The pitfalls of recruiting in long-term care

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Gil Vazquez
Gil Vazquez

Recruiting exceptional employees for long-term healthcare companies is a talent in itself. The senior care industry is unique because it requires a significant amount of trust and reliability. 

Executives and nurse management can easily fall under public scrutiny if their facility or company is seen as substandard or unsafe. A healthcare recruiter has to dig into a candidate's past, get a sense of his or her personality, reputation and qualifications in order to fill such a trustworthy position. Unlike other recruiting positions, a healthcare recruiter has a moral obligation to seek a mentally and professionally qualified candidate.

In the long-term care industry, successful healthcare recruiters should be able to fill a variety of senior level positions including the chief financial officer, chief operations officer, nurse administrator, and all nurse management positions, such as registered nurses.

Efficient recruiting for long-term care means avoiding what I call, “recruiter pitfalls” which will have you working harder and experiencing more heartbreak. Here are some of those pitfalls every recruiter working throughout the senior care industry should avoid.

Think quality not quantity

Remember you cannot help every job seeker find a position. Long-term care is unique because you are finding people that are responsible for the well being of a vulnerable community. As healthcare recruiters in the long-term care industry, we receive resumes daily. It's good to build a strong database of candidates, but beware of storing unworthy talent in your collection of resumes.  

A database should be a strong resource.  Don't waste time collecting bad resumes or weak candidates in your file. You will most likely never place these candidates and ultimately spend more time when researching through hundreds or even thousands of resumes. Remember time is money and let evolution lead the way with only the strong surviving.

Read the resume

As a recruiter you should not rush through a few lines on a resume, then determine if the candidate is a good fit for the position. Take the time to understand each candidate and their qualifications before deciding if he or she is right for the job. Do not make the mistake of passing over a good candidate.  

Many recruiters and employers use personality assessments to aid in the selection process. At MedBest we offer the MedBest Advantage Package which allows employers to see the behaviors and motivators of a potential employee. One of your goals should be to avoid passing over qualified candidates, while continuing to interview unqualified ones.  

Follow your gut

Again, the senior care industry is a special area of employment due to the personal care and responsibility involved with nurses. That's why it's imperative to find a qualified nurse administrator and subsequent team of registered nurses.  There are many times when you will have a gut feeling that a prospective candidate will make the perfect match with a specific healthcare company, and there are many times when your gut is telling you otherwise.  If you are on the fence with a candidate, go with your gut feeling.

Don't rely on emails: Make personal contact

When contacting candidates for your open position at a long-term care company, remember emailing can work but calling is more efficient. We all know emails can get lost in the shuffle, spam or never reach their target. Many people are busy in their lives and may never open their email for weeks at a time.  Voice mails, calls and texts seem to produce better results. Plus you will be able to hear specific qualities in a candidate's voice, such as confidence, and the ability to communicate effectively. This is crucial when placing senior positions such as a CEO, COO or CFO.

Listed above are only a few of the many pitfalls healthcare recruiters can encounter.  As we close out this blog remember some additional important facts.

  • Stay current with technology

As technology has evolved over the last ten years, texting has become the preference of how candidates prefer to be reached. Many are on the job and cannot receive calls but they do check their text messages through the day. Texting can also allow a candidate to send a private message if they are at work without having to pick up the phone and verbally announce their job seeking intentions.  

  • Master social media

Remember hiring professionals are in competition for the best employees. As a successful recruiter you must learn how to attract employees. Master social media or have a marketing department that can assist in this ever growing resource.  

  • Find passive candidates

Learn how to persuade or gain interest of passive candidates. These are employees who are currently not looking for a job. At MedBest we pride ourselves in finding executives and nurse management leaders who are not actively seeking a job. Many of the best talented candidates are passive because they are comfortable in their current position but still open to possibilities.  

  • Build long-lasting relationships

Also remember as you work with your clients, build a good relationship with the hiring team as they build trust in you and your recommendations. Clients will need to fill more positions throughout the company's lifetime. Show them they can continue to count on you to meet their needs and remove the hassle from their hiring process. Remember when you place a CEO, and it's a positive experience, that CEO will most likely use you when he or she needs to fill a future position.

In our next blog, we will cover recruiting tips and trends throughout the senior care industry. 

Gil Vazquez is an executive search consultant/healthcare recruiter at MedBest. For more on finding the perfect candidate, contact MedBest at (727) 526-1294.


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