Interview with Prof. Konrad Obermann, Center for Preventive Medicine and Digital Health Baden-Württemberg (CPD-BW), University Faculty of Medicine in Mannheim
Overworked, underpaid and – from the onset of the coronavirus pandemic – underappreciated. It is no wonder nobody wants to work in hospitals anymore. Today’s hospitals must get creative to attract skilled healthcare professionals. Facilities can use digital technologies to appeal to and hire future talent. Unfortunately, many human resources departments have not yet embraced this approach.
Prof. Konrad Obermann
In this MEDICA-tradefair.com interview, Prof. Konrad Obermann explains how hospitals can build a successful digital recruitment strategy.
Prof. Obermann, you conducted a study on digital recruiting in clinical facilities. What are the core findings of your research?
Prof. Konrad Obermann: Ultimately, I believe the problem is that 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.
Why is that?
Obermann: I think it is primarily a generational issue. Young physicians, young professionals or young people who are interested in a specific career are fundamentally different in the way they perceive, interact, and search for something compared to current decision makers. They no longer send e-mails and use social media entirely differently.
That is why hospitals must use digital channels to attract qualified applicants. The traditional job advertising model must only make up a small percentage of this process. Hospital directors and HR managers rarely understand what makes young people tick and why they choose a certain job and career.
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Employer branding: If a company consistently presents its mission statements and thus becomes attractive to applicants, new staff members can be won - provided that digital marketing and digital recruiting work hand in hand.
In which areas are hospitals facing a critical shortage of skilled workers at the moment?
Obermann: There are shortages in all areas. The current debate over COVID-19 vaccine mandates does not make this issue any easier in some countries. Apart from that, there is the general issue that the respective salaries are not commensurate with the qualifications, workload, and job duties - especially in critical care settings.
During their medical education, young physicians confessed to me they no longer want this career. Although their salary as a physician is acceptable, the career and financial prospects are limited – both in hospitals and private medical practices. Especially in a senior management position, at the chief physician level, doctors have direct responsibility over medical staff, resulting in long work hours, which many no longer find attractive relative to their income.
How can hospitals build a successful digital recruitment strategy?
Obermann: There is no point in simply creating a department for digital recruiting. Digital recruiting requires a fundamental reorganization and rethinking of the organization and all its processes. While hospitals can certainly engage in a few analog practices, they must embrace and transition to digitized technologies to succeed. 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. However, this requires people at the top level to understand and embrace this new concept.
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