The Department of Veteran Affairs labor shortages

November 10th, 2022
HireVue Team

More than 300,000 dedicated staff members at the US Department of Veterans Affairs, including more than 260,000 healthcare workers, provide care to the more than 9 million Veterans who have borne the sacrifice of defending our nation.  However, the care those Veterans need and have earned has been placed at risk by the VA’s inability to attract and hire the people they need in the current environment.  Antiquated HR processes and technology, coupled with a global shortage of healthcare providers, have resulted in tens of thousands of unfilled positions and a hiring process that takes too long to be competitive with private employers clamoring for the same talent.

According to Federal News Network, the VA currently averages about 95 days to fill a role, and when hiring 59,000 people in a fiscal year, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with demand. A recent VA Office of Inspector General (VA OIG) report identified 2,622 roles with ‘severe occupational shortages’ across the department, a 22% jump from fiscal 2021.” In addition, 62% of facilities reported that the role of “practical nurse” has seen the most significant shortages among clinical positions, while custodial services filled the non-clinical top spot with 69%.

A manual hiring process prevents recruiters from filling roles quickly with qualified talent. In a landscape with few applicants, the VA cannot afford to miss out on qualified candidates because hiring takes too long or teams screen out qualified candidates with both non-predictive resume reviews and phone screens. 

HireVue is FedRAMP certified, integrates with USA Staffing, and is used by 8 of the largest 10 federal departments. By automating more of the hiring process, VA recruiter teams can start filling positions quickly, ensure patients are receiving quality care and services, and hire at the speed of industry.

Create a candidate experience worth boasting about Federal hiring teams face protocols that the private sector doesn’t have—which can make it hard to compete with the private sector for talent. In addition, the healthcare industry is facing unprecedented shortages. Creating a positive candidate experience is one way to start creating positive employee relationships from the very start. 

Beacon Healthcare System was looking to do just that. By adopting HireVue’s conversational AI, they were able to create a more meaningful experience that better reflected their employer brand and allowed recruiters to connect with candidates from the beginning. Candidates can pre-screen for a role, self-schedule, interview, and receive automatic updates on their own time—immediately shifting that responsibility from the desk of recruiters. By empowering candidates, hiring teams are freed from unnecessary manual efforts in the process. “We see our candidates as customers, and we want to serve them in the best way possible.”

Alexa Tupper, Digital Recruitment Marketing Specialist

Opt for an on-demand interview instead of a phone screen With a 95-day hiring time, the race for quicker solutions is a necessity. Invite applicants to complete a structured on-demand interview—instead of a phone screen. Structure your on-demand interview so all candidates are evaluated equally. Gain insight into your candidates with interview or game-based assessments and choose your top applicants from a stack-ranked selection. 

Phone screens waste valuable time. By the time you schedule and complete the phone screen, you could already have a list of top candidates to advance to the next round. Lean into technology to not only make your hiring faster but ensure you’re hiring the best talent with valuable insight into your candidates—all backed by science-driven data.

Automate your engagement. With a longer time-to-hire can come communication gaps. Beacon found that direct messaging their passive and active candidates was a critical step to creating healthier relationships between employees and employers. The healthcare system recently launched a text campaign to promote a nursing network event. Of the 660 recipients, 90% of the texts were delivered. Beacon has also direct messaged candidates at their 30/60/90-day marks helping cultivate positive rapport between candidates and recruiters. 

Keep your candidates engaged by direct messaging them status updates, reminders to interview, and even helpful information before their start dates. The healthcare industry has faced intense burnout in the wake of the pandemic. Using technology to foster healthy communication is a simple way to support employees and staff. 

Learn more about how HireVue can combat labor shortages and shorten your time-to-hire, so you can federally hire at the speed of industry. Request a demo.