Hiring and recruiting in the healthcare space has never been an easy feat, and factoring a pandemic into the equation has only served to exacerbate challenges. 

Meeting fluctuating staffing needs with speed, care and efficiency is not only pivotal to your organization’s bottom line, but it is vital to delivering an optimal patient experience. That’s why it’s more important than ever for hospitals and healthcare facilities to move beyond simply collecting resumes, and focus on identifying the right candidate for the role. 

So, the question is, what’s more important: hiring based on skillset or cultural fit? In today’s ever-changing healthcare landscape, leaders must dive deeper – evaluating potential hires from both a professional and personal perspective. Why? Because the strongest candidates are the ones who are a perfect fit culturally and clinically. 

Recruiting for Cultural Alignment

Recruiting based on cultural fit means identifying how well a potential hire aligns with the organization’s internal environment as well as the care delivery model the facility utilizes. 

Most hiring managers and recruiters can expertly evaluate a candidate’s skills and experience. After all, there’s little room for interpretation when you have a detailed rundown of their credentials at your fingertips. The real challenge lies in mastering the art of evaluating a candidate’s personality and soft skills – which can provide valuable insight into their cultural compatibility.

Clinicians often work up to 40 hours per week – all within the same facility, surrounded by the same team of people. Evaluating for cultural fit helps foster an atmosphere steeped in collaboration while bolstering overall staff well-being. Additionally, when workers feel supported, it will have a direct, positive impact on patient satisfaction and outcomes

While a potential hire may look like a rockstar on paper, if they don’t align with your facility’s values and culture, it’ll only drive increased turnover rates. Poor retention ultimately translates to more time spent bridging staffing gaps and an inability to sufficiently meet patient care needs. 

To put this into perspective, the loss of a single physician can cost anywhere from $500,000 to well over $1 million. What’s more, the average turnover cost for a bedside RN is approximately $40,038 per nurse – that equates to a yearly revenue loss of $3.6 million to $6.5 million for the average hospital in the U.S. 

Recruiting for Skills & Experience

Healthcare organizations have traditionally abided by a fairly rigorous vetting process – focusing on a candidate’s training, skills and experience to determine if they’re qualified for the role. In order to be successful in today’s highly competitive, cut-throat recruitment landscape, organizations must expand upon their strategy to ensure a candidate is an excellent clinical and cultural fit. 

A nurse or clinician who has spent a bulk of their career in labor and delivery won’t possess the same skills as someone who has solely worked in emergency room settings. That’s why it’s vital to assess a candidate’s skills to determine if they can adequately satisfy the needs of the position. When skillset is factored into your decision-making process, it’ll ensure the individual has the background and knowledge needed to perform at a high level. 

Oftentimes, mentorship can be leveraged to overcome learning curves. Whether it be a seasoned clinician offering valuable guidance to junior staff to strengthen their skills or a new hire with extensive expertise that simply needs help assimilating to the culture.

By partnership with a healthcare staffing agency like Polaris, we take the heavy lifting off of your plate – ensuring we identify the perfect candidate based on their clinical and cultural fit. To learn more about how Polaris can help fuel your recruitment efforts, contact our team today.