BY MARIANNE DiMOLA
The United States is facing a massive social worker shortage by 2030. There are already serious regional shortages in rural areas and specific states, but the shortfall will equal tens of thousands of professionals nationwide in just a few years.
Nearly half (49%) of social workers say they are less likely to stay in their jobs due to excessive workloads, high stress levels and low morale (Unison).
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the country will need more than 203,000 new registered nurses every year through 2026 to fill the gap in care left by a retiring workforce.
The average age of a nurse right now is 51.
BSN-prepared nurses are the most sought-after RNs in the job market and can advance to leadership and management roles more quickly than the ASN nurse.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing shortages occurred on and off due to factors such as economic downturns, waves of retiring nurses and increased healthcare demand.
If you’re hiring case managers this year, does the above information sound grim? It should. We have all been battling for the same pool of case managers for decades. Yes, decades. And that pool is getting smaller and smaller.
Here are some suggestions to help you attract top talent.
As of this writing, there are more than 200 case management jobs near me! What isn’t surprising is that they all look the same. Yes, there are different models of case management, and that should be clear in your job description as to which model you have. But after that, isn’t it all the same thing? So why not say something different, perhaps, about the resources being offered to be successful? Do you support ongoing education with membership to CMSA or ACMA? This will also help with retention. Try to stand out; candidates will notice!
First Impressions Count
It can be difficult to manage the influx of resumes and applications coming in, but many companies are missing out on qualified candidates by taking too long to respond or not responding at all. Candidates consistently complain that they have submitted their resume to dozens of jobs with no response! These are highly qualified case managers, many in leadership roles. Is there a way to streamline the process? Is it time to update your candidate tracking software?
Screeners are the first contact for many companies and yet surprisingly, screeners rarely have information on the jobs they’re screening for and are simply given a list of questions to ask. Screeners are the first impression; perhaps, more training should go to them to make the best impression so candidates will be interested in moving to the next step.
It is very common for candidates to start rejecting the job if they don’t feel wanted. If a response takes too long or the response is very short and indifferent, they feel like they’re going to be rejected, and it is human nature to start rejecting first. “I will reject you before you have a chance to reject me.” Think about how many candidates might be lost in the first phase of recruiting.
While candidates are held to the rule of being on time for an interview, it seems that sometimes, the interviewing party does not act as though this rule applies to them. Trust me, candidates notice. We have also seen clients not show up for an interview on a telephonic or virtual call. There is no one to go to and, therefore, the candidate sits and waits and ultimately feels abandoned. This experience is sometimes difficult to overcome.
Candidates are evaluating the interview just as you are evaluating their answers. When the interviewer arrives on time, has thoughtful questions and can clearly describe the job and the resources, the candidate is always impressed. Even if they’re not interested in the job, they walk away with a positive experience.
Candidates are expected to end the interview thanking you and stating their level of interest. Yet often the interviewer says, “We’re considering and interviewing other people; we’ll be in touch.” It’s important to think about how that statement would make the candidate feel. Most likely, not very wanted! Even if you are seeing other candidates, they’re probably interviewing other places as well. There’s really no need to say this out loud. Rather, use comments such as “We will be in touch soon” or “It was great meeting you today, and we will follow up with potential next steps.” There’s no good reason to point out you’re going to continue to interview after you have spent an hour with this person. Ultimately, they could be the individual you end up wanting to hire. Let them feel they stood out in a positive way instead of putting that candidate at risk of losing interest first.
It is too long! Often, internal barriers prevent an offer from going out on time or vacations were not taken into consideration. Candidates are often interviewing at multiple places; the risk of losing them is real! Are there certain days of the week or times of day that can be held just for interviewing so that critical projects and work goals don’t suffer because of needing to schedule interviews? Be creative and get ideas from your team.
The Ideal Candidate
Once the position has been open three months, four months, five months, six months… There is no longer an ideal candidate! It is time to reevaluate how the search has been executed and who is the right candidate? What are the necessary skills and requirements needed to successfully execute the goals of the job? If a position has been open for this long or longer, it must be having a direct impact on the department. Is it worth holding onto “ideals” in comparison with reevaluating the interview process and requirements?
There are many skills that you are looking for in the right candidate.
This candidate has Interqual… Well, the ideal candidate has MCG – rejected.
This candidate has eight years’ experience. Well, the ideal candidate has ten years’ experience – rejected.
Of course, it isn’t as clean cut as this, but we should look at all of their experiences and natural talents. Make a call and see if this candidate isn’t really the right candidate after all. Also, one great way to determine a candidate’s potential in being the “right” candidate is to check or ask for references up front in the process. Customize a few questions in relationship to the needed skills for the open position.
Any candidate who walks away from your interviewing process with a positive feeling will share that with other case managers. They will be happy to interview with you at another time down the road. Case managers who walk away from a negative impression will often prefer to stay away. How many candidates could you be losing along the way?
Look at ways of developing a positive and timely recruitment process. Candidates will respond and, in turn, your reputation will benefit and case managers will want to work for you!
Marianne DiMola has more than 25 years of experience in healthcare human resources management and career development.
Marianne is the president and founder of Global Care Management, specialist in care management staffing and consulting.
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