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Attracting Job Seekers to Health Care’s New Roles: 4 Lessons from the 2016 Health Care Job Search Insights Report

  • Article by:Health Career Center

Want to attract applicants to your open positions in healthcare? Give them what they’re looking for.

A survey of job seekers on gives recruiters some insights into who is looking for jobs in health care right now—and helps them attract the most qualified candidates.

HR recruiters know better than anyone that health care is in a state of flux. New job titles and descriptions, more interdisciplinary teams, and shifting health care settings have put pressure on talent departments. But these changes have also affected potential applicants, who may now have different questions and needs when scoping out their job prospects. conducted an online survey of job seekers during the first half of February 2016. The 456 respondents included nurses, allied health professionals, administrators, mental health and social workers, and IT—the very people HR departments are seeking. Most of the respondents had at least a bachelor’s degree and/or 10 or more years of experience. Nearly three-quarters were currently employed and more than 40 percent were looking for new employment or advancement in their field.

Based on the survey’s findings, recruiters can boost their chances of attracting qualified applicants doing the following:

Help with the job seeking process: In the brave new world of health care, job seekers may feel unsure about what skills to emphasize or whether they are qualified for a newly created position, such as care coordinator or data analyst. HR departments can build relationships with potential job seekers by offering tips for interviews, insights into targeted skills, advice on how to find the right job opportunities, and even help with updating resumes. That last one may be especially useful in getting to know and attract millennials—more than 70 percent of respondents in that age group said they would value resume help. Lesson: Being clear and concise with any qualifications for a listed position helps applicants position themselves, but HR departments may be able to attract hesitant applicants by going beyond those basics.

Let them know what it’s like to work at your organization: More than 70 percent of respondents wanted more information about employers and specific roles in an organization. Half also were curious about health care career paths and development opportunities, and nearly as many wanted information about employers’ organizational and team structures. Lesson: Provide as much information as you can about your organization, the specific role being advertised, paths for advancement, and how the organization is structured.

Offer good benefits and flexibility: Competing on compensation alone can be difficult for many organizations. The good news is that many of today’s applicants are looking at more than salary when evaluating a job. While 70 percent put competitive compensation at the top of their list, more than 60 percent said that benefits (health insurance, vacation policy) were also important and more than 40 percent ranked flexible hours at the top. This is especially true for millennials: 72 percent of respondents in that age group said benefits were their number one consideration, followed by flexible hours. Competitive salary ranked third—in a tie with training and development support. Lesson: Offset an average salary with great health insurance, a flexible vacation policy and on-the-job perks to make an offer more appealing.

Go where they are: Today’s job seekers are scoping out their possibilities in multiple ways. The average health care job seeker uses three resources, with online job boards and company websites topping the list. If they’re using social media to find a job, more than likely they’re using LinkedIn. Twitter and Facebook didn’t even come close. They also valued networking with friends and colleagues. One fifth said that keeping in touch with former colleagues was an effective way of learning about job opportunities. Lesson: Make sure your organization lists jobs in more than one place--including online job boards and company website—but don’t discount in-person recruiting and the influence of former and current employees.