Healthcare Background Checks and Hiring: Best Practices

Tammy Cohen, PHR, SHRM-CP

February 13 2019

For the first time in human history, the number of people over 65 will outnumber children under the age of 5. This is due to a more robust understanding of geriatric conditions and an increased life expectancy. As a result, employment in the healthcare field is projected to grow 18% before 2026, creating around 2.4 million new jobs. This massive demand is already creating talent shortages and is expected to worsen.

To fill this gap, healthcare facilities need to implement a solid recruitment and hiring strategy. In order to secure the best talent with the experience and skills your workplace needs, consider some of the following.

Court Your Candidates with
Company Culture

While low unemployment is affecting every industry, careers that require higher education and specialized skills are being hit harder than most. Healthcare facilities are especially feeling the pressure due to an aging population, increased access to healthcare, and fast-paced technological advancement.

In order to draw in candidates and retain workers, build a positive workplace environment. Today’s workforce values engagement, cooperation, and active listening. They’re also more likely to switch jobs – or even careers – than previous generations. This is something the healthcare industry simply cannot afford. Engage them with employee events, or provide them with recognition and rewards when they do a job well. Foster a culture that appreciates honesty, community, and dedication. It also helps to improve your benefits; good compensation, benefits, and flexible work environments are, as always, highly prized by the workforce.

Save Money with Pre-Employment Background Checks

Healthcare background checks are essential when hiring your institution’s personnel. These tools ensure that your employees, property, and patients are in good hands. A criminal background check can reveal criminal convictions, certain driving records, and sex offender data. The last one is especially important; healthcare is a high-risk industry for sexual abuse. In 2008, over 1% of candidates had a sexual criminal offense. Over the past decade that has lowered to under 1%. This could be due to more awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace, and as a result, pre-employment screening searches for sexual offenses has increased. Compared to other industries, healthcare has a low rate of sex offenses. It’s hit rate peaks at 1%, while the insurance industry’s tops out at 4%. While it is legal in 38 states for sex offenders to be medical practitioners, employers will want to evaluate whether or not their status is a risk to any vulnerable populations in their charge. 

In addition to the risk mitigation benefits, pre-employment healthcare background checks and regular post-hire screening are beneficial to your bottom line. Vetting your talent for quality pre-hire lessens the heavy cost of attrition and onboarding.

Regular drug testing is also particularly vital for people in the healthcare industry. Personnel have access to a wide variety of drugs, and misuse and addiction can happen to anyone. Continuous background screening is becoming more common in other industries, and while it is already standard in the healthcare industry to regularly vet employees’ professional license data, recurring criminal searches and random drug testing should also be included in your annual re-screens.

An accredited, experienced background screening provider will take a consultative approach to your background check program, guiding you through choosing the right services to keep your organization and your community safe.

Improve Your Interviews

Interviews are often the crux of several business decisions, but employers sometimes make mistakes when interviewing healthcare candidates. To improve your process, sit down and discuss it with current employees. What did they think of their interview? What questions were helpful, which weren’t? What would have improved the process for them? Take this feedback and use it to create a new series of questions to evaluate candidates with.

To continue to foster a positive culture, allow their potential coworkers the opportunity to sit down and ask a few questions. They’ll likely be working closely together if the candidate is hired, and their new team deserves some say. Above all, be consistent, as this can help weed out candidates who interview well but may not be the best fit for your organization.

Now, Go Secure that Top Healthcare Talent

The upcoming skills gap will be a tough obstacle for the healthcare industry to circumvent. In order to attract and hire the best talent, organizations need to focus on creating a workplace culture that emphasizes cooperation, safety, and engagement. This will help your facility attract and hire talent – so a solid recruitment strategy is key.

Do you know the statistics behind crime in the healthcare industry? We’ve pulled from our internal data to help you Get the Whole Story on your industry.  Download our whitepaper here.

Or learn about our audit program where we analyze your current screening program.

Get the Whole Story with InfoMart’s Healthcare Industry Trends Report

Do you know:

  • Healthcare has one of the highest rates of fraud?
  • What percent of applicants have a criminal history?
  • How hit rates have changed over the past ten years?

About Tammy Cohen

Tammy Cohen, an industry pioneer and expert in identity and employment screening, founded InfoMart 30 years ago. Deemed the “Queen of Screen,” she’s been a force behind industry-leading innovations. She was most recently the first-to-market with a fully compliant sanctions search, as well as a suite of identity services that modernizes talent onboarding. Tammy revolutionized the screening industry when she stepped into the field, developing the first client-facing application and a due diligence criminal search that has since become standard for all background screening companies. Cohen has received national awards and honors for her business and civic involvement, including Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Top 25 Women-Owned Firms in Atlanta, Enterprising Women Magazine’s Enterprising Women of the Year award, the YWCA of Northwest Georgia’s Kathryn Woods Racial Justice Award, and a commendation in the 152nd Congressional Record.

About InfoMart

InfoMart has been revolutionizing the global background and identity screening industry for 30 years, providing businesses the information they need to make informed hiring decisions. They develop innovative technology that modernizes talent onboarding, including a first-to-market biometric identity authentication application and a verified sanctions search. The WBENC-certified company is a founding member of the Professional Background Screening Association, and they have achieved PBSA accreditation in recognition of their consistent business practices and commitment to compliance with the FCRA. The company is dedicated to customer service, speed, and accuracy, and it has been recognized for its success, workplace culture, and corporate citizenship with over 45 industry awards. To Get the Whole Story on InfoMart, please visit, follow @InfoMartUSA, or call (770) 984-2727.

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