Inclusive, Local Hiring Programmatic


Healthcare employers strive to have a workforce that reflects the communities they serve. Anchor institutions and urban hospitals, in particular, intentionally focus their recruitment where their patients live. This improves community health and provides economic opportunity for underserved communities. Not only that, an inclusive, culturally competent workforce positively impacts patient experience and health outcomes. Having a talent acquisition strategy that intentionally targets underserved communities will help build a broader pipeline for frontline positions.


 As a best practice, more healthcare organizations are building community recruitment efforts into their hiring strategy. Being explicit about prioritizing local recruitment guarantees sufficient resources are allocated to the initiative. These strategies should be regularly evaluated to determine whether they are successfully meeting expectations. Here are some key steps to developing successful local hiring strategies:

  • Research the local landscape of potential workers in your community. When unemployment is low, it’s important to know which residents in the target area are available to work. Identify and understand their potential barriers to employment and use that to inform a recruitment strategy. Don’t forget to tap into your current staff who are from your community to learn why they came to work at your organization, what motivates them, and how they were recruited.
  • Engage partner organizations to help find specific workers.
    • Community-based organizations can help employers target underserved and underrepresented communities and provide job readiness assessments and training. In addition, they often offer wrap-around services to help candidates succeed in the pre-employment process and stay on the job once hired.
    • Work with local educational partners to develop the appropriate training curriculum and skill development programs to fill needed positions.
  • Engage recruiters and hiring managers to reduce implicit bias. Recruiters and hiring managers are the gatekeepers to employment and having their support is critical to the success of any local hire strategy. Implement an evidence-based selection process that uses data to inform hiring decisions and reduce implicit bias. Establish collaboration between talent acquisition teams and hiring managers to address potential silos.
  • Plan and implement a recruitment strategy. Think of potential employees as customers. What can your organization offer to motivate them to come work for you? What type of training or support services can you provide job seekers? Develop a recruitment strategy that outlines workforce needs, establishes outreach and hiring goals, and identifies possible partners. Consider who you want to reach and how best to engage them. Implement and evaluate your strategy.


Inclusive, Local Hiring: Building the Pipeline to a Healthy Community, David Zuckerman and Katie Parker, The Democracy Collaborative Fall 2016.

A guide to leverage hiring practices to advance inclusive, local job creation and career development for communities experiencing the greatest health and wealth disparities.

Keeping the American Dream Alive: Expanding Economic Mobility and Opportunity in America’s Cities, National League of Cities, 2017.

This report summarizes the major recommendations from a task force 22 local elected leaders and offers examples that illustrate how municipal leaders can take action to increase economic mobility and opportunity.

Health Care and the Competitive Advantage of Racial Equity, PolicyLink, 2019.

A report on how companies in the healthcare sector are creating business value by addressing the unique challenges faced by communities of color.

Guidebook: Evidence-Based Selection, Welch, Shana; Karel, Tom; Guest, Bill, 2015.

A guidebook on using data to make better hiring decisions informed by Trinity Health’s hiring redesign experience.

Race-Explicit Strategies for Workforce Equity in Healthcare and IT, Race Forward, 2017.

This report identifies barriers to achieving equitable employment outcomes for workers of color in the workforce development field, and outlines solutions to increase racial equity through a systemic, race-explicit, and outcome-oriented approach.

See More