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How Healthcare Providers Use AI to Find the Best Doctors and Nurses

Healthcare providers are struggling to meet the demand for doctors and nurses. 

According to J.P. Morgan’s 2018 Healthcare Industry Outlook, 92 percent of senior healthcare executives are concerned about finding qualified candidates to fill positions. Thirty-five percent of respondents say that the talent shortage is one of the top three challenges they are facing.

It is going to be a difficult challenge to overcome. Data from the Association of American Medical Colleges predicts that, over the next decade, the healthcare industry will face a shortage of between 40,800 and 104,900 doctors. 

For healthcare providers needing to fill positions, attracting the most qualified candidates is only going to get tougher. To stay competitive in the hiring race, providers have to take more innovative approaches to hiring. AI-powered tools are one of the key solutions for healthcare providers to find and recruit doctors and nurses at a time when the competition for them is so tight.

Data-Driven Hiring Is Transforming Healthcare Recruiting 

Healthcare organizations can no longer rely on traditional hiring practices to find and attract the most qualified doctors and nurses. It becomes a matter of survival for providers to adopt more innovative hiring practices that allow them to achieve their hiring goals.

The data-driven approach of AI-powered hiring tools streamlines and optimizes the hiring process to ensure healthcare providers are able to stay competitive in recruiting. The power of these tools lies in their ability to speed up recruiting by collecting and analyzing millions of data points in very little time. This opens up new avenues for talent acquisition, simplifying the process for organizations to find and attract potential candidates, explains data scientist Ishika Agarwal.

Artificial Intelligence Broadens Recruitment Channels

Traditional candidate sourcing is typically limited to the number of channels a hiring manager can manage to comb through. Those channels seldom change over time and eventually dry up of new, qualified candidates for consideration. And hiring managers often don’t have the time or the resources to expand the search beyond those channels.

AI-powered hiring software allows organizations to broaden their candidate sourcing — and their talent pools — by searching sources such as social media networks, professional communities, portfolio sites, resume databases and job boards for qualified candidates. The software has the power to review millions of profiles in seconds based on dozens of data points to identify more candidates than manual sourcing could ever allow. 

This includes locating passive candidates. 

Research by the New England Journal of Medicine shows that 86 percent of physicians are not actively looking for new jobs. But more than half of those would be willing to discuss appealing job opportunities presented to them. 

Considering these candidates is a great way to broaden your talent pool, but they aren’t easy to find via manual recruitment methods. AI-powered tools are necessary to identify passive candidates that may be worth pursuing. The software collects and analyzes candidate data then predicts which passive candidates would be successful in the new position — and which would be most likely to switch from their current jobs.  

Smiling daughter, mother and doctor in warm doctor's office; representing how healthcare providers can use AI to recruit great doctors

Care Providers From All Backgrounds: Diversifying Candidate Pools 

“Healthcare appears to be lagging behind in the diversity of its workforce,” writes John M. Bryson II, principal at the law firm Jackson Lewis. This lack of diversity indicates conscious or unconscious biases in hiring that may be preventing healthcare providers from meeting their staffing needs. Biases in hiring can be especially debilitating when the industry is suffering a talent shortage.

Eliminating those biases opens up the talent pool and helps providers create a more diverse workforce that benefits not only their organizations but also patients. 

Blind Resume Reviews

Bias in hiring is often fueled by specific information that is found on resumes. 

A landmark 2004 study by Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan for the American Economic Association found that job applicants with white names receive 50 percent more callbacks than those with names that are perceived to be African-American. 

Another study, co-authored by Sonia Kang, Katy DeCelles, András Tilcsik and Sora Jun in 2016, confirms the continued systemic bias against non-white names. The authors conclude that companies are more than twice as likely to call back non-white applicants when they “whiten” their resumes by eliminating references to their race.  

The same can often be said for other identifying traits, such as gender or even where an applicant went to school. Those data points can reinforce a hiring professional’s biases and be used against candidates. 

AI tools help eliminate these biases through anonymous hiring by creating blind resumes that strip applications of identifying data. “Used effectively, anonymized recruiting can be a valuable amplifier of more substantive diversity efforts,” says Erin Thomas, Ph.D., midwest managing director at consulting firm Paradigm.

That said, Dr. Thomas says companies that “view candidates’ contributions to diversity as an asset to celebrate, not a liability to conceal” create the best environments for employees to thrive.

Inclusive Job Descriptions

The way a job description is written can potentially prevent qualified candidates from applying for a position. Biases, through the use of gender-coded words, insider corporate jargon and mandatory requirements, can express themselves in job descriptions and dissuade candidates who feel otherwise qualified to apply. 

Eliminating gender bias and limiting mandatory job requirements are two of the easiest ways to create more gender-inclusive job ads, says Iris Bohnet, academic dean of Harvard Kennedy School.

AI helps healthcare providers achieve this by creating job descriptions that are neutral and encouraging to all potential applicants. It can do this by analyzing the most successful job postings and then recommending language that would most likely resonate with top candidates. 

An emphasis on diversity boosts healthcare providers’ ability to recruit during a talent shortage. “With a strong commitment to tapping diverse talent, hospitals and other healthcare providers should make progress in reducing the escalating shortage,” Bryson says.

Nurse Working In Operating Theatre, representing how healthcare providers use AI to source talent

Hiring Software Creates a More Engaging Candidate Experience

A positive hiring experience can be the determining factor for a candidate deciding to accept a job with an organization. 

To stay competitive in a tight labor market, healthcare providers must endeavor to provide the best candidate experience possible. That means ushering candidates through a process that is transparent, and prioritizing communication to keep candidates informed and engaged. 

Chatbots are a great tool for creating such experiences. “A bot approach gives the candidate some level of control which they do not have in a traditional model,” says Joe Edwards, executive director at digital marketing agency W3.

They can be used to answer questions from candidates in a meaningful, conversational way, and candidates can expect an answer at any time, day or night. Chatbots can also reduce the time it takes for a company to contact a candidate after a resume submission as well as maintain contact with the candidate throughout the process. 

This can all go a long way toward building rapport with candidates.

AI-Powered Software Finds Candidates with Complementary Skills

When the labor market is tight, companies have to think beyond job requirements and look for candidates with complementary skills. This may seem like a somewhat dubious approach to healthcare hiring, but it can be a plausible approach to hiring during a talent shortage. 

For example, a healthcare provider may be looking for an experienced ER nurse but might consider an experienced labor and delivery nurse instead. Or, maybe the hospital wants to hire an experienced cardiologist but may have to look at younger doctors. While the healthcare profession certainly cannot compromise on qualifications for medical positions, there may be alternative candidates who have the skills needed to excel in a role when given the opportunity.  

Through predictive analytics, AI-powered hiring technology can help healthcare providers find candidates who have the potential to meet the expectations for the job. 

In the battle for the best, healthcare providers need to give themselves every advantage to attract top doctors and nurses. AI-powered hiring technology provides one such advantage because it helps healthcare companies identify talented people beyond the reach of traditional sourcing channels.

Images by: daizuoxin/©123RF.com, Anna Bizoń/©123RF.com, Mark Bowden/©123RF.com

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