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Remedying hiring issues in Hong Kong’s healthcare industry

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19 June 2018

With the increase in global population and average life expectancy, comes a significant increase in demand for healthcare professionals. However, the supply of healthcare talent is diminishing. Unlike other general job functions, the healthcare and life sciences industry has a much higher barrier to entry with less transferrable skills and more specific product knowledge. All these factors create obstacles for hiring managers who are looking for the right candidate.

How can hiring managers circumvent these challenges? It’ll take some changes across organizations and the healthcare industry but here are some measures to consider.

 

Shortage of healthcare talent

Most healthcare professionals are highly trained and possess different specializations. It is very common for professionals to receive multiple job offers or be head-hunted. This gives candidates an upper-hand in the hiring process, which means that candidates can be very selective about who they choose to work for.

Remedy:

Instead of looking externally, why not promote internally? This gives your employees a sense of assurance with a clear career progression and a chance to move upwards. Also, training current employees ensures a strong talent pipeline and good retention rates.

Fierce competition for graduates

Campus recruitment is a very common hiring channel for most of the healthcare companies. Freshmen can register their interest to work for healthcare companies even before they graduate. Due to enhanced referrals from MNC firms, SME and local firms often fall behind in reaching out to the candidate pool.

Remedy:

Talent acquisition teams of SME and local firms should keep proper records of these potential candidates and approach university students prior to graduation. They can also partner with healthcare recruiters to hold career seminars in universities to create strong employer branding amongst graduates, and tap on social medial channels to reach out to millennial graduates.

Discrepancy between educational qualification and experience

Every job in the healthcare sector is unique and requires a specific skillset which can only be honed with years of experience. This may be an aspect that employers fail to consider, since educational qualification plays an equally important part in the decision to hire a candidate. However, an academically talented candidate may not equate to a good fit or experienced one for the job.

Remedy:

Work with healthcare recruiters to map out the best fit candidates for each of the roles that you’re looking to hire. Take a range of factors into account, such as character, cultural fit, leadership potential, and so on. Recruiters will then be able to capture the most talented candidate for these hard-to-fill positions.

Over-paying employees

Employers want to hire the most talented candidates and often try to lead the talent fight by offering a salary package that is above the market rate. This in turn creates unrealistic expectations amongst candidates and increases the market salary range.

Remedy:

Medical employers should work with recruiters to understand what the average salary is. Recruiters often provide an annual salary report to help employers benchmark the salary package that they are offering to ensure they are making reasonable offers that are not inflated.

Insufficient market information

The most common recruitment method for majority of the medical or healthcare companies are through internal referrals or campus recruitment. These channels are largely limited to candidates who have established a solid network within the industry and employers may miss out on passive or inactive candidates in the market.

Remedy:

Stay in contact with healthcare recruitment experts especially because they have a well established reputation and connection to all kinds of candidates in the market. You can leverage on their penetration into the niche candidate market and be guaranteed of finding the best talent.

Looking for healthcare professionals to fill roles in your company? Speak to our specialised consultants to get more insights on the healthcare sector and how we can help you to hire top quality prospects for your company.