The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for health services management professionals will grow 28% by 2031.
So, if you're looking to hire a healthcare executive, now's the time.
Of course, there's a lot at stake when recruiting executive leaders: These individuals will make critical business decisions that can significantly impact your healthcare organization's future.
Below we'll provide nine actionable best practices to implement in your recruiting process and explore what to look for in a healthcare executive.
1. Define Your Needs and Requirements
Begin by determining your organization's specific needs and requirements, which will help set a framework for the type of work your executive will carry out.
Sit down with a group of leaders and other team members so that they can be involved in the search process. Human resources professionals, CEOs, COOs, and CFOs should all be a part of this search committee and should be the ones deciding on the key requirements for a healthcare executive role.
Once your committee has agreed upon the skills, experience, and other requirements for the position, it's time to write a job description.
This description should include the job title, the purpose of the role, the duties/responsibilities, and required qualifications. You can also share additional qualifications and working conditions in a job description to provide potential candidates with key information about the scope of the position.
2. Modernize Your Work Environment
Healthcare is on the cutting edge of modern technological advancements, and many candidates in the field are seeking workplace environments that reflect this.
If your facilities had outdated tech and inefficient manual systems, it will be harder to attract modern, forward-thinking candidates.
Evaluate your environment and modernize where you can, such as automating tedious manual processes (like appointment reminders) or upgrading equipment and software.
3. Partner With an Executive Recruiting Firm
Hiring a healthcare executive comes with many inherent nuances and challenges, so many healthcare organizations are now turning to executive recruiting firms to help fill these open roles.
An executive recruiting firm can leverage experienced talent acquisition specialists, referral networks, and other resources to find the right talent for an executive position quickly and efficiently.
Benefits of Working With an Executive Search Firm
- Frees up time that your internal team would otherwise spend searching, screening, and interviewing potential candidates.
- Helps save money by helping you find the right candidate for the role faster and more efficiently.
- Provides a better candidate experience with reliable communication, flexible interview scheduling, and a faster overall process.
- Goes above and beyond the resources of a traditional human resource team and draws upon talent acquisition specialists to find the right C-suite professional for the job.
- Sources active job seekers from the firm's large pool of qualified candidates.
- Reaches passive talent through comprehensive search practices that organizations often don’t have access to, but need regardless to reach the next level.
- Comes equipped with industry expertise and deep market insights that help identify bullseye candidates and develop comprehensive compensation packages.
4. Dive Deep into Candidates' Interpersonal Skills
The healthcare industry works intimately with people and their unique, individual, personal health matters. Healthcare needs people-first executives who can build rapport with patients and families and advocate for what’s best for patients — and for what the patient wants.
However, these don’t always coincide, so it’s critical to have impeccable interpersonal skills to deftly navigate tough conversations with grace and respect.
Speak with the candidates’ references and ask detailed questions about their bedside manner, how they work within a team, flexibility, and dependability.
You can also gauge much about a person’s interpersonal skills through an interview: facial expressions, body language, and active listening.
5. Build Relationships With Healthcare Organizations
Another effective way to recruit healthcare executives is to build relationships with other healthcare organizations. Attending industry events, getting involved in professional organizations, and connecting with other healthcare leaders are all starting points that could lead to much bigger things.
Building these relationships lets you learn about potential candidates and get your organization in front of qualified individuals.
Plus, you can tap into these relationships and ask other healthcare leaders what they’re doing to find the perfect hire, specific challenges they’re facing, and unique ways to resolve these issues.
6. Leverage Professional Networks and Attend Healthcare Industry Events
Recruiting for executive-level positions is very much about who you know, so leveraging your existing professional network is key. While you may have a hard time reaching candidates with job postings alone, you may be able to reach qualified candidates more directly through a network referral.
With this in mind, don't hesitate to share your job postings with other healthcare executives and leaders; even if they don't know somebody who is actively looking for a job, they may be able to share your posting with their own network and help you find leads.
Likewise, be sure to attend industry events during the recruitment process to maximize your exposure to potential candidates while growing your professional network. Every event has potential, whether it's a large healthcare conference or a small networking workshop.
7. Offer Competitive Compensation and Benefits
The competition for healthcare executives is fierce, and you might lose out on your best candidate if you can't offer a competitive salary and benefits. Nationwide, the average base salary for a Healthcare Executive is just over $98,000 per year.
Of course, this can vary greatly based on experience, location, and other factors. Take the time to research salary and benefits packages from other healthcare organizations and make sure that what you're offering can compare.
8. Use Social Media Platforms and Online Job Boards
Social media platforms (such as LinkedIn) and online job boards can be great sources of potential candidates for a healthcare executive position. The beauty of social media is that it makes sharing information (such as job openings and job postings) quick and easy, which means you can get the word out about your openings more efficiently.
Some popular healthcare professional job board sites include HospitalCareers, Nurse.com, Health eCareers, and CareerVitals. Posting your job opening across multiple channels is a great way to expand your prospects and streamline your recruitment process.
9. Provide Clear Communication and Act Quickly
When recruiting for a healthcare executive role, timely, clear, and transparent communication is a must. There's a good chance the candidates you're interviewing for your healthcare executive position are already interviewing elsewhere — and their overall experience with your process can influence their decision to accept or decline a job offer.
One of the best ways to improve your candidate experience is to be clear about your process up-front and act promptly. Don't wait weeks to make a job offer after an interview, as there's a good chance your candidate may have already accepted another offer by then.
What Are the Most Important Skills for Healthcare Executives To Have?
Healthcare executives and other healthcare leaders play a vital role in the success of any health system. These hard-working professionals make key decisions that affect not just physicians, nurses, and other practitioners but also patients. Here are just a few of the key skills to look for in a top healthcare executive candidate.
Empathy, Sensitivity, and Relationship Development
Healthcare executives serve as the face of your healthcare facility.
This makes the ability to empathize and build relationships with others extremely important. Ultimately, these professionals must be able to see things from alternative points of view (including staff and patient POV) to make decisions that serve everybody's best interests.
Qualified candidates will be able to demonstrate their empathy and relationship-development skills by being aware of delicate situations and listening carefully to what’s said and isn’t said. A great healthcare executive will not only lead with empathy, but demonstrate the utmost empathy toward patients, which results in better health outcomes (like medication adherence, decreased malpractice cases, fewer mistakes, and increased patient satisfaction).
Invincible Communication Skills
Both verbal and written communication skills are necessary for any C-level healthcare position, as this type of work involves daily interactions with many different people, handling information of utmost sensitivity, responsibility, and care.
From healthcare practitioners and patients to Chief Executive Officers, Chief Financial Officers, and other executives — healthcare professionals must be able to adapt their communication style to suit their audience and the information they are entrusted with.
In their line of work, healthcare executives and practitioners often have to deliver bad or frustrating news. But no matter what type of information they’re handling, their communication must be ironclad. There's very little room for miscommunication; patient results and liability are at stake, so any mishandling of information can have serious consequences.
Adaptive and Strategic Decision-Making
Hospital systems and other facilities rely heavily on their healthcare executives to make important organizational decisions. Because of this, the best talent for this type of role will have plenty of experience with adaptive and strategic decision-making and the ability to think quickly on their feet.
Each day, healthcare executives make decisions that directly impact physicians, nurses, and patients alike — so proven experience in leadership, critical thinking, and risk management is a must.
Healthcare executives must also be able to adapt in today’s rapidly evolving environment. As healthcare catches up and becomes increasingly tech-driven, the field needs leaders who can champion change and be a positive force for evolution to better serve patients and staff.
Technical Knowledge and Management
The most successful healthcare executives tend to be those who have worked in the healthcare field as nurses, doctors, and other direct care providers. This background provides the technical framework and knowledge needed to make confident decisions in today's dynamic healthcare field.
Ideally, candidates will also have years of experience in a healthcare leadership position or supervisory role. All of this, in addition to a Master's in Healthcare Management (MBA) or Master's in Public Health (MPH), are qualifications to look for in top talent.
Team Up With Hunt Club For Your Healthcare Executive Search
With so much on the line in your leadership search, your organization can't afford to make the wrong hire. Healthcare executive search firms like Hunt Club provide the experience, industry knowledge, and network reach needed to find the right executive for your healthcare company.
From non-profit healthcare organizations to pharmaceuticals and everything in between, our executive recruiters have what it takes to streamline your hiring process.