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Benefits of Using a Recruiter for Your Healthcare Organization

Table of Contents

What is a Healthcare Recruiter?

A healthcare recruiter is a professional who works to fill open positions in a variety of healthcare organizations. Recruiters will work from a bank of resumes or qualified candidates, or by actively searching for individuals qualified for the positions they are trying to fill. A recruiter's job involves reviewing candidate's job experiences, negotiating salaries and placing candidates in employment positions. 

Recruiters work directly with organizations to help find and staff experienced job candidates. For example, recruiters may work with hospitals, nursing homes, independent living facilities, CCRCs, home health and hospice organizations, etc. to place candidates in roles like Directors of Nursing, Nursing Home Administrators, Executive Directors, MDS coordinators, RN Supervisors, and more. 

Every recruiter will share one main goal: to find and qualify the best employees for an organization.

While recruiters are used across almost all industries, healthcare is a niche that requires recruiting experts. Working with an executive recruiter helps ensure your organization staffs qualified people or is prepared for any sudden vacancies. 


Different Types of Recruiters

To better understand what type of executive recruiter you need, it is important to understand different types of recruiting, why you should consider using a recruiter, and the benefits of each. 

Retained Recruiters

Retained recruiters have the skills to find the best executive or highly specialized talent.

Retained recruiters typically focus on executive roles; for example, Presidents, Chief Executive Officers, Chief Nursing Officers, Chief Clinical Officers, Vice Presidents, and Senior Directors. Their deep level of experience makes them uniquely qualified to find people with specific skill sets within a niche. 

Why Should You Use A Retained Healthcare Recruiter?

What happens when your healthcare organization has a vacancy in a key position? Not only do you have a lot of extra work on your hands, you have to make sure the rest of the organization operates efficiently although there's a gap in leadership. Using an expert retained search firm can help reduce the amount of  time and stress associated with the hiring process.  

There are several advantages to using a retained search firm. A retained recruiter is responsible for the entire search. They manage the process and dedicate their time to your company. Because filling executive or highly specialized vacancies requires extensive screening and evaluating, the executive recruiter will be very high-touch during the process. Retained recruiters will also have their own network of strong candidates to pull from. 

executive retained healthcare recruiters

Contingent Recruiters

Contingent recruiters will often be competing with another recruiting firm or even the internal HR department at the organization that hired them. These recruiters will bring you a wider range of candidates to interview and pick from. Since they are competing with other resources, they try to find the best candidates quickly.

One key difference between retained and contingent recruiting is how the recruiters are paid. Contingent recruiters are paid a contingent fee, which means they are only paid if and when the candidate they presented is placed, while retained recruiters are paid in installments across the duration of the search process.


The contingent recruiting process typically takes less time and more candidates are presented to your organization. Contingency recruiters look for "on-paper" matches within their database, then send vetted candidates to your organization for interviews.

Even though contingent recruiters "compete" with other resources to find a candidate, using a contingent recruiter can help relieve some of the workload from your internal department. 

Interim Recruiters

Interim recruiters specialize in placing interim, or temporary, candidates. 

Professional interim recruiters quickly locate interim healthcare leaders and interim c-suite executives when an organization is faced with a vacancy. Much like other recruiters, they have an extensive network of interim candidates that can fill a vacancy quickly.


When faced with a sudden staff vacancy, the last thing you want to worry about is who is going to fill the gap while you search for a qualified replacement or reassess your organization's structure. By utilizing an interim recruiter, you can take time to find the right long-term replacement while trusting that you have a capable temporary leader in place. 

Experienced healthcare interim recruiters have a track record of placements in the industry and have developed strong, long-standing relationships with facilities, staff and executives all over the country. This enables them to understand your needs and find the best person for your opening.

Interim recruiting teams typically handle all travel and lodging arrangements and compensation enabling you to focus on your organization and providing quality care.

What is the Recruiting Process Like?

Working with a retained, contingent or interim recruiter all have advantages but the recruiting processes are a bit different. In this section we breakdown each one.

The Executive Recruiting Process

Executive recruiters will spend a lot of time at the beginning of the process getting to know the culture of your company and the expectations of the job you're trying to fill. Taking this time upfront gives them a better understanding of your needs and helps them find a candidate that has the right knowledge and experience for that particular position, and the one who best fits with your company culture and values.

In order to learn these key details about your organization, the recruiter may conduct on-site interviews with your internal leadership, board members, and any other team members whose responsibilities relate to the position being filled. Once the recruiter has an understanding of your company's goals, needs, structure, and any other relevant details, they will draft a job description/marketing assets to be used during the search. 

The recruiter will share the job description and (once you approve it) the search is on! Because of their experience in the field, many recruiters may already have some candidates in mind that they can reach out to. Between their connections and the organic candidates, the recruiter will start interviewing (usually via video or phone interviews) potential placements to create a "bench" of top picks for the job. 

 At this point, the feedback you give to the recruiter will help them narrow the list even further. They will do extensive reference checks on the top choices before bringing them in for a face-to-face interview with your organization.

Once your organization makes a decision on which candidate to place, the recruiter will help you with making an offer, work with you during the acceptance process and facilitate any negotiations and compensation discussions.  recruiting process

The Contingent Recruiting Process

Dedicated to the success of your organization and their placement, a contingent recruiter will take time to dig into the role you are trying to fill. This enables them to find better matched candidates for your needs. As the search begins, this is where the process deviates from executive recruiting.

After gathering information for the job description, contingency recruiters will search through their database or source new candidates, then look at the candidates' resumes for skill sets that fit the needs of your organization.

Unlike the executive search process, where you're presented with a bench of the "top picks" that have already been thoroughly interviewed by the recruiter, candidates are submitted to your organization as they are found and vetted for quick evaluation. The recruiter will typically help to schedule further interviews with your team for the candidates they presented that you are interested in for the role.

The contingent recruiting process gives you a more hands-on approach to the search process and the recruiter works as an extension of your internal department, supplementing their search efforts. Once your organization makes a decision on which candidate you want to place, the recruiter will negotiate benefits and determine a start date for the candidate before making them an offer.  

The Interim Recruiting Process

Interim recruiting typically follows a much faster timeline, but the personal touch is still there. 

Typically, interims are placed when an organization faces a sudden vacancy, so time is of the essence to fill the role. When working with an interim recruiter, you will team up with a Client Relationship Manager, who is responsible for understanding the position that you need to fill and planning how long you will need the interim in place. Most common interim roles are 30, 60 or 90 day placements.

The recruiter will then assess key elements of your company’s culture, then start interviewing clients before sending them to your organization for further interviews and approval. Because an interim recruiter works on timely circumstances, they utilize their banks of candidates with extensive experience so that there is very little additional training for your organization when this person steps in. 

Once a candidate has been selected for placement, the Client Relationship Manager will handle the travel and accommodation arrangements, and usually even provides the new employee with a benefits package, as well as any licensure, certification requirements and any reimbursements. An interim recruiter will help to find an experienced interim that can take the reins and provide stability to your organization while you concentrate on searching for a permanent solution. 

Partnering with a Healthcare Recruiter

partnering-with-a-healthcare-recruiterPartnering with a recruiter begins with determining your organization's desired level of involvement and looking at the needs of the position being filled.

If you are filling leadership or senior positions, c-level roles, or specialized positions, working with an executive recruiter is the best choice for you. If you're looking to fill roles at the organizational level, with access to a large pool of candidates and would like to be more involved in the search process, contingent recruiting is a great option. If you're faced with a sudden vacancy and need someone on a short-term basis such as 30, 60 or 90 days, working with an interim recruiter is an optimal choice. 

Once you've determined a recruiter that best fits your needs, you should look for experienced industry related recruiters that are within your niche. 

Healthcare Consulting | Recruiting | Staffing | LeaderStat

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