From physicians to nurses and support staff, recruiting top-tier healthcare professionals is inarguably essential not only for the workplace satisfaction of healthcare workers but for the future safety and health of their own patients. However, one aspect of healthcare recruiting that often goes overlooked is the bias that can unintentionally sneak into the recruiting process.
While unintentional, this bias is far from benign. By allowing bias to continue unchecked in healthcare recruiting, diversity can plummet, and you can miss out on opportunities to bring in top talent.
Diversity and inclusion are vital to providing quality patient care in today's healthcare industry. Especially in healthcare, the value of attracting and retaining professionals from a variety of backgrounds and experiences helps to meet and understand the diverse needs of patients.Want to build a diverse healthcare workforce? @IQTalent’s new blog post outlines how to recognize and reduce bias in recruiting. Check it out for practical tips to improve your sourcing strategy:Click to Tweet
Understanding Bias in Healthcare Recruiting
Bias in healthcare recruiting can result in the exclusion of potentially qualified candidates based on their gender, race, age, religion, or ethnicity, among other factors that have no bearing on their qualifications. As a result, healthcare organizations can miss out on promising talent, leading to a less diverse, less effective, and culturally stagnant workforce.
A lack of diversity also hinders your organization's ability to provide top-notch healthcare services. A multicultural and diverse workplace can bring unique insights and perspectives that lead to better outcomes and a better quality of care for all patients. For example, understanding and having experience with different cultural norms prepares a healthcare team to more effectively and empathetically help their patients.
Instead of being lost in a haze of cultural confusion and contributing to a potential misunderstanding or misdiagnosis, a diverse staff of healthcare professionals has a plethora of backgrounds to reference and take into account patient behavior and needs.
A diverse healthcare workforce can help improve patient outcomes, reduce healthcare disparities, and increase access to quality care for all patients.Healthcare diversity and inclusion starts with an unbiased hiring process. Get actionable strategies for eliminating bias from job descriptions to candidate selection in the latest blog post from @IQTalent:Click to Tweet
Why Healthcare Workforce Diversity Is Especially Important
- A lack of diversity in the healthcare workforce risks undermining trust and patient health.
- 7 in 10 Black Americans say race-based discrimination in healthcare happens “at least somewhat often,” and 1 in 5 say they have personally experienced discrimination in healthcare during the past year.
- Despite women comprising almost 70% of the global health workforce, they earn, on average, 24% less than their male peers.
- Only 23.1% of Hispanic/Latinx adults reported racial, ethnic, and language concordance with their usual healthcare provider.
- Black people make up roughly 13% of the population but only 5% of physicians.
Tips for Reducing Bias in Healthcare Sourcing
As a healthcare recruiter, it's essential to build a recruitment strategy that reduces or aims to eliminate bias. Here are some actionable tips to help build a strong, objective recruitment process:
Utilize Structured Interviews
Structured interviews help to eliminate bias by providing a consistent evaluation of all candidates. Develop a standardized set of interview questions to ask candidates and evaluate their responses using predetermined criteria. Objective measures make for a more inclusive decision-making process, leading to better, more inclusive results.
Use Blind Resume Reviews
When reviewing resumes for your healthcare organization, removing identifying information, such as the candidate's name and address, helps reduce the risk of unconscious bias. This strategy ensures that all candidates are reviewed based purely on their skills and experience rather than superficial characteristics such as first name or zip code.
Eliminate Common Language That Triggers Implicit Bias
Carefully consider the words in your job postings. Commonly used language that triggers implicit bias can discourage a diverse group of candidates. This bias often manifests in terms like "proactive," "aggressive," and "go-getter," all of which may be perceived as masculine. On the other hand, terms that are dubbed more “feminine” are more along the lines of "nurturing,” "supportive,” and"sensitive.”
By avoiding gendered language and leveraging inclusive language instead, job descriptions can attract a broader range of candidates of different genders and identities. This practice can eliminate implicit biases and stereotypes, broaden the candidate pool, and ultimately provide more opportunities for underrepresented groups to participate in the hiring process. Additionally, gender-neutral language is more likely to be perceived as inclusive and welcoming, which can positively impact the company's reputation as a diverse and equitable employer.
Broaden Your Candidate Pool
To create a more inclusive recruitment process, broaden your candidate pool. Look beyond traditional sources to find qualified candidates. Partner with other healthcare organizations, use social media networks, and attend career fairs to reach a more diverse audience and broaden your candidate pool.
Diversify Your Hiring Team
A diverse recruiting team is better equipped to recognize and address unconscious bias because they offer a range of perspectives. A diverse team can help ensure the recruitment process is inclusive of all potential candidates. Educate your team on unconscious bias and establish procedures to prevent bias from entering the recruitment process. Develop interview questions focusing on an individual’s qualifications, experiences, and capabilities rather than personal opinions or beliefs. This can help reduce any potential for discrimination.
Leverage Technology Tools for Reducing Bias
Several tools can assist recruiters in reducing bias in their talent sourcing. For instance, AI systems can help parse resumes to eliminate personal information and focus only on work experience and skills, reducing the risk of unconscious bias based on a person’s name or residence. AI can also be used to help monitor recruiting conversations and alert team members if any words or language may indicate bias. Many companies are investing in technology that ensures diversity in selecting job applicants for interviews. This technology uses algorithms to identify qualified people from underrepresented backgrounds.
Monitor and Evaluate Your Recruitment Metrics
Lastly, track and monitor your recruitment metrics regularly to ensure your sourcing strategy is fair and inclusive. Evaluate your recruitment metrics to identify any biases that may be present and develop strategies to eliminate them. This may include adjusting your sourcing methods or ensuring your interview team is diverse.
Healthcare workforce diversity is essential to providing equitable care for all patients. Only by recognizing and eliminating bias in healthcare recruiting can we truly empower building a diverse, inclusive workforce. By understanding the types of bias that can affect sourcing and hiring, implementing blind resume reviews, expanding your candidate pool, and keeping a close eye on hiring metrics, healthcare organizations can make progress toward a workforce as diverse as the populations they serve.
Ready to take the first step towards eliminating bias in your healthcare sourcing strategies? IQTalent can help. Our team of experts can provide tailored solutions to optimize your recruitment process and help you build a more diverse and inclusive healthcare workforce. Get started with IQTalent today.