3B Analysis: How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted healthcare recruitment?

3B Onboarding
4 min readNov 24, 2021

There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the international labor market on many levels, one of which is the sourcing and management of workforce. The healthcare sector makes no exception. We even think that it was one of the most impacted work fields, which is why we decided to spend some time on it in today’s 3B Analysis section. In this article we will look at the changes and how they have affected the supply and demand chain, as well as what you can do as a staffing firm in order to not only survive those changes, but also turn them in your favor.

1. Changes enforced by Covid-19

It is often considered that the medical profession is less vulnerable to typical recessions than other sectors of the economy. For example, in the recession of 2009, the overall economy lost over 8 million jobs, while the healthcare industry added 850,000 new ones. (Dolfman M.L., Insco M., Holden R.J. Healthcare jobs and the Great Recession. Mon. Lab. Rev. 2018;141:1. doi: 10.21916/mlr.2018.17). To a certain degree this is due to the fact that healthcare recruiting is a complex multi-step and time-consuming process. Candidates go through various levels of screenings and multiple rounds of interviews, so that they can show their qualifications, competencies and the necessary level of education, which often times includes skills and experience to do the job for which they may be hired.

It used to be the case that applicants would travel long distances on multiple occasions in order to be physically present for those examinations. However, due to Covid-19, many healthcare organizations and staffing firms had to adjust and employ new tools that would help them effectively source, recruit and onboard at a distance in the current environment, and to do so at scale. For that reason, more and more institutions started implementing recruitment and staffing software that would allow them to continue hiring top talent, regardless of whether that person is just around the block or hundreds of miles away.

2. Changes in demand and type of sought-out medical professionals

The healthcare field has always been associated with talent shortages and difficulty of finding the right fit for a certain position. If anything, the global pandemic just intensified the situation, making it even harder to find specialized personnel.

That said, there seems to be a significant difference between relatively low-key positions (such as nursing) and highly specialized professionals (such as frontline clinicians) According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (check here), over 1.4 million healthcare jobs were lost in April 2020, but those were mainly care providers. In contrast, recruiting departments and staffing firms struggle to find highly qualified specialists with in-demand skills such as respiratory specialists and intensive care nurses. The increased demand for those professionals, coupled with the decreased supply, has led many organizations to reassess the ways they recruit and incentivize qualified candidates, including significant wage increases.

3. Adapting and thriving in changing times

It appears that the best way for a staffing firm to position itself as a leader and stay ahead of the crowd is by focusing on the acquisition of highly skilled professionals, for which there has always been and always will be demand. Those candidates are much harder to find and even harder to attract, as you have to employ a different, more advanced approach in contrast to what most other companies do.

We are talking about a necessary evolution in the candidate experience under the form of personalized and streamlined application process. Being human and relatable can go a long way in recruiting those hard to acquire gems. You not only have to communicate on the same level, but also show compassion and empathy for the hard work those medical professionals do. This is especially true in the times we live in, as they expose themselves to high-risk on a daily basis. With the industry gearing up to adapt to the new norms of pandemic recruiting, we expect those organizations that prioritize authentic and compassionate communications to significantly improve their acquisition success.

While we at 3B can’t help you on the human element, we certainly can make your recruitment process easier and more efficient. And because we employ the best CRM on the market (Salesforce), we can offer unparalleled functionality when it comes to onboarding, vetting and compliance check. Through an automated, permissions-based transparency system, your employees can communicate more effectively, leading to faster turnaround of events. At any point you will know at what stage the candidate is, how he/she ranks compared to the other applicants, and make sure you snatch in-demand talent off the market before anyone else does.

If you want to schedule a demo and let us show you all the amazing features we can provide you with, please use the form on our website here.



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