4 Ways to Reduce Average Time to Hire in Healthcare

  • April 16, 2024
  • Joe DeSanzo
  • Approx. Read Time: 7 Minutes
PreCheck. Four Ways to Reduce Your Time to Hire in Healthcare.

Recruiting and retaining talent is one of healthcare HR’s biggest challenges, especially with demand increasing for qualified healthcare workers. Employers must find the best candidates and act quickly, as a lengthy average time to hire in healthcare means losing top candidates to competitors. 

Improving time-to-hire metrics gives your healthcare facility a competitive advantage. A LinkedIn analysis in 2023 found that the average healthcare job took 59.5 days to fill.

Learn how to reduce your hospital’s time to hire. From streamlining recruitment processes to leveraging technology and partnerships, you’ll hire faster while improving the overall quality of your hires.



Key Takeaways

        • Slow hiring in healthcare can affect quality of patient care and your ability to attract talent. 
        • Hiring skilled professionals quickly helps healthcare facilities contribute to a more dynamic and responsive healthcare system.
        • Lengthy hiring periods can be the result of underlying issues within an organization's recruitment process. 
        • Accelerating time to hire in healthcare requires streamlining the recruitment process without compromising candidate quality.
        • PreCheck’s expertise helps healthcare organizations expedite the hiring process while ensuring compliance and patient safety.


Table of Contents:

  1. 3 Costs of Slow Time to Hire
  2. 3 Benefits of a Streamlined Hiring Process
  3. 5 Causes of Lengthy Time to Hire
  4. 4 Ways to Accelerate Time to Fill in Your Healthcare Organization
  5. Invest in Credentialing Support to Reduce Time to Hire in Healthcare


3 Costs of Slow Time to Hire

Slow time to hire in healthcare can affect the quality of patient care and your ability to attract talent. Here are some of the other effects on your workforce and organizational performance.


Increase in Burnout

Existing staff must shoulder the burden of extended job vacancies. The additional workload can cause fatigue, burnout, and decreased job satisfaction, ultimately compromising quality of care for patients. Overworked staff are also at greater risk of preventable errors.


Over-Reliance on Contract Workers

When healthcare organizations struggle to hire, they might over-rely on contract workers, who can frequently turn over and potentially jeopardize continuity of care for patients. Contract workers can also lead to higher labor costs for healthcare organizations.


Damage to Your Employer Brand

A drawn-out or frustrating candidate experience can cause candidates to spread negative word-of-mouth, damaging the organization's employer brand. This can exacerbate staffing shortages by making recruiting more difficult.


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3 Benefits of a Streamlined Hiring Process

Expedited recruitment and onboarding of skilled professionals helps healthcare facilities avoid the negatives of long-term vacancies, but it also provides noticeable benefits for the organization, staff and patients. Here are a few benefits of a streamlined hiring process that minimizes vacancies.


Improved Patient Outcomes

Reducing time to hire means you’re quickly bringing in skilled professionals and giving patients access to the care they need. This improves the patient experience and quality of care. 

Moreover, quick hiring helps your healthcare workforce by preventing overwork, burnout, and lower morale. When your staff isn’t overworked, they can pay closer attention to each patient, leading to better diagnoses, more effective treatments, and faster recoveries. A high-quality and fast hiring process can make all the difference for countless patients.


Cost Savings

Speeding up time to hire in healthcare also helps employers save money. The longer a position goes unfilled, the more a healthcare facility might lean on temporary staff, such as international contract nurses or travel nurses, who can be more expensive than regular full-time employees.

When hospitals and other facilities fill positions quickly, they spend less on overtime and less on recruiting new hires. A fully staffed team is also more efficient, reducing mistakes and improving patient care, which can reduce costs associated with complications or readmissions.


Improved Employer Brand

Hiring quickly doesn’t just prevent damage to your employer brand; it can also improve it. Top healthcare professionals are drawn to hospitals and clinics that are known for excellence, paying well, and quickly moving people from application to job offer. Hiring quickly and effectively shows that you value people’s time and are eager to bring them aboard. It can also lead to employee referrals down the road.

A strong employer brand also leads to positive word-of-mouth, which can be appealing to patients and the broader community.


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5 Causes of Lengthy Time to Hire

Why do organizations struggle to hire quickly? Oftentimes, the root problem is within an organization's recruitment process. Here are common causes when healthcare organizations struggle to source, recruit, and hire talent quickly.


Drawn-Out Processes

One challenge for healthcare organizations is the often-extensive hiring process, which can entail multiple interviews involving many stakeholders, including department heads, HR personnel, and clinical teams. 

Coordinating everyone’s schedule can lengthen the interview process and frustrate candidates. Obtaining approvals from many stakeholders can introduce additional delays. In the worst-case scenario, candidates will withdraw from the process, out of frustration or because they received a more timely offer.


Outdated Recruitment Methods

Another impediment is when healthcare organizations over-rely on conventional recruitment methods such as online job postings and industry publication advertisements. These methods might generate candidates, but not necessarily the best or most diverse talent pool. 

Outdated recruiting models overlook emerging recruitment channels and unconventional candidates, including those with valuable skills and experience but who usually get screened out. Looking in the wrong places for talent can add a long time to your hiring process.


Fragmented Data

HR teams that don’t have a single source of truth for managing applications, resumes, and candidate information will struggle to track applicants and candidates. This can result in missed opportunities, delayed responses, and poor coordination between hiring managers and recruiters.


Screen smarter, hire safer. Get the right talent to drive your success. Speak to an expert.


Insufficient Hiring Resources

Underbudgeted or understaffed recruiting and HR teams will struggle to efficiently execute the hiring process. They’ll likely have slower response times, delayed interview scheduling, and less comprehensive candidate screening. 

These resource constraints hurt the team's capacity to assess candidates' qualifications and move forward quickly. The result is lost opportunities and potentially lower-quality hires.


Delays in Credentialing and Verification

Credentialing and verification processes are crucial for vetting a healthcare professional’s competence and qualifications, but they can take time and extend the hiring timeline. Background checks and verifications can be extensive, time-consuming, and require rounds of back-and-forth communication to resolve discrepancies or gather more information. 

This scrutiny, while essential, can complicate your ability to hire quickly. Pre-employment drug testing, for instance, can add a few days to the hiring process. Any missing piece of information or delay in responses adds even more time. 

Healthcare organizations must balance the need for accuracy and compliance with the need to hire quickly. Patient safety is a prime concern in each circumstance as employers don’t want to add risk by rushing to hire or by losing out on in-demand talent.


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4 Ways to Accelerate Time to Fill in Your Healthcare Organization

Here are some steps healthcare organizations can take to quickly fill vacancies while ensuring that healthcare facilities are staffed only with qualified professionals ready to deliver top-notch patient care.


1. Define Your Needs

Healthcare recruiters, HR teams, and hiring managers must work closely to align the recruitment process with each department's hiring needs and requirements. Be clear about what you need from a requisition so each posting attracts the right people and filters in the best candidates.

When recruiters and hiring managers communicate well, they can quickly identify suitable candidates and spend less time on interviewing unqualified individuals.


2. Structure the Interview Process

A structured hiring process helps employers deliver a consistent, fair, and efficient interview process to every candidate. Start by defining each job role’s criteria and competencies. Then, develop standardized interview questions and provide training to interviewers on conducting fair and unbiased interviews. A structured approach minimizes irrelevant discussions and reduces bias, allowing for quick and informed hiring decisions.


3. Apply Technology to Streamline Hiring

Hiring processes are increasingly dependent on technology and automation. Applicant tracking systems can use algorithms, for example, to efficiently sort and filter resumes based on predefined criteria, helping recruiters focus on the most qualified candidates. 

Automation tools can schedule interviews, send reminders, and conduct initial screenings, saving valuable time for recruiters and candidates. Using technology to automate employment verifications can also keep your hiring process on track. 


4. Partner With Third-Party Providers

Partnering with specialized healthcare recruitment agencies can expand your pool of qualified candidates and industry expertise. These agencies have wide networks and can identify candidates even when they’re not actively seeking opportunities. By outsourcing specific aspects of the recruitment process, healthcare organizations can free up internal recruiting and HR teams while accelerating the hiring process.

Background screening partners like PreCheck allow you to streamline the hiring process with a variety of employment verification services, as well as healthcare-specific background screening solutions.


Invest in Credentialing Support to Reduce Time to Hire in Healthcare

By streamlining the hiring and recruitment strategy, healthcare organizations quickly acquire skilled professionals to provide the highest quality of patient care. PreCheck's background screening and credentialing services can help by ensuring that candidates are qualified and meet the industry’s rigorous standards. 

Access to reliable and efficient background screening services is invaluable in reducing time to hire and enhancing overall healthcare delivery. Tap into PreCheck's expertise to expedite the hiring process, stay compliant and safeguard patient safety. 

Want more answers to your hiring and credentialing questions? Schedule a call with one of our background screening experts.


Screen smarter, hire safer. Get the right talent to drive your success. Speak to an expert.


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