The Recruiting Intelligence Blog

How AI Can Help Healthcare Recruiters Face the Labor Shortage

Aida Fazylova - Sep 3, 2019 7:20:46 AM

As every healthcare recruiter is already well-aware, the industry is facing a major labor shortage — and this issue isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) released a report which projects a shortage of nearly 105,000 physicians by 2030, including a shortage of between 7,300 and 43,100 for primary care physicians and a shortage of 33,500 to 61,800 for non-primary care specialties. These numbers aren’t exactly promising, especially for healthcare staffing firms that may already be having trouble with their recruitment efforts.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at the factors causing this healthcare talent shortage, and how new AI recruitment software may be able to mitigate the crisis, helping healthcare recruiters breathe a little easier.

What’s Causing the Healthcare Labor Crisis

Many people are curious: How did we get to this point in the first place? As it turns out, there are a few different factors that have led us to this major talent shortage. Firstly, both patients and healthcare professionals are aging rapidly. Baby Boomers, the largest generation ever, are quickly reaching elderly points: The population of Americans aged 65 and older will increase to 55 million by 2020, and 70 million in 2030. Obviously, the elderly population needs more medical attention, and according to the AAMC, “older patients need two to three times as many services, mostly in specialty care, which is where the shortages are particularly severe.”

But it’s not only the patient population that’s growing older: So are our nurses and doctors. It’s estimated that about a third of the nursing workforce will retire in the next 10 to 15 years, and 42 percent of physicians in the US were 55 years old or older in 2016 — which means retirement from the medical profession is certainly on the horizon in the near future. 

There has also been a focus on attempting to subvert the primary care physician shortage, rather than the specialist shortage. In a 2016 survey of over 17,000 physicians conducted by Merritt Hawkins, 80% of specialist physicians said they were already either at capacity or overextended. This is a problem that especially affects healthcare recruiters seeking out specialist talent. From the same study, specialist recruitment increased 7% from 2015 to 2018, and now makes up 74% of the total recruitment activity for PCPs and specialists.

So, how are recruiters handling this increasing talent shortage? Naturally, the answer comes with the help of modern AI recruiting solutions.

How AI Tools Are Aiding Healthcare Recruiters

Healthcare recruiting isn’t the easiest job in the world, but new AI recruitment software is coming to the rescue to make it as simple as possible. For example, the average time-to-fill for a physician is 14 months, and the competition is only getting stiffer as the shortage grows larger — meaning that time-to-fill is going to get even longer. Luckily, AI software can help healthcare recruiters automate and streamline time-consuming tasks to help recruiters focus on the important parts of the job — not the tedious parts. This workflow streamlining and automation can significantly reduce time-to-fill when implemented correctly. 

Additionally, the talent shortage is making competition for top talent fiercer than ever. That’s why many healthcare recruiters are starting to use AI tools to help target and attract the right candidates. For example, AI recruiting technology allows you to outsource the process of job postings and proactive candidate outreach, while the software or AI chatbot takes care of attracting and engaging candidates. The XOR chatbot in particular even schedules an interview with those that pass its AI assessment, eliminating yet another time-consuming task from the recruiter’s day.

Finally, healthcare recruiters who use an AI chatbot to pre-screen candidates are able to reduce or even eliminate hiring bias and find more diverse candidates, making it easier than ever to hire qualified candidates for the job without accidentally losing out on great talent due to subconscious biases. XOR’s AI chatbot, for example, removes two otherwise bias risky steps from the process and replace them with automation: CV screening and phone screening, achieved by training the chatbot on diverse datasets.

XOR uses machine learning techniques to screen resumes, schedule and conduct interviews, notify candidates of other opportunities based on their skills and guide them through the steps. Some early-adopter healthcare staffing firms are already seeing results—they’re accepting more applications, hiring better employees and generally outperforming competitors and reducing bias. Ready to learn more about how XOR’s AI recruitment software can work for your healthcare recruiting team? Contact us today!

Topics: recruiting automation- hiring crisis- recruiting help

Aida Fazylova

Aida Fazylova

Aida spent over seven years in talent acquisition before she founded XOR. She also studied artificial intelligence and co-founded OpenDataScience, an online community of over 39,000 data scientists, researchers, and engineers. She is passionate about helping recruiters understand technology and build tomorrow's future of work. When Aida is not working she is exploring new hot pot restaurants around San Francisco.

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