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Talent is a smart investment. Is there a smarter way to recruit and change the way we hire? Now, more than ever, post-COVID healthcare delivery relies on digital tools for clinicians to connect with and monitor patients and drive outcomes. At the heart of supporting that digital agenda is a technology talent gap – namely with your entry-level IT employees.

Russ Branzell and Geoff Blanding explained in “Healthcare’s blind spot in 2021” that healthcare organizations already have and will continue to have significant challenges attracting and retaining a digital workforce. HR’s biggest worry in the future shouldn’t focus only on immediate talents needs, but also on cultivating new talent for a long-term talent strategy.

Still, in the hyper-competitive talent environment, many healthcare organizations use traditional, reactive recruiting models. HR posts a job and waits. HR attends a career fair and waits, again, for the right candidate to walk along. The old model depends on the exact right candidate applying for a job at the exact right time despite a fast-changing talent pool and an even faster-changing industry.

Peter Capelli of Wharton’s School of Business cites just how much the failed recruitment loop costs CEOs: “Employers also spend an enormous amount on hiring—an average of $4,129 per job in the United States, according to Society for Human Resource Management estimates, and many times that amount for managerial roles—and the United States fills a staggering 66 million jobs a year. Most of the $20 billion that companies spend on human resources vendors goes to hiring.”

So how should healthcare CIOs attract and cultivate talent? How should they change the way we hire? There are several options for digitizing the recruiting process. Gal Almog, the CEO and co-founder of Talenya, a technology company that disrupts the recruitment industry using big data says, in Traditional Recruiting Isn’t Enough: How AI Is Changing The Rules in The Human Capital Market: “The truth is many companies are looking in all the wrong places to find talent for hard-to-fill jobs…The [skills] shortage is so severe that 92% of employers say the problem is negatively affecting productivity, employee satisfaction, and turnover.” In short, companies continue to look at candidates based on what they have done, rather than based on what they can do.

Mr. Almog’s solution to the talent-recruitment bind is an expensive AI software to match talented people with a company’s immediate needs using untraditional data. Smart. However, what if the best and brightest future talent doesn’t have internet data to comb? What if the skill shortage was an opportunity? And, what if the solution to the root problem was much simpler?

Optimum CareerPath™ (OCP) solves this complicated problem for healthcare organizations and provides opportunities to change the way we hire. And it turns out, the solution can be people-focused and straightforward. OCP recruits, trains, and places high-aptitude, entry-level healthcare IT staff. The program partners with local universities and healthcare organizations to recruit the best and the brightest talent, with a focus on personality, potential, and attitude. Once we identify talent, we hire them as Optimum full-time employees and begin training, taking on the initial burden and risk of on-the-job training. We use dual healthcare and technology-focused curriculum which includes relevant certifications so that by the end of the 12-week program, candidates are ready for Day 1 success at the client.

What’s important to remember about recruiting is that skills can be learned on the job. What can’t be “trained” are the vital soft skills that traditional recruiting misses. Instead of looking for the candidate with the perfect experience and skills, organizations need to take greater responsibility in equipping the perfect person with the right skills. And finding the “right” candidate based on soft skills, aptitude, and attitude is both more important and more challenging than focusing on a checklist of technical certifications and experiences.

Furthermore, traditional recruiting efforts are falling short of necessary diversity changes in healthcare organizations. Recent results from  PwC’s 2021 C-Suite Leaders in Healthcare suggest that: “When it comes to environmental, social and governmental (ESG) priorities for the year ahead, health industry leaders identified increased diversity and inclusion training and reporting as well as building a more diverse board as areas of priority for the year ahead.”

If diversity and inclusion are as big an initiative as stated above, then there’s even more reason to change the traditional recruiting model and, in effect, change the diversity landscape. The first two OCP classes were 57% minority and 37% female, and future classes are already reflecting diversity numbers more in parallel to the populations’ hospitals actually serve. And that’s key – helping your team reflect the community served to mirror its broad diversity.

OCP as a recruitment strategy provides opportunities to change the way we hire. It helps hospitals develop productive relationships with candidates in their community (i.e., Universities) and sets the stage for a long-term recruitment pipeline and talent retention. Are you ready to discover your next digital healthcare talent? Talk to your Optimum Client Services rep today about how Optimum CareerPath can impact your organization.

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