HR, Clutch Report

How to Choose a Healthcare Executive Search Firm

November 21, 2022

by Hannah Hicklen

The executive recruiting process can be lengthy and resource-consuming. With help from a healthcare executive search firm, healthcare organizations can find top-level candidates and fill roles faster. Find the perfect service provider for your business by following these tips. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the healthcare industry has been hemorrhaging workers. While nurses and doctors experienced extreme burnout during the pandemic, healthcare organizations have had to adjust their strategy for retaining and attracting talent. 

With so much uncertainty and change in the healthcare industry, having a leadership team that knows how to move forward is absolutely necessary as we move into 2023.

If your healthcare company is looking to hire business leaders and C-Suite level employees, healthcare executive search firms can help. They know what to look for in a business leader and how to attract experienced leaders in the healthcare industry. Here’s what you need to know to hire a healthcare executive search firm. 

Looking to hire an executive for your healthcare business? Find an executive search firm that can connect you with leaders in your field on Clutch. 

What is a Healthcare Executive? 

Healthcare executives are administrative leaders and senior-level managers in the healthcare industry. Working in hospitals, long-term-care facilities, pharmaceutical companies, managed care organizations, and integrated delivery systems, healthcare executives oversee the business side of their operations. 

While healthcare executives help manage day-to-day operations, staffing, and finances, they’re as important to a hospital setting as doctors and nurses — their job is to provide the support needed so clinicians can provide the care patients need.

A healthcare executive search firm helps healthcare providers find the best leaders for their open positions. 

Benefits of Hiring a Healthcare Executive Search Firm

With lengthy recruiting processes, healthcare organizations can benefit from the support provided by executive search firms. Here are a few ways a professional healthcare executive search firm can help healthcare organizations recruit more effectively. 

  1. Save Time
  2. Better candidates
  3. Improve employer branding
  4. Easier recruiting process
  5. Gain access to research tools

Save Time

When there is a vacancy in a healthcare executive position, it’s imperative that companies fill the role as quickly as possible. Having a vacancy for too long can create strain on the organization, impacting performance at all levels. Alleviating that is key to retaining talent at all levels and performing well. 

At the same time, hiring in the healthcare industry is extremely difficult because it requires specialized knowledge and experience — in fact, it takes healthcare employers an average of 49 days to fill a role

Executive positions in particular can take a long time to fill because C-suite level employees require advanced degrees and years of experience in the industry. Consequently, the number of applicants that are actually qualified is limited. At the same time, it’s important that companies find candidates who will promote a good company culture and fit in with the rest of the organization, making the hiring process even more difficult. 

Healthcare executive search firms can reduce the time it takes to find, vet, interview, and hire c-suite level executives because they already have a vast network in the industry. They already know what skills they’re looking for in a candidate and what candidates are looking for a new job.  

This allows them to take over the first steps in the hiring process, so internal HR teams don’t spend time searching for potential candidates and trying to contact them directly. 

They can also follow up with references, conduct preliminary interviews, run background checks, and more to streamline the hiring process. 

Better Candidates

Healthcare executive search firms have spent years building up their network and industry knowledge. Consequently, they have access to an extensive network that would be difficult for healthcare companies to build themselves. 

With so many contacts in the industry, they can help recruit candidates that are actively looking for a job and even those who aren’t. In addition to posting vacancies on job boards like LinkedIn and Glassdoor, they are able to reach out to other professionals in the industry to gauge their interest in available positions, known as headhunting

Their experience also helps them market their clients and truly promote available positions, which allows them to attract more qualified candidates. 

Improve Employee Branding & Team Culture

How companies handle the recruiting process and who they hire can have a big impact on their team culture. Culture starts at the top of an organization and filters down. Who a company hires in senior leadership positions can have a big impact, not just on performance, but also on employee retention and satisfaction. 

Even in healthcare, a great company culture means lower turnover rates and makes it easier to attract top talent. 

Experienced healthcare executive search firms know this and are dedicated to finding a business leader with the talent, skills, and knowledge needed for the position as well as an understanding of what it means to be a part of a team. 

Additional reading, ‘Why Employee Perks and Company Culture Matter.’

Easier Recruiting Process

Healthcare executive recruiters do more than simply compile a list of potential hires. They also screen candidates, run background checks, and conduct preliminary interviews to determine if a candidate is qualified for the position. 

By handling a lot of the administrative aspects of the recruiting process, they alleviate the work the internal team has to do to recruit new employees. This means that companies simply need to go through later steps like a secondary interview to make sure they’re a good fit and a board meeting before making a job offer to a higher level executive. 

Gain Access to Recruiting Tools

Recruitment software makes it easier for healthcare recruiters to promote job openings and search for talent. Depending on the the type of software, they offer a variety of recruiting tools such as: 

  • Job boards
  • Candidate profiles 
  • Pre-made assessments
  • Interviewing software
  • Applicant tracking systems 
  • CRMs
  • Onboarding software

These tools streamline the recruitment process, helping healthcare companies fill vacancies faster and find better candidates. 

While some healthcare organizations may subscribe to these platforms themselves, some hire recruiting firms that have proprietary software or who already subscribe to a recruiting tool and have access to all of the features they offer. 

MedCruiter Home Page

These platforms have to be managed as well. For example, writing job descriptions for job boards, working through the results of assessments, and corresponding with candidates who apply through applicant tracking systems can still take up a lot of time and effort. 

Rather than simply providing the software for these recruiting tools, healthcare executive search firms manage these platforms and use them more effectively. As a result, clients get more out of working with a professional recruiting firm than they do by simply buying the software. 

How to Choose a Healthcare Executive Search Firm

  1. Ask about their collaborative style
  2. Review their experience & test their industry knowledge
  3. Ask about what tools they use
  4. Confirm their availability
  5. Consider their client & employee satisfaction

Ask About Their Collaborative Style

Communication is extremely important during the recruiting process. Not only does it affect how the partnership between the company and the executive recruiting firm is formed, but it also affects how potential candidates experience the recruiting process. 

As an extension of a healthcare organization, how the healthcare executive recruiting firm handles communication can impact how the organization is perceived and whether a candidate will accept a job offer. 

A great healthcare executive search firm should be responsive and easy to reach. Ideally, they are also personable and professional. 

The best way to determine how collaborative they are is by noting how responsive they are when you initially reach out to them. Then you should ask about what their preferred method of communication is, if they guarantee response times, and if they’re open to other forms of communication when necessary. 

Review Their Experience & Test Their Industry Knowledge

A healthcare executive search firm with a lot of experience can be invaluable. With insight into how the industry operates, what has worked well in the past, and what simply doesn’t, they’re perfectly poised to provide companies with advice when needed. 

As such, it’s important to find a recruiting firm that has worked with healthcare companies and professionals in the past. To confirm that that they have worked in your specific industry ask questions such as: 

  1. How big have your clients been in the past? 
  2. What type of organization were they [hospital, pharmacy, clinic, etc]
  3. What positions have you placed people in the past? 

This will give you insight into how well they understand the healthcare industry as well as how effective they are at finding top-notch candidates. 

Ask About What Tools They Use

As we discussed before, gaining access to recruiting tools is one of the biggest benefits of hiring a healthcare executive search firm. 

When choosing a partner, companies should ask about what types of recruiting tools they use and how they use them.  For example, some companies may provide you with access to a recruiting dashboard to help you narrow down your search. Others may provide AI-based tools to find potential candidates or video conferencing software for the interview process. 

If a healthcare executive recruiting firm uses a specific tool that may seem more beneficial than others, it may be a good reason to hire them. 

Confirm Their Availability

With many different clients, healthcare executive search firms may not have the resources needed to support your recruitment needs. Time is of the essence in a recruiting process, so companies should make sure that their recruiting firm has the capacity to coordinate meetings, send emails, and more. 

It’s also important that they have more than one person with experience in the healthcare industry. Having a well-rounded and knowledgeable team means that they can provide more resources or additional opinions when needed. 

Their flexibility and availability are key in forming a great partnership. 

Consider Their Client & Employee Satisfaction 

Great healthcare executive search firms seek to place candidates where they will be the happiest and where they will be the best fit. The hiring and onboarding process can be costly for organizations, so ensuring there is minimal turnover is absolutely necessary for organizations. 

One way to gauge how well executive search firms are at identifying top candidates that fit a company’s culture well is by asking them directly — on average, how long to employees they place stay at a company?

They may even be able to put you in touch with some of their more prominent clients or with an employee they’ve placed. Not only will this give you an idea of how successful they are, it will give you additional insight into how they operate and work with clients. 

Alternatively, you can use client ratings and review sites such as Clutch’s list of top executive search firms includes client testimonials so you can feel confident that the partner you’re working with is reputable. 

Clutch's list of top executive search recruiters

After all, job applicants wouldn’t want to be associated with a recruiting firm with a bad reputation. As such, it’s important to find an executive search firm that is well known in the healthcare industry. 

Top Executive Search Recruitment Firms 

Healthcare Executive Search Firms Can Elevate Your Business

A great healthcare executive search firm can ease the recruitment process and save healthcare companies valuable time when hiring for leadership positions. 

With a vast network of experienced professionals in the healthcare industry and specific recruitment tools, they can help their clients find better candidates with a much faster timeline than internal HR departments may be able to. 

Connect with a leading executive recruiting firm on Clutch to find a healthcare executive for your business. 

Related Articles More

10 Recruiting Best Practices for Hiring the Right Person Fast
How to Combat Employee Turnover
3 Advantages of Internal Recruiting