Breaking Down the 2017 Healthcare Recruiting Trends Report

The uncertain fate of the Affordable Care Act and the constantly shifting landscape of the healthcare industry are going to place a lot of pressure on recruiters in 2017. As a healthcare executive leader, maintaining a successful healthcare organization depends on understanding where you are likely to face challenges when it comes to hiring and creating a strategic plan to overcome them. A recent survey conducted by Health eCareers, a leading source of healthcare recruiting insight, connected with more than 350 healthcare providers in November 2016 to hear their predictions on recruiting and job trends in the first half of 2017. The report provides a valuable window into understand the priorities of healthcare organizations from a hiring perspective.

We put together this blog to break down the findings of the report so that you can better plan for the future and make decisions based on reliable data and observations directly from those on the front lines in healthcare.


2017 Healthcare Recruiting Trends Findings

There were a diverse array of respondents to the report, including recruiters, hiring managers, and human resources professionals from numerous leading healthcare organizations, hospitals, hospital systems, and search firms of all sizes.


Healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries right now, and healthcare employers show no signs of slowing down in terms of hiring. According to the report, over the next six months, more than half of healthcare employers and recruiters anticipate hiring more professionals than they did during the last half of 2016. What this means is that there will likely be significant growth in healthcare job opportunities. The report makes note that ambulatory healthcare services added over 100 thousand new jobs during the last half of 2016, while hospitals added nearly 50 thousand new jobs, an impressive amount. There was a 23 percent increase in job postings in 2016, and over three quarters of respondents said layoffs were unlikely at their organizations. At this rate, healthcare will continue to see big growth in 2017.

Ambulatory healthcare services added over 100 thousand new jobs during the last half of 2016, while hospitals added nearly 50 thousand new jobs.

With Job Growth Comes Recruiting Challenges

While healthcare job growth is good for the economy and the industry, it brings challenges for recruiters. This hiring growth comes at a time when a lot of healthcare employers are “experiencing an increase in employee turnover and longer times to hire.” Why is this the case? According to the report, it is because there is an inability to find qualified professionals and stagnant candidate interest.

Are you seeing an increase in the number of candidates applying for positions as compared to six months ago?Despite the fact that there has been an increase in healthcare hiring, this has not lead to an increase in the amount of candidates applying. Half of the survey’s respondents indicated that they did not see an increase in the number of candidate applying for positions compared to six months ago. Combined, nearly three quarters of respondents indicated that there had either been no increase in candidates or a drop in candidates compared to six months ago.

Demand Will Continue To Be Greatest For Employees With Two To Five Years Of Experience

While there has been an increase in hiring need, only one third of healthcare employers plan on increasing their recruiting budgets in 2017. Currently, demand is greatest for employees with two to five years of experience. The overwhelming majority of healthcare employers–80 percent–are seeking professionals within the two to five year experience range, which includes both physicians and nurses. What’s interesting about that finding is that those are two areas of the healthcare workforce that have been facing well-known shortages. When it comes to shortages, healthcare organizations may have to shift their focus more towards passive candidates. Over half of the survey’s respondents said that they expect to increase their efforts to reach more passive candidates, particularly via social media communication.

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Shifting Strategies for Attracting Candidates and Retaining Employees

In order to attract new talent and keep A-players, many healthcare employers have increased salaries and expanded benefits. According to the survey, there are a lot of employers out there right now that are paying slightly higher than average salaries for existing staff and new hires. The reason for this is that compared to six months ago, most candidates are asking for more money and rejecting offers they may have accepted. Since the Great Recession, power has shifted greatly into the hands of candidates, rather than employers, which means that employers will need to continue to find ways to attract candidates over their competition.

12The challenge for recruiters and healthcare organizations alike is that there may be strict salary guidelines that make filling particular positions exceptionally difficult. While some organizations prefer to keep the positions open until they find the perfect candidate at a salary they can afford, others plan on expanding their talent searches in terms of geographic region.

Still, other employers are improving benefits and perks to attract new talent, nearly three quarters of those surveys said they are currently offering sign-on bonuses more frequently, and over half said they are willing to pay for relocation. Other popular incentives include simpler things like free lunch, medical and dental insurance, and subsidized mobile plans.

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Recruiting for 2017: Are You Prepared?

Today’s healthcare job seeker has more options than ever before, so what are you doing to set yourself apart and attract new talent? Competition is fierce, which is why many organizations are focusing on revamping their websites and optimizing their branding. According to the report, three quarters of respondents indicated that healthcare industry websites are their most commonly used recruiting resource. This is in comparison to generalized job boards, in which candidates reported the most satisfaction during engagement.

12Over 90 percent said that employer branding was an essential recruiting resource, but not many have the bandwidth or budget to dedicate to improving branding.  Building a bench of talent will be critical for many healthcare companies, health systems and organizations. However, it’s unclear how many plan to do this. If you’re looking for a new hire in healthcare, Healthcare Recruiters International can help you get connected to a leading talent acquisition specialist that has the time, expertise and know-how to deliver talent with an exceptional lifetime value to your company. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you build and maintain the talent pipeline you need to address shortages and stay successful in a 2017 that is guaranteed to be simultaneously tumultuous and exciting.


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