougher to meet expectations for hiring when you need to sometimes identify “diamonds in the rough” or consider a broader spectrum of experience to fill positions.

 

“Aha” moments with nurse recruiters

 

It was rewarding for the team to educate some of the attendees who, though they were already aware of Wolters Kluwer’s broad-based reach to nurses with our Lippincott brands like NursingCenter.com and the American Journal of Nursing, were not as familiar about our access to highly-specialized nurses including:

Looking forward to 2020’s meeting

 

We’re excited about next year’s theme – Sculpting Your Health Care Recruitment Strategy – taking place in Minneapolis, MN. Not only will we be able to offer attendees some hot tips for visiting the area (our Director of Recruitment Advertising, Ben Crowe, happens to live there!) but we think the theme lends itself to a lot of content and conversation around “refinement” and what that means to healthcare recruitment. Anyone can build a strategy upon the foundational pillars, but a truly exceptional approach requires an artist’s vision to identify opportunities to make each element better. That could mean tweaks to operations, the technology stack, internal talent development, or your advertising plan. We can't wait to hear what NAHCR’s members and partners have to say next year. See you in Minneapolis!

Contact us to develop your multichannel campaign to recruit qualified nurses.

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