4 Unique Differences of Recruiting Talent in Healthcare vs. in Other Industries

August 27, 2019

When your company is in active hiring mode, whoever is leading your recruiting and talent acquisition efforts is probably doing whatever is possible to promote open jobs, extend your employer brand in the marketplace and, in the end, attract and recruit the best possible candidates. Making this same concerted effort for recruiting healthcare talent is slightly different as compared to other industries.

If recruiting – for healthcare talent or any other type of talent – is something you focus on, then you may or may not be surprised by what’s to follow, but these differences are always helpful to keep in mind to help you stay on top of your recruiting game. Here are 4 specific differences in recruiting talent in healthcare vs. in other industries:

1. Job Market and Job Demand

The job market definitely favors healthcare workers at the moment, and it’s going to continue to be that way as demand for workers will only increase: “Employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.4 million new jobs,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In fact, healthcare industry is projected to add more jobs than any other industry. This projected growth is mainly due to an aging population, leading to greater demand for healthcare services, and the fact that the most stressed healthcare employees – like nurses and physicians – have a very high turnover rate. As a result, more than in any other industry healthcare recruiters have to work extra hard to find talent and also have to compete against each other for them.

2. How Healthcare Workers Look for Jobs

Another difference to keep in mind is how healthcare workers look for jobs vs. those in other industries. Of course, job seekers will check online for ads and may submit their resumes to various services. But healthcare workers also will rely on their school program’s career services office, on their own personal networks and on headhunters when it’s hard to find a good position suitable for their talents.

A physician, for example, would likely remain in contact with various contingency recruiters to see what opportunities they may currently have, noted a report from PracticeLink. Healthcare workers need to find a home where they can hone their skills and practice on a population that could really benefit from their talents. So, a general practitioner will have more options than a specialist, but all healthcare professionals need to take into account local demographics to see if there is a patient population large enough to make sense for them to work there.

3. What Healthcare Workers Actually Care About

Healthcare talent have chosen their field for a reason, and it’s very often because they have a personal calling to make a real difference in people’s lives. They actually care about the patients in front of them and gain fulfillment when they can use their skills to their highest potential and have ownership over their work. But also, since they give so much of themselves to their work, it’s important that there’s some flexibility and balance in their work-life as well. And, even better if their work happens in an environment that has equipment that works and where things are neat, organized, and up to code so that there isn’t more stress in what is already a stressful industry of work.

Contrast this sentiment to employees at companies that may have no personal feelings about the goods or services they provide, who typically are not in people-facing roles, and who don’t have to think twice about regulations – let alone people’s lives! They might be able to find use for their talents in a range of businesses, while healthcare workers have a much narrower focus and distinct concerns that relate very closely to another human being’s…well, well-being. Healthcare workers will be advocates for their patients, as compared to workers in other industries where the customer engagement may not be so strong.

4. Application Process

In a hospital or other healthcare setting, candidates typically have to go through more hurdles than those in other industries when applying to healthcare roles. The safety and very lives of the patients are at stake, after all, which means that all medical credentials must be double-checked and verified. This can add to the time it takes to process potential recruits. Is this candidate currently board certified in his or her specialty? Where did this nurse receive their training, and how long has it been since any new training has been taken? Given that, overall, as many as 60% of job seekers abandon job applications when they’re too long, healthcare recruiters ought to keep that fact top of mind when thinking about your recruitment process. Strive to make the application process as smooth as possible for your job candidates, since the most skilled among them in the healthcare space will definitely have plenty of other options.


Understanding these key unique difference in recruiting talent in healthcare as compared to other industries will help you establish more precise goals when it comes time to bring new workers into your organization. Because one thing is for certain, using the same exact approach to recruit healthcare employees as you would when recruiting talent in any other industry isn’t going to cut it. Knowing what your desired audience – healthcare talent – has to deal with gets you one step closer to more successful healthcare recruiting outcomes.

Of course, you can always rely on outside experts to help you in your healthcare recruitment efforts, especially if you’re currently facing a talent crunch or need an employer brand upgrade. Nearly all job candidates, healthcare or otherwise, care about a company’s employer brand, so that’s an area you can definitely start with to attract more talent sooner than later.


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Linda Le Phan
Senior Content Marketing Manager at kununu.

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