5 Healthcare Recruiting Mistakes to Avoid

Written by: Alex Brown
Published on: Aug 30, 2021

Mistakes to avoid

Like many things in life, recruiting healthcare professionals can be a mix of science and art. Even if you are skilled at both disciplines, though, mistakes can derail the most successful recruiters. A bad hire can mean wasted money and hours spent onboarding and can lead to reduced morale among staff.

Here are five healthcare recruitment mistakes you need to avoid.

Forcing a Fit

Recruiters can fall into a trap trying to fill open positions. They may believe if a candidate has made it through to the interview stage, it’s best to quickly make the hire at all costs. But this approach is problematic – forcing a fit where there isn’t one. 

If you choose to overlook missing skills, ignore red flags, or discount a cultural fit in order to make a rapid hire, it can lead to costly results later. Don’t force a fit simply because of the time, money, and resources you have already invested in the process. Extending your search to find the right match should ultimately cost less and be more beneficial to the organization in the long run.

Overlooking Internal Candidates 

Job boards and social media sites such as LinkedIn make it easier than ever to source candidates. You can surface the right skills and experience with less effort than it used to take. But you’re typically dealing with recruits outside the organization, which can make placement a little more challenging. 

A big mistake many healthcare recruiters make is overlooking internal candidates. While some may not be actively seeking a new role, putting focus on current employees can lead to easier, faster hires. They are already in the system and acclimated to the organization’s culture, expectations, and workflows. Take the time to explore existing resources, which should translate to a shortened time to productivity.

Ignoring Impact of a Company's Culture

An organization’s culture reflects its values, attitudes, and expectations, which can heavily influence a candidate’s decision to choose – and remain with – an employer. Recruiters who ignore the cultural component to hiring risk placing individuals in settings they will ultimately leave.

Lower retention rates impact staff, patients, families, and others negatively, so it is important that you understand a company's culture in order to effectively convey what work life will be like for your candidates.

Reaching Out to Active Candidates Only

Recruiting active job seekers makes sense. Candidates responding to job postings are often highly motivated because they're:

  • Dissatisfied with their current position
  • Looking for better-paying work
  • Unemployed

But, while those motivations are reasonable, your candidate pool shouldn't end with active candidates. Ignoring passive job seekers – those who aren’t considering a move – can eliminate many suitable recruits who embody the skills, qualities, and experience you’re looking for in a candidate.

Employees who aren’t thinking of leaving might consider a new role and may be influenced to apply for a position if it’s made known to them. And even if they don't apply immediately, you can begin to establish a connection with a passive recruit and be top-of-mind if they want to make a move in the future.

Taking a One-size-fits-all Approach

Health systems and hospitals often have multiple influencers or contributors to hiring practices. Board members, administrators, medical staff, and others may bring unique insights about recruitment due to differing backgrounds and other factors.

In fact, a study surveying various members within healthcare organizations revealed useful insight into how members of the same organization can hold both similar and divergent values regarding physician recruitment. So it’s important to account for divergent perspectives in your recruiting activities.


Need help on your next recruitment campaign? Connect with Philip Prigal at p.prigal@elsevier.com to find out which recruitment solutions work best for your organization.