Three reasons you can’t fill that job

By Juleen Perry| Published 15 November 2019

There is nothing more stressful than a position you can’t seem to fill. Sometimes making a few changes can dramatically increase the pool of applicants.

1. It’s the wrong package

Sometimes you need to get creative with the overall package

One of the most common reasons vacancies remain is because the package doesn’t match the job.

Many health professionals are looking for work life balance, which may include: flexible work arrangements; part time work; the ability to purchase extra annual leave or take unpaid leave; and compensation for overtime.

If you can’t offer that flexibility, there are lots of other ways to make the package more attractive:

  • Initial accommodation
  • Long term / subsidised accommodation
  • Relocation allowance
  • Rental car
  • Study leave
  • Professional Development allowance
  • Bonus or incentive schemes
  • A day off on your birthday
Work life balance is important for most medical professionals

2. Selection criteria is too limiting

In some markets, the ideal candidate just simply isn’t available. But this doesn’t mean that the perfect applicant isn’t out there, they just might not be what you were originally looking for. While criteria are important, sometimes being too specific can limit your applicant pool and you may be scaring off great candidates.

  • Could you be more flexible with your selection criteria
  • Do they really need that much previous experience
  • Do you have the resources to support a less experienced applicant or even a graduate
  • Could you change any part of the job description
  • Could you up skill an existing staff member and recruit a more junior applicant

3. Recruitment process is too slow

Great candidates are snapped up quickly and they often have multiple opportunities to consider. If your recruitment process is time consuming and sluggish, you will lose applicants.

  • It is crucial that you build momentum and enthusiasm with new applicants as soon as they apply.
  • Phone them and thank them for their application. Inform them of your recruitment process and the relevant time frames (then be sure to stick to those time frames).
  • Many candidates see a clunky, time consuming recruitment process as a sign of sluggish internal processes.

If a vacant position is starting to negatively impact you, your team or your community, it might be time to consider where you can make a few changes. Otherwise you might find you are spending more time dusting the empty chairs around you, than watching your team grow.

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