Culture Fit Is A Top Factor in Healthcare Candidates’ Job Decisions, According to Study

February 4, 2020

As healthcare talent shortages loom more and more heavily over the healthcare industry and, as a result, hiring needs within your own organization become more urgent, it makes sense to give more thought about what really matters to the job seekers you’re trying to attract.  And more specifically, why do some job seekers choose one company over another?

Of course, candidates care about basics such as pay level and benefits, work schedule and location – these are things we like to call “the hard basics”. But a brand new study we recently conducted specifically on healthcare talent has shown that the most effective ways for healthcare recruiting leaders to attract talent is by focusing on company culture.

What healthcare candidates think about company culture

kununu’s recent Healthcare Job Seeker Behavior Report, which is based on a survey of 2,000 healthcare employees, is filled with tons of valuable information about what healthcare job candidates really think about different aspects of their job search. In it we discovered that company culture is important to healthcare candidates throughout the entire recruitment process. Not only is it something that drives them to even start looking for new opportunities in the first place, but company culture even impacts the final decision of whether to accept or reject an offer if one is presented to them. To get a more concrete sense of how healthcare candidates think about company culture in their job search journey, here are some key findings from the report:

  • Nearly half (47%) of healthcare job seekers said company culture is a main motivating factor to start looking for a new job
  • 26% of candidates indicated that a lack of learning and career growth was a major reason to look elsewhere.
  • When asked to rank the three most important things to them when searching for a new job opportunity, work environment and company culture is the most important factor to healthcare talent in their job search journey, immediately following the “hard basics” of the role (pay, schedule and location)
  • By the time candidates have been made an offer and are about to make a decision, 22% of them said work culture and team environment is a critical driver for whether they decide to accept or reject a job offer.
  • What’s more, of workers who wound up rejecting a job offer, 64% said that their rejection was due to the lack of company culture fit.

What companies can take away from this is two things. First, healthcare candidates don’t just care about how much money they’d be making and a convenient schedule and commute – they also really care about the working environment they’d be stepping into. And second, if the culture in your healthcare organization doesn’t foster many career growth opportunities for employees, whether from a skills-building perspective or a role promotion perspective, great talent will look elsewhere for a better working environment.

Ways your organization can leverage company culture to attract candidates

Your organization may already have an outstanding company culture that lives and breathes inside of your organization, but if job seekers don’t know about it while they’re looking for new opportunities, they might write you off. To avoid this from happening, take some steps to make your company culture more visible to candidates from the outside:

Showcase your company culture in key places online

Candidates are constantly searching for information during a job search, right from when they start scouting out new job roles, to when they’re actively interviewing at different companies and even up until they’re deciding whether to accept or reject a job offer. Here are some specific places to get your company culture story out there and visible to candidates when it matters (along with some additional information about why and / or  how you might do that):

  • 51% of healthcare candidates do job research directly on company websites so make sure that when candidates come to your website, whatever they find will do justice to your internal company culture. Adding a nice team overview and company description in your “About Us” page is a great place to start, but also think about how you’re conveying your culture in your blog posts, images and video, and mission and values statement.
  • Look beyond your organization too. The vast majority (85%) of healthcare candidates use review sites while doing their job search.  This means you should pay close attention to what is being said about you on these review sites to make sure you are being represented accurately (or that you are represented at all!). Companies who have the best success with recruiting healthcare talent actively manage their company’s presence on all major company review sites.
  • 48% of healthcare job seekers rely on personal networking and word of mouth when they’re doing initial research on companies. Keep that in mind as you go about your day-to-day business and cultivate a company culture worth talking about. To maximize your company’s word of mouth for the sake of recruiting, make sure that you make inroads with alumni organizations and make it easy for your happy employees to become employee advocates.

Gather real feedback about your company culture from employees and candidates

The steps you take for showcasing your company culture helps people on the outside learn about who you are, but what if you’re not 100% proud of your current company culture? That’s when you should seek to gather as much honest feedback from your candidates and (current and former) employees as possible. Here are some easy ways to do that:

  • Create a lightweight survey to send your current employees (via email, company newsletter, or intranet) about how they feel about your company culture and what suggestions they have to improve it. Free survey platforms like SurveyMonkey and TypeForm make it really easy to build and send out your own custom survey.
  • Have your employees use kununu’s Culture Compass tool, a fun, free-to-use and readymade online assessment form that measures your company’s culture which by the way is rooted in scientific theory on organizational culture. Anyone (even you!) can anonymously assess their company’s culture with the Culture Compass and can see aggregated results in realtime.
  • When workers leave, conduct exit interviews to learn more about their experience of corporate culture and what you might do to make improvements.

It’s clear that the healthcare talent you’re looking to recruit will have some expectations about company culture. It’s up to you to make sure you’re presenting as clear and compelling a story about your company culture as possible, so that when they weigh their options about whether to work with you or some other team

Key Takeaways:

  • The ongoing shortage of healthcare workers makes it difficult for HR professionals to bring onboard the level of talent they need.
  • Ask employees what their experience is regarding the company’s culture to gain insight into what changes might need to be made to make your organization more appealing to candidates.
  • Make sure that your website reflects the corporate culture, since job seekers will be looking at your site early in the recruitment process.
  • Pay attention to company review sites so that you are presented fairly and so that you can engage with employees and applicants


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Linda Le Phan
Senior Content Marketing Manager at kununu.

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