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  • The Future of Healthcare Hiring: A Nurse’s Insights into 5 Healthcare Trends in 2024

The Future of Healthcare Hiring: A Nurse’s Insights into 5 Healthcare Trends in 2024

By Nurse Blake, RN
March 7, 2024

In the healthcare industry, change is just about the only constant. Increased competition for talent, staffing shortages and difficulty retaining high-quality employees are just a few of the challenges facing healthcare employers in 2024.

But fear not! Current healthcare trends are creating new opportunities to connect with top talent and maintain the right staffing ratios. Make your recruitment process more effective by considering these trends when hiring in healthcare.

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1. What nurses really want from their employers

Forget pizza parties and stones with “You rock!” written on them. Nurses want competitive compensation, flexibility and remote work opportunities.

Competitive compensation

Don’t just take it from me — in a 2023 Indeed survey focused on nurse recruitment, 46% of nurses reported that they want better compensation. To meet their needs, make sure every compensation package you offer is tailored to the candidate’s skills and experience.

Many of my colleagues feel discouraged when their pay stays the same even after they’ve obtained advanced certifications or started working in new specialties. You may be able to retain your top employees by reviewing nurse compensation regularly and making changes to better reflect each nurse’s qualifications.

If you don’t have the budget for across-the-board raises, consider giving bonuses for course completion or differential pay for hard-to-fill shifts.

Flexibility

Indeed’s survey also showed that 43% of respondents want more flexibility in their schedules or shifts, up from 29% in 2021. Surprisingly, 62% of nurses surveyed would prefer a more flexible job over an inflexible job that comes with 10% more pay. This desire for more flexibility means you can still give healthcare workers what they want even if you don’t have the budget for immediate pay increases.

To increase flexibility, consider offering variable shifts or condensed workweeks. The traditional 7a.m. start time—or 3p.m. for second shift or 11p.m. for night shift—doesn’t work for everyone. If you’re committed to increasing flexibility, think about allowing some nurses to start at 10a.m. or 5p.m. instead, if possible.

Check out Indeed’s Work Wellbeing Playbook for more research-based tactics to improve worker wellbeing

 

Remote work opportunities

If you’re hiring nurses to provide bedside care, you may not be able to offer full-time remote positions. However, there are other ways to satisfy a nurse’s need for flexibility. For example, if your charge nurses spend eight hours per week completing QA reports and other paperwork, try letting them work from home one day per week. They can get plenty of work done without having to commute to a hospital or clinic.

Telemedicine has also opened up a whole new world of opportunity for nurses who are feeling burned out. Some of my colleagues have transitioned from working at the bedside to doing utilization review or telephone triage. You can even hire experienced nurses to recruit LPNs, RNs and APRNs. If you have any remote job openings, make sure your nurses know about them.

2. Diversity, equity and inclusion

In 2024, DEI initiatives are more important than ever. When patients come to your facility, they need to know that someone understands their needs and cares about their well-being.

A diverse workforce reflects the composition of your community, helping patients feel more at ease. Having a diverse workforce has also been shown to increase access to care and improve patient outcomes. Here are some of my tips for implementing DEI initiatives:

  1. Make sure every department in your organization is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment. As a nurse, I’ve seen too many diversity initiatives fizzle out because they didn’t get any support from executives or nurse leaders. It’s important to get buy-in from management before you roll out a new DEI plan.
  2. To make your hiring process more inclusive, think about how you source talent. If you’re always looking in the same places, you may be missing out on some great candidates. For example, if your recruiters always attend job fairs at four-year private colleges, they may not have a chance to meet excellent nurses who attended community college or went to public institutions.
  3. Finally, make sure you’re using an interview scoring rubric instead of making hiring decisions based on gut instinct. When you use a rubric for every interview, you evaluate each person according to their knowledge, skills and experiences rather than making decisions based on criteria that aren’t related to the job.

3. Growing focus on mental health

More than 60% of nurses experience burnout at some point in their careers. Nursing has always been a demanding profession, but the pandemic created staffing shortages all over the country. Nurses found themselves working extra shifts, often without a break, to ensure patients received quality care.

Because of this, the demand for mental health services has increased significantly. Between December 2022 and December 2023, the number of Indeed job listings with “mental health,” “psychiatrist” or “psychiatric” in the job title increased by 29.1%.[1] The number of clicks on these job titles also increased by 6.3% during the same time period.[2] Not only that, but mental health technician and mental health therapist were two of Indeed’s top three Best Jobs of 2024.

Mental health services can also be helpful for nurses struggling with high levels of stress and burnout. As a result, one of the biggest healthcare industry trends of 2024 is offering mental health support to employees. Here are some of my suggestions:

  • If you don’t have a comprehensive employee assistance program (EAP), consider partnering with an online therapy service to provide counseling to nurses who need it.
  • Try offering wellness programs during work hours — even something as simple as a free 15-minute massage can go a long way.
  • Mindfulness programs, stress-management resources and other wellness initiatives may also help reduce the risk of burnout on your nursing team.

4. Lifelong learning and continuing education

Researchers are always developing new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent disease, so nurses have to be committed to continuous learning. If you want to attract top talent, make sure you’re offering high-quality educational programs and plenty of career advancement opportunities.

One of the best ways to improve your existing professional development program is to hire a Certified Nurse Educator (CNE). A CNE helps nurses develop their clinical skills and learn how to collaborate effectively. The right person can even assess your nursing workforce and make helpful recommendations regarding training and certifications.

Paying for certification exams, giving nurses paid time off to study and offering pay increases for in-demand certifications can all help you attract high-quality nursing staff.

To make your professional development program as successful as possible, consider these tips:

  • Provide clear pathways for advancement
  • Offer mentorship and leadership development opportunities
  • Reward nurses for their achievements, such as pursuing professional certifications or completing advanced degrees
  • Invest in continuing education
  • Cultivate a culture of learning and growth

5. Interdisciplinary collaboration

Nurses collaborate with physicians, respiratory therapists, phlebotomists and other healthcare professionals every day. Because collaboration is so important, you need nurses who have a balance of technical skills and soft skills. As a nurse, I appreciate it when colleagues are organized, adaptable and willing to pitch in when it gets busy. These are soft skills that make even the busiest shifts go more smoothly.

If you’re interested in improving collaboration, try skills-based hiring instead of more traditional hiring methods. Skills-based hiring focuses on a nurse’s abilities rather than their overall job history. For example, if you need a nurse with five specific skills, it doesn’t really matter if they have three years or five years of experience. If they have the skills you need, you can interview them to find out if the job is a good match for their needs.

When Indeed partnered with the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK to launch a skills-based hiring program, NHS recruiters spent less time on screening and ended up with a more diverse applicant pool.

Once you switch to skills-based hiring, don’t forget to include other departments or specialties in the recruitment process. You may want to ask for feedback from nurse managers in other units or include a physician or a social worker on your interview panel.

Look to the future

The future of healthcare is bright, especially for nurses with advanced clinical skills. To meet industry demands, adapt your hiring strategies to match current healthcare trends. Your patients—and your workforce—will thank you.

Ready to get started? Indeed has created a coalition aimed at helping support employers and job seekers looking to fill careers in healthcare. Learn more about Indeed’s Careers in Care program.
 


About the Author

Nurse Blake is a registered nurse, children’s book author and founder of NurseCon, an online education platform that also hosts annual nursing conferences. He has worked in numerous healthcare settings at Level 1 trauma centers around the country. He’s also built an online audience of over 3 million social media followers, providing humor, advice and support to nurses internationally.


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