To mitigate staffing shortages in the future, hospitals must become more attractive employers. The process starts in the analog world. As in many other industry sectors, the workforce of the future is no longer just focused on the compensation. Employees also want their work to be rewarding and purposeful. Today, workers seek employment that supports a better work-life balance, allowing time for family and leisure. Concerns about climate change also increase expectations of employers to foster sustainable business practices.
If these actions create an attractive employer brand, effective marketing can then showcase the business for the digital space. However, hospitals that are still driven by mostly analog processes must first restructure and embrace digital transformation. "This includes consistency in digital marketing, which goes hand in hand with digital employee recruitment. It also fosters a perception of authenticity in terms of the mission statement," says Prof. Konrad Obermann from the University Faculty of Medicine in Mannheim in a MEDICA-tradefair.com interview.
However, "many healthcare facilities are not yet ready for digital recruiting. Human resources managers and upper management know they should use digital channels – but they struggle with consistent implementation," Obermann sums up one of the biggest issues. This is partly owing to differences in age and mindset between those in leadership positions and young professionals. Only when these obstacles have been overcome can the core values of a hospital reach potential job candidates on the channels they use. The latter are primarily social networking sites and no longer the traditional job advertising models. That being said, the possibilities to digitize the recruitment process do not just end with the job application process.
Hospital workforce planning also directly affects the quality of patient care: If you have enough staff in wards, it is less likely that the welfare of patients is compromised. The "KI-PEPS" project was completed in December 2021 and has researched the issue: It studies how artificial intelligence can support healthcare workforce planning. This strategy can help ease the burden on staff and promote more effective deployment, but it also implies a hospital continues its digitization efforts and moves toward becoming a smart hospital.