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    Title:   Key Challenges for Recruiting in Health Industry


      1800 WORDS


Subject Report Writing Pages 10 Style APA



Executive Summary. 3

Introduction. 4

Labour supply/demand. 4

Organizational image. 6

Demographic issues. 6

Recruitment strategies such as employer branding and types of advertising. 7

Recommendations. 8

Conclusion. 9

References. 10
















Executive Summary

This report deliberates on notable key challenges concerning recruitment in the health industry. The report as well provides recommendations players in the industry can adopt to improve in their recruitment process. Resourced Based View of Firms and Human Capital Theories are adopted to provide an understanding of the recruitment challenges experienced in health industry. It is worth noting that demand and supply equation is a major challenge in this industry, especially in recruitment. Health facilities have a challenge to meet the recruitment needs of enough employees to offer various services. The few trainees and qualified workforce is limited. The image of organization is also a challenge that may frustrate recruitment initiatives in the industry. Other challenges are poor recruitment strategies and demographic aspects. Hence, is important to investing in employee brand, training and organization image.















Key Challenges for Recruiting in Health Industry


 Recruitment and selection form part of any human resource management strategy. Organizations and industries have realized the importance of recruiting right individuals at right places in their entities for the achievement of set goals and objectives. Recruitment and selection strategies adopted by an entity are critical in its achievement or failures. Different industries have experienced various recruitment challenges that have affected their operations. The aim of this report is to discuss key challenges experienced in recruiting workforce in healthcare industry. It further provides recommendations on the way forward. Report is based on the different researches carried out on the topic of discussion- recruitment challenges in health sector.

Shi (2006) admitted that in deed the healthcare systems in United States faces workforce shortages impacting on health care services, due to various reasons; one being recruitment challenges. This therefore, confirms the existence of recruitment related challenges in the industry. Healthcare industry faces recruitment challenges that affect delivery of quality services.

Labour supply/demand

Recruitment remains one of the core human resource functions in Human Resource Management. It is the first step of appointment entailing the holistic process of attracting candidates, selecting and appointing those with requisite skills to be part of the organization either on temporary or permanent basis (Godwill, 2012). According to Armstrong, (2009) recruitment is the raft of measures by organization aimed at providing an opportunity for individuals to work for achievement of set goals. Recruitment is an essential function as it requires proper planning and identification of the areas that need an individual with requisite skills (Winston, 2001). Filling these gaps becomes critical in the achievement of an organization goals and objectives.

To aid in discussion of the key challenges facing recruitment of workforce in healthcare industry is Human capital value theory and Resource based view (RBV). Human capital value theory is applied in recruitment as recruits have to posses enough stock of knowledge, proper social and personality attributes, habits, creativity to be able to perform their duties to add value to the organization. Therefore, investing in education and training will ensure that the industry has a good reservoir of employees; helping address these key recruitment challenges (Boxall & Purcell, 2008). Similarly, Resource based view (RBV) theory helps in understanding the recruitment challenges. The high competition in the industry can be attributable to the value attached to the workforce. Demand is high but supply is low because of the high cost involved in training of medical practitioners, which then makes their availability a challenge. Finding the best qualified employees becomes an even a more tedious undertaking.

According to Shi (2006), supply and demand of labour in health care is one of the challenges most entities experience. This has been a perennial challenge and is expected to continue in the foreseeable future if no proper measures are going to be put in place.  Researchers and authors have expressed their concerns in this sector terming it a challenge that has contributed to inadequate healthcare services to the clients (Malanowski, 2016). Shi (2006) argues that in a report dubbed ‘Projected supply, Demand and shortages of registered Nurses: 2000-2020’, prepared by health Resources and Service Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Workforce Analysis and the Bureau of Health Professions, suggest that healthcare is deemed to face recruitment challenges in the coming two decades (Shi, 2006). The report illustrated that national shortage of registered nurses RN set in as early as 2000,even though was expected to begin around 2007 (Shi, 2006). Furthermore, in 2001, national supply of R.N was approximately 1.89 million whereas demand was at 2 million, illustrating a shortage of around 6 percent. The shortages set to grow to 29 percent by the year 2020 as per the report. Similarly, the projected demand is at 40 percent between 2000 and 2020 in comparison with the 6 percent growth in supply (Shi, 2006).  This therefore, is a clear indication of recruitment challenge caused by inadequate personnel in the industry

One of the factors that id driving growth of demand for medical practitioners across the globe is the ever increasing population, medical advances  that create a gap requiring to be filled by healthcare providers and the  sizeable number/proportion of elderly persons (Storey et al., 2009). The number of trained and qualified medical practitioner does not rymn with the increasing population. It therefore becomes a challenge for the industry to recruit individuals to help them render their services to the population. High proportional number of elderly people means that the demand of health service will increase as these individual are prone to different health needs. Similarly, as advances in medical field persist, it becomes critical to recruit people with the right knowledge and skills to ensure quality of care (H&S recruitment, (2016).

In contrast, the declining number of medical practitioner can be attributed to dwindling number of nursing graduates, decrease in nurse’s relative earnings, aging workforce and other alternative opportunities that are more lucrative and fulfilling (Malanowski, 2016).

Demand and supply is further impacted with the increasing competition for the well qualified medical providers. Hence entities find it a challenge filling some of the positions that require specialization/specialized skills (Wong, 2013). The few specialists are therefore well remunerated and taken good care off, making it difficult for other established agencies from recruiting them creating a gap in the processes.

Organizational image

The image and the reputation of an organization are critical to its success or failure. In health care industry, perception plays a role in the success of a facility. People tend to judge an organization based on what they experience or see other experiencing. The stories and the publications about a facility can be a blessing or a curse in equal measure because of the power of perception (Johansson, 2017). Therefore, every organization puts in place measures and approaches to ensure that they preserve their image. In health care industry, the image is improved through the service they deliver. The human factor is therefore critical.  Because of the quest to manage and retain positive image, most of the facilities go for the highly qualified personnel, with the right attitude and experiences.  Finding this quality employees/workforce is therefore a big issue because, health organization cannot survive with low quality physicians and medics (Harwood, 2017). Therefore, this shortage of highest qualified providers to promote their image and attract clients may indent the organization image.

Demographic issues  

Demographic aspects have also remained some of the key challenges when recruiting workforce in the health industry. Demography encompasses a raft of aspects including, the age, the race, the status, the place of origin, political inclination, religion, aging workforce, generations, diversity and many others.

Diversity is critical but is limited in most of the facilities in the industry. According to Johansson (2017), recruiting workflow across various backgrounds has not been achieved because of many factors such as religion and the race (CIPD, 2011). Some of the health facilities have preferences in their recruitment plans. For instance, in Muslim or Christian dominated places, the most health providers would be of similar religion. It therefore, becomes deterrence for other medical practitioner who professes different religions or hold to different ideologies from working in such settings.  Studies have indicated that patients identify with a doctor that shares their ethnicity and cultural backgrounds impacting on their level of patient satisfaction (CIPD, 2011).

Similarly, ageing workforce pause a challenge to recruitment in health care.  Health industry is faced with this challenge especially, when a health provider attains retirement age and can no longer continue offering services (Lindelow, 2008). Finding a replacement may turn out to be a challenge, especially if the person was a specialty in a given field.

Location of the health facility is also a challenge when recruiting in this industry (Johansson, 2017). Most of the medical practitioners will have a preference to work in urban areas compared to rural areas. Therefore, recruiting health practitioners to work in rural areas may be costly as they would require enticement and motivation in terms of huge wages.

Recruitment strategies such as employer branding and types of advertising

Recruitment strategies in healthcare present a challenge to the industry. Like other industry where, recruitment might take few days, in health industry, this is the most daunting challenge as the length of recruitment cycle is extended (Armstrong, 2008). Recruiting in the industry can go as from six months to a year before a position is filled. This puts the image and the reputation of the facility at risk because, during this period, customers may not be able to receive quality services because of the overstretch and overworking. However, with   technology, the World Wide Web is widely used to recruit. Internal and external sourcing are mechanism employed and may take sometime before a candidate is appointed.  The length can however be managed, by adapting different strategies such as streamlining screening process, and investing in employer branding efforts (Johansson, 2017). It is also possible through finding/ identifying the right talent pool to source labor from and improving marketing and advertisement efforts (McPake et al., 2013).  Advertisement of service in the healthcare sector would entail use of campaign, promotions, running media advertisement, public relations, and engaging is other initiatives that would enable the clients to gain a sense of satisfactory and belonging to the organization.

Building a good employer brand is a challenge to many and this has contributed to challenges in recruiting (Armstrong, 2006).  Employer brand would set the standards higher and every person with the right qualifications will be interesting in the organization. This therefore, makes it easier fro an organization to attract candidates of their desire.


Shortage of talent /trained medical practitioners remains a challenge that requires proactive approaches to address. There, is an appeal to increase medical students to bring the talent into the market. Parents and society should as well encourage their children who have interest in the field to go ahead and study to fill the gap.

Standards of medical training should be uplifted to ensure that trainees are trusted and dependent people. Lengthy interviews and research into every candidate will be important to ensure that only those that meet the threshold are recruited to preserve the image of the entity through provision of high and professional services.

The industry must put in place appropriate measures that would ensure that their is continued training of the new health providers so that, there is no gap when the elderly retire or are incapacitated

Diversity is also critical in the provision of health care and it is important that recruitment planners seek to recruit from different backgrounds.

There is need for players in the industry to be creative and innovative by employing other appropriate mechanism such as use of internet to recruit. Accessibility to labour pool will require high level of understanding the attitudes and motivation and the sources of labor to take advantage of.

Employee branding is critical in helping organizations to set standards that will attract every applicant to their organization.


Many organizations in health industry are faced with a myriad of challenges that sometimes affect their service delivery. The key recruitment challenges ranges from issues of demand and supply, demographical related challenges, organization image and poor recruitment strategies employed. The industry therefore, has to invest more on their employee branding to achieve a competitive edge when it comes to recruitment. A well established organization image becomes easy selling targets as every person in the market would aspire to be part of the vision.








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