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ATD Blog

Investing in Diverse Talent Gives Healthcare Employers an Advantage

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Identifying, developing, and retaining top talent is a critical function for any business that relies on its human capital to interface with customers and drive revenue. The value of diversity in the hiring process and the workforce is higher employee engagement, innovative business solutions, and high levels of productivity. These factors are especially impactful in the healthcare industry, which in 2018 reportedly became the United States’ largest employer (The Atlantic, 2018).

To meet the demands of their unique client base, it is imperative that healthcare employers source, recruit, onboard, and retain a skilled workforce. Healthcare employers that foster a diverse and inclusive work environment can expect high levels of employee engagement and increased organizational productivity (LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends Report, 2018). The following highlights are some of the factors that impact recruiting talent for the healthcare industry and a shortlist of recommendations for healthcare employers that wish to incorporate diversity recruiting tactics as part of their talent acquisition strategy.

Factors Impacting Healthcare Recruiting

A few of the factors impacting recruiting in the healthcare industry are ( HealthcareSource, 2018):

  • scarcity of talent
  • time-intensive hiring process
  • competition for top talent.

Scarcity of talent is an ongoing issue for the healthcare industry. Specialization of medical services requires unique areas of expertise to meet the patient-facing and administrative demands that support a healthcare company’s infrastructure. Whether you’re hiring a radiology technician or billing specialist for a dental practice, identifying qualified candidates who possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities for specific roles has been an ongoing challenge for healthcare employers.

Utilization of a formal talent acquisition process is highly effective for identifying the right fit for the organization, but can be time intensive. A well-constructed talent acquisition process should include a pre-screening function, in-person interviews, background and reference checks, and a host of post-interview and employment offer logistics. Scheduling in-person interviews with potential candidates and busy healthcare professionals can extend the hiring process and take time away from office productivity.

Finally, top talent is highly sought-after by multiple healthcare employers.
Candidates who possess a strong academic background, industry-related experience, and high levels of emotional intelligence are likely being courted by multiple organizations. To attract the best and brightest diverse talent, healthcare employers need to consider a more intentional approach to their recruiting efforts.


Capitalizing on a diverse and engaged workforce has been proven to positively impact creativity and productivity. The following are the three diversity recruiting best practices healthcare recruiters should consider to attract and retain a diverse workforce.

1. Employer Branding
In a competitive marketplace, employers should take intentional strides to distinguish themselves as a workplace of choice for diverse candidates. Employers seeking to attract a diverse pool of candidates must implement proactive steps to establish their organization as one that supports and engages in the diversity dialogue on a broad platform. Messaging and branding on the company website, social media, participating in diversity recruiting fairs, strategic alliances with diversity organizations, and supporting diversity initiatives in the community where they operate are all positive signals to potential candidates that diversity is a strong thread in the fabric of the organization and its culture.

2. Diversity Recruiting Metrics
Utilize data to monitor and inform your diversity recruiting efforts. Begin the recruiting process by assessing the current diversity headcount and set intentional targets for improving underrepresented groups within the organization. Key areas to measure include the number of diverse candidates at each phase of the recruiting process, retention rates of diverse employees within the organization, and the percentage of diverse employees at different levels of the organization. These data points can be shared with prospective diversity candidates to demonstrate that the organization's culture supports the retention and advancement of diverse talent.


3. Organizational Culture
The 2018 LinkedIn Global Recruiting Trends report underscores the importance of not only attracting diverse talent, but also creating an organizational culture of inclusion and belonging that will increase the likelihood of retaining diverse talent. Healthcare employers that invest time and resources in securing highly skilled talent must ensure their employees feel welcome and supported so they are able to meet the needs of their patients and clients. To that end, healthcare employers need to assess their internal workplace policies and programs to ensure they support an environment of inclusion and belonging. Career path programs that support the development and advancement of diverse members and employee resource groups that celebrate cultural differences and provide support for diverse employees all help to cultivate a culture of inclusion and belonging. Healthcare employers that invest the time and resources to attract a diverse workforce will only be able to leverage the unique skill sets of their diverse employees if said employees are comfortable and bring all their skills and abilities to their respective roles and the workplace.

In a competitive marketplace, investing in diverse talent can give healthcare employers an advantage over their competitors and better equip them to serve their patients. Supporting diversity recruiting initiatives requires a strategic plan and intentional tactics to attract, develop, and retain a diverse workforce.

Want to learn more? Join me June 18 for the webcast, The Value of Diversity Recruiting
in the Healthcare Industry.

About the Author

Swafia Lopez Ames is the president and CEO of SALA Creative Consulting LLC, a human capital management consulting firm. Swafia is an expert at designing and implementing talent acquisition, diversity and inclusion, instructional design, and organizational development programs. Swafia supports her clients by utilizing her 18-plus years of experience to identify challenge areas and works collaboratively to develop and implement effective solutions.

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