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Best Practices For Onboarding Healthcare Talent

So much of your organization’s focus is on finding and recruiting the best healthcare talent in a crowded field. Once you’ve hired a great new team member, it can feel like the hard part is over. But you shouldn’t coast on your status quo onboarding procedures, and here’s why: 15% of new hires leave within the first three months, according to an eye-opening survey by BambooHR.

Your new employee onboarding procedures can help mean the difference between turning your awesome new hires into happy long-term employees and having to start the whole recruiting process again, much sooner than you’d like. So what can you do to make sure you’re getting (and giving) the most out of your onboarding process? Let’s look at some key strategies for your organization.

Focus on people, not forms

Every new employee in virtually every field spends their first days filling out form after form, reviewing endless screens of legalese, and signing their name. With all of the necessary compliance paperwork in healthcare, it can feel especially onerous. A person can feel reduced to a signature and a date, over and over, which is a bit dehumanizing for someone who just went through a recruitment process without a lot of one-on-one attention and care.

One way to help keep new hires engaged in their first days is to change the timing and process for completing paperwork. Instead of having the new employee sit in HR for their entire first day, consider giving them all necessary paperwork (or links to online forms) after they’ve accepted the job, but before they start. That way, they can read and review all the necessary paperwork on their own and arrive on day one ready to join the team in a meaningful way.

Starting the onboarding process before an official start date also helps to manage a new hire’s expectations for their new job. Feeling somewhat acclimated before you jump in with new duties and new colleagues can help with initial job satisfaction.

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Show the kind of care you’d show your patients

One of the primary goals for any healthcare organization is providing a high standard of care—something that should apply to employees as well as patients and customers. That means displaying your core care values to new hires, just as you would to new patients. Exposing new hires to your organization’s standards and values from the very beginning helps them to absorb the culture.

Telling stories that illustrate your organization’s core values during the onboarding process is not only a way to break up rote orientation procedures, but it’s also a way to help your new team members absorb what your organization is all about.

Equalize onboarding for everyone

In some healthcare organizations, job title can affect the kind of welcome activities you get on day one. Physicians are a unique challenge for the healthcare field. Their recruitment is often outside of standard corporate parameters, so they tend to get different onboarding and orientation than others in the organization. By standardizing your process, from experienced physicians to junior hires just out of school, it ensures that everyone is getting the same level of information and care as they start their path with you.

Whether you have a massive corporate healthcare organization or a lean, mean one, revamping your onboarding procedures to focus on employee care will help boost retention. It also gives you an opportunity to build an even stronger, shared foundation for your team members from day one—improving the standard of care from the inside out.

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Kate Lopaze

Kate Lopaze is a writer, editor, and digital publishing professional based in New York City. A graduate of the University of Connecticut and Emerson College with degrees in English and publishing, she is passionate about books, baseball, and pop culture (though not necessarily in that order), and lives in Brooklyn with her dog.

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