Improving Healthcare Recruiting

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3 ways hospitals need to change their recruitment process

By: Roy Munk, President and Founder, GHS Recruiting

Healthcare recruiting needs to change with advancements in technologyHow has the healthcare industry changed over the past 10 years? Immensely, for sure. Between regulatory changes such as the Affordable Care Act, shifting social movements, new technologies such as EHR’s and telemedicine, and the ever-increasing shortage of nurses and other healthcare professionals, the hospital landscape is in a constant state of flux.

So, how has your healthcare recruiting process changed over the past 10 years? Uh oh. Not much, huh? That can be a problem in an increasingly competitive industry.

Hospitals that want to separate themselves from the competition need to change the way they look at recruitment, talent acquisition, and employee retention. Every day is a fight to locate, hire and retain the best employees available. There simply are not enough nurses, techs, and doctors available, especially if you want to only hire the cream of the crop. I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know.

So, what’s the secret to a high quality, stable workforce? Based on my 20 years experience specializing in healthcare recruiting, here you are 3 steps to get you started.


Yup, that means everyone! Human Resources, the CEO, nurses, housekeeping, reception, parking attendants, etc, etc, etc. EVERYONE!  When a prospective employee enters your campus, she is deciding if she wants to work there compared to a variety of other employment options. She needs to feel welcome, she needs to see happy employees. There needs to be a positive culture that is tangible and real. This starts at the top and works its way down through the organization. This takes real thought on how you want your hospital to be viewed and thought of from the inside out.

Here are a few reasons candidates have told me that they have turned down particular job opportunities:

“I sat in reception for 30 minutes and no one checked on me or even offered me a cup of water.”

“In the peer interview a few of the techs complained about management.”

“The human resources professional told me I couldn’t know about benefits until an offer was made.”

“It was really dark and people just didn’t seem happy.”

Notice, often it is not about the salary, benefits, or shift times. It’s about a feel – how they were treated, if they felt valued and wanted. It’s about SELLING the candidate on your organization, culture, and opportunity!

We need to change the mindset and realize the interview process is a two-way street. The candidate has to be sold on the organization and opportunity just as much as you need to be sold on the candidate. Simple changes make a huge difference:

  • Look at your website and make sure it is user friendly and engaging
  • Train reception how to make a good first impression (walk them to Human Resources, offer some coffee)
  • Take candidates to lunch
  • Have an interview itinerary prepared for them beforehand
  • Spring for a hotel room for candidates that are driving in
  • Have benefits and other informational paperwork ready
  • And most importantly, thank them for their time!


What we have found over our 20 years of healthcare recruiting at GHS is that people are generally hired based on their credentials, what they have done in the past, their experience, market knowledge, who they have worked for, what it says on their resume, and certain skills and insights. Then, the decision-makers judge the candidates on how well they present themselves in the interview, how they interact with potential managers and peers, and how well they communicate their experience and knowledge.

The more difficult aspects to measure are how candidate’s behaviors and character traits will fit with your organization’s values and ethics. For instance:

  • How well will this person enjoy the culture that has been created?
  • Will the candidate’s behavioral profile fit with the actual job requirements?
  • Will they enjoy the position and challenges that it entails long-term?
  • Will they be happy working at your hospital?

These are inherently the reasons why people are fired or leave a position. It is usually a cultural mismatch, a position that is misaligned to their personality, an attitude problem, or an inability to motivate themselves to get the job done. Basically, you have hired the right person on paper, but not the right person in person!

This makes it imperative that your organization clearly establishes your needs and wants for the positions you are looking to fill and that everyone from HR to department managers are on the same page, essentially creating a blueprint for success. Then, of course, you must assess the candidates according to this blueprint. Candidates screened in this manner will ultimately fit well with the hospital and more importantly be a good job fit and in turn stay in the role long term. Most hospitals hire on skills and fire on behavior. If this sounds like you, then your healthcare recuriting process needs to be revamped!


Improve healthcare recruiting by keeping employees happy.If you are doing steps one and two above correctly,  then this next step in improving your healthcare recruiting process becomes immensely easier. Once you have done the hard work of identifying, recruiting, and hiring the right people, now you need to keep them!

The foundation of a great workplace lies in a culture of trust, engagement, communication, and growth that unites management and the workforce in a common vision. As I touched on above, you need to decide on what type of organization you want to be. Engage employees in open forums on a regular basis both as a group and as individuals. Encourage workers to engage with human resources and the C-suite. If they avoid these two entities until there is a problem, usually it is too late to fix it.

Work hard to separate yourself from the competition (there is that word again). What makes your hospital a great place to work? It’s not an easy thing to achieve. Building and maintaining a positive culture requires leaders who are committed to the process and willing to devote the attention to an effort that never ends. It requires taking a long-term view that can conflict with short-term results and maintaining a style of communication that is frequent, authentic and deep. But, it will be worth it. Having a hospital that has quality employees who know they are valued will create low turnover and high retention. This culture will extend to every employee, patient, and throughout the community.


GHS Recruiting has just launched an innovative new candidate assessment process called IRIS (Intuitive Recruitment Information System) which will help streamline your healthcare recruiting processes, reduce costs, save you time and greatly improve new employee retention. It is an innovative platform which includes video introductions, initial video screening questions as well as behavioral-based assessments matched to job requirements, and much, much more, all in one place.

Best of all, tests have shown great results using the platform resulting in over a 90% retention rate after one year of employment, which allows GHS Recruiting to offer up to a ONE YEAR GUARANTEE on placements setup using IRIS!

If you are interested to find out more about how IRIS can help your recruiting process and improve employee retention, please check out our IRIS website here, or call us at (800) 808-7297 for a no cost, no obligation 15 minute demo of the IRIS platform.

About the Author: 

Roy Munk is President and Founder of GHS Recruiting, a nationally recognized retained and contingency search firm specializing in the recruiting and retention of healthcare professionals.

Roy has completed more than 375 search assignments since 1997 when he began his career in the healthcare recruiting industry. He has concentrated on growing GHS from a one person operation to a prominent firm with a team of highly-trained and experienced recruiters.