How to Encourage Diversity in Healthcare Hiring

As any employee of a diverse organization knows, diversity is more than just a buzzword.  There’s something fantastic that happens when people of various backgrounds, experiences, and walks of life get together.  In the workplace, the contribution of a diverse workforce can actually be measured. Organizations with diverse workforces are more productive and more profitable.  According to research firm McKinsey, organizations that are more diverse are 35% more likely to have higher profits than their industry median. But is diversity achievable in a healthcare hiring skills gap?

Make Your Healthcare Hiring More Diverse

When diversity is a goal in healthcare hiring, it can feel like a daunting task.  How do you hire more diverse individuals if employees are limited to working at one geographic location? What if candidates are already hard to find?  Try these strategies:

  • Partner with a managed service provider. A managed service provider (MSP) has many relationships with staffing suppliers across the nation. These relationships can enhance a health system’s healthcare hiring practices by expanding their potential access to candidates to include diversity certified suppliers.  Health systems can leverage these expansive healthcare hiring relationships to increase their commitment to diversity suppliers, thereby increasing the diversity of their candidate pools.
  • Leverage referrals. There’s already a variety of individuals working onsite that are from diverse backgrounds, experiences, and locales. Because everybody knows somebody, this enhances a health system’s network and access to skilled talent.  By building talent pools based on referrals, health systems can further enhance their ability to hire diverse candidates, often at a reduced cost than sourcing candidates from suppliers.
  • Refine job descriptions. Unconscious bias could hinder diversity efforts in healthcare hiring.  A careful review of job descriptions can prevent this unconscious bias.  Where hiring managers have expressed a desire for individuals with degrees from an Ivy League school, this could express an unconscious bias towards one ethnic group.  Instead, it may be beneficial to suggest alternatives such as top 25 universities or healthcare schools.  This will enhance the diversity of the candidate pool, ensuring a more diverse mix in healthcare hiring.
  • Expand your search beyond one geographic area. By opening up the healthcare hiring search beyond one geographic region, it’s more likely that health systems will gain access to candidates from a variety of different ethnic, gender, and socioeconomic backgrounds.  These candidates can bring a variety of different experiences, new language skills, and new ideas that can benefit patient care and health system operations.
  • Open positions to travelling workers. Opening positions up to travelling workers such as travelling nurses could enhance diversity in healthcare hiring.  This enhances health systems’ access to candidates from new regions, increasing the likelihood of obtaining more diverse candidates.  Because travelling workers are on site at multiple health systems, they also are more likely to have a variety of different experiences and fresh ideas that can benefit the health system.

It’s clear that diversity is a beneficial goal in healthcare hiring.  But when health systems are challenged with finding candidates during a healthcare hiring skills gap, it can be difficult to express a preference for diversity.  Using these techniques, health systems are able to attract and hire more diverse healthcare candidates and achieve diversity goals.

If your health system is looking for ways to accomplish your diversity goals, contact RightSourcing today for a free workforce analysis.

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