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AI recruiting

Humanizing Healthcare Recruiting in An AI-Driven World

May 9, 2024

By: Emma Culp

This blog was originally published in April 2023. Relevant details, sources, and statistics have been updated as of May 2024.

In a world where AI significantly benefits me as a healthcare recruiter, I've recently been reminded of the importance of human connection in an AI world.

I received an unexplained bill from my internet company, which I will keep nameless, and let's just say the bill was not small. As you can imagine, I wasn't too happy about this bill.

When I called the customer support number, I was greeted by an AI-generated responder asking me to describe my issue briefly. My anger boiled as I repeated the same phrase for the sixth and seventh time. I said to myself, "If only I could talk to someone real…"

As a healthcare recruiter, I’ve had similar experiences. I work hard to create, maintain, and restore the candidate experience as we continue to roll with monumental changes that came out of the COVID-19 pandemic. A large part of my current project is researching what my candidates have already experienced. Unfortunately, many applicants in the healthcare industry were either sent AI-generated emails to reject their candidacy or never contacted at all, despite the shortage of healthcare workers.

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AI Can Miss The Mark In Personal Communication

While AI saves recruiters a lot of time and can give candidates faster updates, the personalization that gets lost is extremely detrimental to the organization’s brand and candidate experience and furthers the problem of staff shortages.

75% of professionals employed at their current companies cite a positive candidate experience during the application process as a key factor influencing their decision to accept the job offer. In healthcare, that percentage is 10-12% higher.

A study from Oracle found in 2022, the healthcare sector experienced significant turnover rates, with hospitals at 19.5%, at-home care providers at 65%, and nursing homes at a staggering 94%. This, coupled with subpar candidate experiences, has perpetuated a relentless cycle of understaffed healthcare facilities and disillusioned candidates. These findings underscore the importance of every interaction, whether automated or manual, in breaking this cycle.

I fully acknowledge the recruiting industry's forced adaptation over the last four years, especially in healthcare. More than ever, people are overworked, and organizations are understaffed. It makes perfect sense that personalization would slip through the cracks as AI allows us to recruit more efficiently.

Discover the critical role of human connection in a world dominated by AI - especially in healthcare recruitment. Learn why personal touches matter more than ever in the blog from @IQTalent:

The Role Of Personal Connection While Using AI

An obvious benefit of AI is the significant reduction of human error. However, the downside to this is that human connection can be lost. This can be particularly harmful in scenarios where candidates are being rejected.

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As recruiters, we have all come across resumes that pique our interest. It's not uncommon to wonder why someone has applied for a position that doesn't seem to match their current role or qualifications. In today's world, human connection is more critical than ever in the recruitment process. We must strike a balance between AI's benefits and the value of human interaction to ensure that we don't lose sight of what makes us uniquely human.

Activating Human Connection As A Recruiter

So, how can we make that happen, even in the smallest way?

A great place to start is a personalized email. While it's not always possible to share interview feedback with candidates, any information you can include will show the candidate you care and that you’re attentive to their candidacy. Not only does this improve candidate experience, but it benefits your company's reputation as you display the intentionality of your hiring process, especially in the fast-paced healthcare environment.

Shocking turnover rates in healthcare reveal a desperate need for a more human touch in recruitment strategies. Find out how to break the cycle in @IQTalent’s blog:

A simple acknowledgment of schooling or skill can be a game changer with candidate experience, even in a rejection correspondence. One of my favorite ways to improve candidate experience is to clearly define potential future steps or opportunities if I’m not able to move them forward for my specific role.

Rather than a blanket, "We will reach out if other opportunities arise in the future," offer to connect on LinkedIn, share potential jobs coming down the pipeline or even share skills and experience that could make them a more competitive candidate. Fully acknowledging the high-pressure, deadline-heavy environment we sign up for in the healthcare recruiting industry, I believe that just as we use AI to help us work faster, the addition of human connection can have a long-term effect of making our jobs easier, more meaningful, and more effective.

To give a personal example, I’ll conclude with an email I recently received from a candidate thanking me for her application experience.

"It's this "personal touch" that will make all the difference. Just as an example, I had completely given up on even considering [organization.] Your communication to me changed my "feeling" about possibly working there. Honestly, thank you." – Healthcare Candidate.

This email sparked an impactful reminder of human connection and AI and how they work together in recruiting. In an automated world, remember one of the most simple and cost-effective tools of all: human connection.

While AI has revolutionized how we approach healthcare recruitment, enhancing efficiency and reducing human error, the human touch is irreplaceable. Personalized interactions not only enrich the candidate experience but are also crucial in addressing healthcare's staffing challenges. As we navigate the future of recruitment, balancing technological advancements with genuine human connection will be key to overcoming the industry's current obstacles and ensuring a more stable and satisfied workforce.

See how we can work with your team to build lasting, impactful relationships with healthcare candidates. Get started with IQTalent today!

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