How to Overcome Healthcare Staffing Challenges in 2015

It doesn’t matter who you are and even what profession you are in; when it comes to everybody’s healthcare, we all want to know that we’re receiving the best care there is.

Healthcare in the U.S. operates 24/7/365. Now, with more and more people signing up for coverage through the federal and state insurance exchanges, the question does arise: what will my healthcare quality and coverage look like in 2015?

how to overcome-healthcare staffing challenges in 2015
how to overcome-healthcare staffing challenges in 2015

Healthcare organizations must also deal with the new influx of uninsured patients as well, which creates difficulties for hospitals when their costs cannot be recouped.

It’s All About the Numbers

Each healthcare organization, whether be a hospital, medical center, rehabilitation or nursing home, clinics, as well as outpatient and doctor’s offices must make every effort to ascertain how many staff members they are require at present and will require in the future.

In fact, healthcare industries have a very high turnover in staffing and question remains on how can each organization keep their turnover low?
No one likes to feel that they are doing the job of three people and being paid as one person. Furthermore, staff like to feel secure about their jobs and the financial health of the institution for which they are working.

The Numbers Work Toward Job Satisfaction

So, what to do with the fact that with an increase in healthcare demand, is coming at the exact same time as the nursing profession is experiencing its own dip in employment numbers, with 55% of nurses age 50 or older?

This is precisely what is happening in healthcare today. With less people going into nursing, there is a real crisis in nursing talent that is looming into this year. This is very indicative of what is being seen in all industries across the board.

So, what to do with overcoming healthcare staffing challenges in 2015?

Organizations must recognize that healthcare individuals are in the business of “care.” Demands of time and energy on a daily basis, with potentially no downtime, is the reality of being a healthcare professional.

Bringing in core staff and having a good mix of new and seasoned professionals is the best way to meet your healthcare staffing challenges in 2015.

Strategies need to address the new numbers in healthcare today, as well as employee concerns, as viable staffing issues continue to create real demands in the world of healthcare today.

Using Video Interviews To Improve Your Recruiting Process

I am seeing more and more of my clients using video interviews as a step to improve their interview process as well as to lower costs. Once a client decides that they have interest in a candidate, an initial phone interview is very appropriate to screen the candidate. The phone interview can generally take place during work hours since most candidates use their cell phones and can step outside either during the day or at lunch.

After a successful phone interview, the client will generally schedule an onsite interview for local candidates. However, if the candidate is out-of-town, most of the clients are now choosing to conduct a video interview before incurring the expense of bringing the candidate in (cost of flights, lodging, meals, etc.) While a video interview generally does not replace an onsite interview (which is usually required before a company makes an offer), it serves to greatly increase the success rate of the onsite interviews.

The timing of video interviews is somewhat tricky because most candidates cannot do them during the day without taking off work. Video interviews may be done early in the day before a candidate goes to work or later in the day after the candidate returns from work. Video interviews can be done in a panel setting (multiple company interviewers at the same time) or several interviews speaking with the candidate in say 30 minute sessions.

In short, my recommendation to clients, who are considering out-of-town candidates, is to follow the phone interview, video interview, and then onsite interview process. This process proves to be a very streamlined, effective, and cost-efficient method of hiring.

Why Do Americans Work More Than Other Countries

It’s a fact of life. Americans work longer hours and more weeks per year compared with other industrialized countries. Add to that Americans take less vacation time, and retire later in life.

Why Do Americans Work More Than Other Countries
Why Do Americans Work More Than Other Countries

What needs to change in order to work less?
Of course the obvious answer is to stop working so hard, and take more vacations. But, that’s easier said than done, and is not always feasible.

You may have noticed that the job market has gotten tougher over the past 10 years or so. Employers don’t seem to be hiring in the quantities that they once did; no longer can you open a newspaper to the classified section or browse online and see the numbers of jobs there once were.

The Impact of Too Much Work

Being employed, whether full-time or part-time, takes a huge chunk of time away from your family. But, work we must. Here are some things to consider:

  • Some people love their work and wouldn’t dream of reducing their hours.
  • We live in a 24/7 culture, where working nights, weekends and holidays is no longer considered a bad thing. In fact, being busy (with work) is often associated with being important.
  • Generally speaking, people put up with what they’re given with little fight.
  • Companies are fairly ruthless about their “independent contractor” status; and have no problem replacing people for little or no reason.
  • Most employment contracts are ‘at will’, meaning that either the employer or employee can terminate at any time.

So, what can Americans do in order to work less?
Telecommute, if possible. Within reason there are solutions to the bane of too much work. In the digital world we now live in perhaps there’s work that can be done from home. More and more people are telecommuting.

Make sure to plan and take vacation time. It is okay to take a leave of absence or even a two-week vacation. It might seem as if your company frowns on too much time away from work, but sometimes it’s a necessity.

Strive to achieve some sort of work-life balance. Working is great, but having a life outside of the workplace is also important in order to avoid burnout. Occasionally, circumstances dictate that working long hours is a must. When this happens, make sure to take time to rest and recover afterwards. Some employers offer ‘flex time’ whereby you can work your contracted time over the course of a week or two with flexible hours. Don’t miss out on what makes your life meaningful.

Winning Recruiting Strategies for Companies in a Tightening Job Market

For those of you in the “trenches” of daily recruiting, it is pretty obvious that the job market has become very tight for many positions; especially many technical roles. Gone are the days from a couple of years ago when a company could just run an Internet ad for a position and get several great candidates who applied. This was the case, but not in this market. Candidates have or are gaining the advantage in the market.

Companies are under pressure to fill business-critical roles. With the market beginning to closely resemble the tight job talent conditions of the late 1990s, company are having to shift their recruiting strategies to match what was being done during that period. Here are some of those winning strategies that companies are employing:

Create Attractive Work Conditions
Believe or not, a higher salary is probably 3rd or 4th on the list as to why a candidate will want to leave their current employer. The main attraction to leave tends to be to move to a new employer with more attractive work conditions: These could include:

  • Exciting projects or products to work on
  • Flexible work schedule or the ability to telecommute/work from home office
  • Regular company events such as lunches, happy hours, etc.

Prompt and Streamlined Hiring Process
As the job market continues to pick up steam, candidates are finding that they are getting a lot more calls from recruiters either from cold calls or in response to resumes submitted to ads. Companies that react quickly to get the candidates into their hiring process are generally the ones that are making the hires. A general rule of thumb is respond back to candidates within 48 hours of the resume submission. If there is interest in the candidate, scheduling a phone and/or onsite interview within a week is what is needed to move the process along.

Competitive Salary Offers
Because great candidates are so much in demand in today's job market, the hiring companies need to be sure that they are putting forth very competitive salary offers. Because salaries of current employees may have been held down over the last few years because of economic conditions, you may want to consider sign-on bonuses to new hires as a way of keeping your salary structure in balance.

IT Department Staff Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Staffing challenges in the IT department can cause problems across the office. Despite being part of the back-office, staff that isn’t interacting directly with clients and customers, IT staff manages emergencies both major and minor on daily basis. There’s simply no IT department where IT staff sit around waiting for something to do. Here are a few common IT staffing challenges and options for solutions.

IT Department Staff Challenges
IT Department Staff Challenges

IT Staff Departures
IT employees tend to have incredibly specialized knowledge, not only about technology and systems, but about the particular technology and systems that your office uses. Replacing an IT staff member can require a long training period and a slow catch up as problems which are particular to your office are re-learned and re-solved.

In order to avoid losing IT staff, it’s best to ensure that they remain engaged and don’t feel overwhelmed or undervalued. Plan to show appreciation on a schedule and pay attention to workload.

Workload Management
Far from the lazy and bored staff member, IT departments are often under staffed and over worked. This can cause both frustration and disengagement from IT staff that feel they can never get on top of their workload.

IT staff should be given opportunities to voice concerns about workloads and the solutions that they feel would make a difference. Because of the specialized environment they work in, IT staff will probably have suggestions for how to change things to be more efficient which management wouldn’t have thought of. Make time to listen and implement changes and improvements which are suggested.

Skills and Training
Because the nature of IT is to innovate and change constantly, it can be hard for busy IT employees to keep up-to-date with training and technological improvements. You don’t want your firm to be at a disadvantage and you want to ensure that your employees have the time and opportunity to stay on top of changes.

IT associations can be a resource for great courses and seminars as well as a way to help fund additional training. Training opportunities not only help your company to stay at the cutting edge of current technology, they also serve as a great engagement opportunity for staff members. IT staff that is given the chance to grow and learn will see that their employer values them and is willing to invest in their future at the company.

How to Engage Passive Candidates

Passive candidates are great candidates for a number of reasons. They will be honest about their work experience and skills because they’re not dying to leave their current position and they’re probably not interviewing with other companies. Plus, if they’re content with their current employer, they’re probably the type of person who will be content with a new company if you can engage and entice them away.

How to Engage Passive Candidates
How to Engage Passive Candidates

Built a Relationship
Passive candidates don’t want to be bought and sold so don’t treat their recruitment and hiring as a transaction. They should be given opportunities to become familiar with the benefits of potential changes to their employment situation. Get to know what it is that they value in a workplace and where things could be improved in their current situation.

Offer Something in Return
You’re probably digging for information with passive candidates, but there should be a give-and-take in this relationship. Social media and networking can be about more that just jobs, it can be a way to exchange information, share insights about work strategies, or even a way to offer contests, insider info, and training opportunities.

Be Unique
While sharing information is good, simply being an information recycler isn’t interesting to passive candidates. Make sure your engagement is through various networks and media and offer a unique perspective. Try to demonstrate how your organization stands out.

Think Like the Passive Candidate
Passive candidates are more likely to take a new position if it will improve work/life balance and the culture of their new company will be an improvement or better fit than their current place of employment. In order to engage them from their perspective, use these features of a company to entice the candidate. For example, if current employees are engaging in company events or can demonstrate how their employer is helping them with their work/life balance, make sure those employees are sharing. You can create a forum for this kind of enthusiasm by doing employee features on your social media sites.

Use a Range of Social Media and Connection Tools
Stay connected in a number of different ways so that you’re not always approaching passive candidates from the same direction. Create opportunities for referrals from within their trusted network. Use a light touch so that they don’t feel pushed or pressured.

Remember that passive candidates are happy with their position. The only thing that you can do is demonstrate that they would be happier in a new position.

The Value of a Robust LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn has been a tremendous step forward in the evolution of recruiting. From the days of snail-mailed resumes to job boards like Monster and CareerBuilder to LinkedIn, we have seen ability of job seekers to get their background in front of recruiters greatly enhanced. This is especially true for “passive jobseekers” who are generally willing to listen to a targeted job opportunity that seems appealing. The best way to do this is to make sure you have your LinkedIn profile up to date and completely filled out.

The Value of a Robust LinkedIn Profile
The Value of a Robust LinkedIn Profile

Before LinkedIn was developed (and even today), anyone who posted their resume on a job board risked someone at their current company finding out. With a robust LinkedIn profile, you have the opportunity of being approached about a tremendous job opportunity without it being apparent to your company that you would consider other options.

LinkedIn makes it very easy to develop your profile everything from your experience, education, skills & endorsements, publications, and recommendations. You can also attach documents such as your resume.

If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, develop one as soon as you can. If you have an existing profile, take the time to update it.

How to Re-engage Employees Who Might Be on the Brink of Leaving

The process of hiring someone new is a time and resources burden for every employer out there. If possible, wouldn’t it be better to just keep the well-trained and experienced employees that are already doing their jobs? It turns out that there are a lot of things that employers can do to help keep employees from disappearing because they’re burnt out, bored, or simply not doing as good a job as they’re capable of doing.

Unhappy Employees
How to Re-engage Employees Who Might Be on the Brink of Leaving

Disengaged employees make up as many as 9 in 10 staff members, according to Forbes. That not only means many people may be thinking of leaving, but the entire office is not doing a very efficient job. Here are a few important considerations for employers who want to re-engage unenthusiastic employees.

Know Your Staff
Managers that take the time to understand the specific skills and interests of their staff are more likely to fit the right employees to the right tasks. When employees are doing the things they’re good at and they’re interested in, they’re much happier.

Talk About Goals
Long term goals should be a part of conversations with staff members. When managers and leadership take an interest in the future of an employee, that employee feels that they are working towards something bigger and better. That feeling can keep them engaged and motivated.

Show Appreciation
Disengaged employees feel that their contribution doesn’t matter, that anyone could come in and do their job. When you take the time to appreciate their work, they realize that they are doing a good job and that management has noticed. Being noticed can lead to motivation and enthusiasm for better performance.

Cultivate Pride and a Positive Office Culture
A lot of disengaged employees don’t feel that the company they work for is special in any way. Some offices encourage positivity by using teamwork that requires cooperation. Others offer volunteer opportunities or perks like gym memberships. Little things can make a big difference for employees, giving them the sense that their job is different and better than other jobs.

Some employees are going to leave because they’re motivated to find another job or a better position. But all too often, their lack of enthusiasm for their current work has more to do with disengagement than a lack of opportunities. Creating those opportunities and staying engaged with employees on an individual level will help to keep staff from leaving.

How Employers Do Facebook “Background Checks” (and Why You Shouldn’t)

While it’s certainly a good practice for all of us to be discerning in what we choose to share on Facebook—versus what we choose to keep to ourselves—it’s interesting that these warnings assume that all employers are looking at social profiles as part of the job screening process. Indeed, there is a perception about the employment industry these days that so-called “social media background checks” are now a key tool for employers trying to make tough hiring decisions. In the minds of many, social media checks have joined resume reviews, interviews, and criminal history checks as a standard part of all hiring policies.

Now, say you are an entrepreneur or business owner, and you are looking to hire new employees for the first time. You need to design a screening process that will filter out the weak applicants, eliminate unsavory individuals, and find you a perfect candidate. And because you’ve heard so much about social media checks over the years, you decide that you might want to implement them as one step of your hiring process.

How Employers Do Facebook "Background Checks" (and Why You Shouldn't)
How Employers Do Facebook “Background Checks” (and Why You Shouldn’t)

How Social Media Checks Work

After you begin considering doing social media checks of your applicants, your first question will probably be about how to go about doing them.

It should be a clue to you that no background check company offers a service for social media checks. These firms will do virtually any kind of background check that is legal and fair, from searching criminal records, to checking financial history, all the way to verifying educational credentials and checking references. They will not do social media checks, though. If you want to do these checks, you are on your own.

Most employers that do social media background checks don’t do them until after an interview. They use resumes and job applications to choose the candidates they are actually interested in. The pool is then narrowed with interviews. After that, a social check may be used to see if any top prospects have any obvious online red flags. In other words, these social media checks aren’t really a key component to the employee screening process. Instead, they are a way to see if an applicant is indeed the person they presented themselves as in the interview.

All told, this means that most hiring managers will only ever be doing social background checks of a few applicants. How these checks are done, then, is more or less what you would expect: an employer goes onto Facebook; searches the name of an applicant; finds that person’s profile based on name, photo, location information, etc.; and then browses the profile for potential red flags.

3 Reasons Why You Should Skip The Social Media Check

The concept of a social check sounds pretty simple, right? You narrow down your applicant pool, pick a few people you’d seriously consider hiring, and then see if there are any inappropriate photos or statuses on their Facebook profile. But while there can certainly be benefits from seeing how an applicant behaves “in the real world,” the risks and cons of social checks outweigh the pros. Here are the three primary reasons why you should skip the social media background check in your employment screening process.

1. They reveal information that employers are not supposed to know

When you draft a job application for your company, there are a number of rules to which you must adhere. You are not allowed to ask, for instance, about an applicant’s age or marital status. In some parts of the country, where ban-the-box legislation is on the books, you aren’t even allowed to ask about criminal history. These rules are there to prevent discrimination or bias in hiring.

When you check an applicant’s social profile, you are almost certainly going to learn about some of these pieces of information that no employer is supposed to have. Facebook profiles disclose a lot of personal information: age, race, native language, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, marital status, whether or not the applicant has children, whether the applicant smokes or drinks, etc. Learning this information can make it difficult for employers to make unbiased hiring decisions.

2. They are frowned upon by the EEOC

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission frowns upon social media background checks for the reasons laid out above: they increase the chances of bias and discrimination entering into the hiring process. And while social media checks aren’t illegal themselves—at least not yet—they can lead employers to breaking EEOC laws without even realizing it.

For example, let’s say an employer looks at the Facebook page of a female applicant. The action of simply pulling up the webpage is legal. While browsing the profile, though, the hiring manager notices that the woman has just announced that she is pregnant. Due to concerns about maternity leave, the employer decides not to hire the woman and goes with an equally qualified male applicant for the job. The employer has thus committed an employment discrimination crime, and can be sued by both the EEOC and the female applicant they unfairly rejected.

3. They can be a big waste of time

The last reason to skip social checks is that, plain and simple, they can lead to a huge waste of time and a substantial loss of productivity. When an employer sits down to look at applicant profiles on Facebook, there are plenty of reasons that the endeavor could end up being fruitless. Perhaps the applicant doesn’t have a Facebook profile, or has implemented extensive privacy settings to keep non-friends from looking at their page. Or maybe the person goes by a different name on Facebook than the one they wrote down on their application. Either way, there are better uses of time than chasing phantoms on a social network.

Instead, use those hours to find a reputable background check firm for criminal screenings, or even to interview a few extra applicants You’ll get more out of your time, and won’t have to worry about accidentally breaking any hiring laws.

Michael Klazema has been developing products for pre-employment screening and improving online customer experiences in the background screening industry since 2009. He is the lead author and editor for a background check company. He lives in Dallas, TX with his family and enjoys the rich culinary histories of various old and new world countries.

Most Influential Career Sites in 2014

Can you really put your resume on every job site out there? And is that the best strategy? Sorting the good advice from the misleading can be time consuming and frustrating. Here is a list of some of the most influential and useful career sites of 2014, all of which are updated regularly, see plenty of traffic, and are easy to access through various social media channels.

Most Influential Career Sites in 2014
Most Influential Career Sites in 2014
Indeed, launched in 2004, is the most visited job website in the world. 140 million unique visitors check the site every day. Part of its success is due to the fact that it’s actually an aggregator, providing job listing from many other websites, all in one place. It’s operating in 50 countries.
Next on the list is familiar named Career Builder. Partnered with AOL and MSN, it provides a huge selection of jobs and operates in 60 markets over 24 countries. They also own and operate other smaller sites that cater to specific markets, including and
Despite the size, and in fact partially because of it, Monster is an important career site to use. It’s one of the largest online job markets in the world, and it continues to grow every year. With about a million jobs and a million resumes, plus over 63 million job seekers accessing the site per month, it’s a great place to start your job search.

Simply Hired
This website may be simple, but it is not small. With over 8 million job listings, it is the largest independent job search engine. It is so extensive that it is used as an economic indicator by some economists.

LinkedIn isn’t a proper job search site, however it is an important networking tool and does lead to a lot of job placements. By connecting with your friends, co-workers, previous co-workers, and the broader network from there, you might get that personal introduction to the perfect job.
Beyond is another search engine for job sites. They’ve provided a different kind of tool, which gives them a leg up in certain ways. Some compare Beyond to LinkedIn, because it offers a unique way to display your resume and has online communities for professionals to join and benefit from.
This website offers many internships and entry level professional jobs as well as plenty of sound advice about landing that first job. It includes many helpful and encouraging success stories from those who are entering the job market and land permanent positions via internships.
Glassdoor broke ground last year by creating a tool that helps you connect your skills with jobs that you may not realize you’re qualified for. Their Job Explorer feature allows you to map potential jobs which you might overlook on a different site. The rollout in July exposed a few quirks which are mostly smoothed out by now.

Mashable Jobs
Mashable Jobs was launched only four years ago, but already boasts high traffic and over 3,000 employers who consider it a top destination, along with over 11,000 job postings in its extended network.

The mission of this site is to fundamentally change the way that people find professional opportunities and the ways that employers find talent. It’s used by thousands of companies, universities, and membership organizations.

While searching career sites does not replace the work of improving your actual resume and applying for jobs, you can learn a lot about the market and your opportunities by scouring the sites that appeal to you. You don’t have to use all 10, but make sure at least a few of these are on your list.

For Recruiters

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