Building the healthcare talent pipeline: How LinkedIn is fueling brand, culture and learning & development opportunities

In today's highly competitive market for clinical talent, attracting and retaining qualified staff takes more than just sign-on bonuses and increased salaries.

Job seekers want to work for employers whose culture and values are aligned with their own, and they're more likely to engage with organizations that will invest in their personal and professional growth.

To better understand the evolving hiring landscape and what healthcare organizations need to do to improve their workforce development and retention strategies, Becker's Hospital Review recently spoke with David Ellis, Head of Healthcare Sales, North America, for LinkedIn.

Mr. Ellis discussed the importance of taking a holistic approach to hiring and talent development, and described the tools and resources LinkedIn has developed to assist healthcare organizations in driving a comprehensive strategy.

The imperative to build the clinical workforce pipeline

While healthcare employment is trending upward in some areas, shortages remain — particularly among physicians, nurses, technicians and behavioral health providers. This contributes to increased rates of burnout among those still in the industry, which can impact the quality of care.

Unfortunately, these shortages are likely to persist, due to waves of clinician retirements along with some younger clinicians, especially nurses, leaving the field.
The challenge that healthcare organizations face goes beyond hiring candidates to urgently fill open positions; they must also build a robust workforce pipeline to ensure the organization can thrive in the short and long term.

Building a strong healthcare talent pipeline goes beyond just hiring the right people. It requires healthcare organizations to stay ahead of the curve by understanding how the industry's skill needs are evolving. This means attracting talent with the necessary skill sets, while simultaneously investing in continuous skills development for their existing workforce.

A strong employer brand attracts and retains top talent

Due to the competitive market for clinical talent, when qualified clinicians are deciding where to work, they are looking at more than just compensation. In particular, candidates today are searching for organizations that offer a strong cultural fit and for employers who share their values.

This emphasis on values and culture makes it more important than ever for healthcare organizations to develop a compelling brand that showcases these tenets, as well as career growth opportunities.

Healthcare organizations can effectively convey their brand by curating their LinkedIn Career page. This page can feature employee testimonials, photos and videos that show what it's like to work at their company; job opportunities personalized to the individual; and engaging content that highlights the organization's culture and mission.

Mr. Ellis shared an example of one of LinkedIn's healthcare customers who was focused on hiring nursing talent. To emphasize its commitment to being a great place for nurses to work, the organization added a dedicated tab for nurses to its LinkedIn Career Page. This tab sees significant engagement, which shows that job seekers are doing their research when looking for future opportunities.

Talent strategies must meet candidates where they are

With more than 8 million U.S. healthcare professionals on LinkedIn, including over 5.3 million clinical professionals, LinkedIn is a rich source of top clinical talent.

A key to healthcare organizations' hiring success is adjusting recruitment strategies to identify and connect with the right candidates. Effective strategies include:

  • Leveraging LinkedIn's AI-assisted sourcing tool, LinkedIn Recruiter. With LinkedIn's reimagined Recruiter 2024, companies can use natural language and put their hiring goal in their own words, such as, "I want to hire a nurse in the Chicago area interested in working the night shift." And with generative AI combined with LinkedIn's insights of more than 1 billion members, 65 million companies and 40,000 skills on the platform, it can infer the type of candidate organizations are looking for and provide recommendations.

  • Using personalized outreach to demonstrate the organization's interest in potential candidates, creating a positive connection and experience for the job seeker. LinkedIn insights show that recruiters experience a 40% increase in InMail acceptance rates when they personalize candidate outreach. LinkedIn's AI-assisted messages make this easier as it helps recruiters draft highly personalized InMails in one click.

  • Building a strong employer brand through LinkedIn Career Pages to attract candidates who are the right cultural fit and can see themselves at the organization.

Healthcare employees crave growth and learning opportunities

Candidates today are increasingly seeking opportunities for continuous learning and professional development. In fact, recent research indicates 25% of newer nurses would leave their role because of limited career advancement and training opportunities. Healthcare organizations seeking to grow their pipeline of qualified talent and retain top talent are investing in professional growth opportunities for employees.

"I encourage organizations to start by promoting a culture of learning," Mr. Ellis said. He noted that LinkedIn is doing its part by continuously investing to help healthcare organizations and employees in upskilling and reskilling.

Healthcare organizations can showcase their commitment to upskilling and reskilling initiatives by integrating LinkedIn Learning into their learning and development (L&D) strategy. With more than 20,000 expert-led online courses, LinkedIn Learning enables healthcare employees to develop soft skills that tend to be overlooked in the industry, as well as the more acute training required for the field. Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, for example, was able to get 20 LinkedIn Learning courses accredited with the Georgia Nurses Association, allowing nurses to complete continuing education (CE) requirements while advancing their careers.

The on-demand platform has also freed up the human resources team to conduct more in-person training sessions for senior staff members, making LinkedIn Learning an integral part of the company's holistic approach to employee development. To better serve employees, LinkedIn Learning also offers AI-powered coaching, which provides real-time advice and learning recommendations for each individual learner. All of this enables organizations to offer L&D more effectively at a larger scale.

Additionally, LinkedIn's latest Workplace Learning Report indicates four out of five employees want to learn how to use AI in their job. In response, LinkedIn is unlocking the AI courses that healthcare professionals spent the most time on during the past year and is making these courses free through July 1, 2024. These courses include What Is Generative AI? and Hands-on Data Science and AI for Healthcare.

In today's competitive marketplace for top talent, healthcare organizations need to differentiate themselves. As a result, many leading organizations are taking a holistic approach that includes building a strong brand and investing in employee growth and learning opportunities. Doing so not only helps healthcare organizations meet candidates' short- and long-term expectations but bolsters the workforce pipeline as well. Technologies and the wealth of tools offered by LinkedIn to attract, develop and retain top talent are key components of a comprehensive strategy to meet these aims.

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