Insights Blog



By QLK Team
on Jun 24, 2020
  • Healthcare | Recruiting | Blog
Healthcare Executive Search: Why Talent is Hesitant to Switch Organizations?

There's a widespread talent shortage in the United States, and nearly every industry is hard-pressed to acquire skilled candidates. The healthcare system is particularly troubled by the current climate, as medical professionals and high-level workers are less likely to switch organizations than in years past, making it extremely difficult to peel talent away from other organizations, especially for smaller facilities.

This article explores a few of the dynamic reasons that explain why it's so difficult to attract and convince healthcare leaders to switch organizations. 

Change is Inherently Difficult
No matter what industry a person is in or what market factors are at play, the idea of changing jobs creates hesitancy due to the fear of change itself. People are psychologically resistant to change, so the idea of taking a job at a new organization, even if the compensation represents a stark improvement, can be a tough sell.

When the organization switch also requires a relocation, as it does so often in healthcare, a greater sense of hesitation arrives as candidates are not just changing their job, they're changing their lives and moving to a new place.

Lack of Trust
This coincides directly with the point above and is a symptom of the tumultuous times in which the healthcare system exists.

Jeffrey Brickman, CEO of a multi-hospital system in the Northeast United States, explains how difficult it is to create an environment of trust and open communication in a work environment so entrenched in change in an article appearing in the Harvard Business Review. After being tasked with a leadership role, he found that most staff believed that "leadership was just talking out of its hat because we had failed to address their long-term concerns."

There wasn't enough belief among leadership, and people had grown cynical of their futures. If a healthcare leader is currently placed at an organization where they feel that level of trust, it will be extremely difficult to attract them away from that increasingly rare environment.

Make certain that in your hiring process you entirely ensure a belief in your candidate that there are clear and open lines of communication in place, layout a transparent view of their future, and instill confidence that they won't fall prey to the same issues they may have had in the past.

Tiresome Screening
In addition to all the hassle and time that already accompanies switching jobs, medical professionals are faced with an added layer of inconvenience: complex screening. Candidates are faced with lengthy tests required by both their profession and state, potentially wearing on applicants, increasing drop-off rates.

Alleviate this obstacle by providing your candidates with an increased level of visibility and agency over their screening process. In such a competitive environment for talent, even small benefits like this can give employers a considerable edge.

Industry Consolidation
Definitive Healthcare, the leading provider of data, intelligence, and analytics on the healthcare provider market, recently released the results from its 2019 Healthcare Trends Survey, polling over 1,000 healthcare leaders to identify the most critical challenges facing the healthcare industry currently.

Nothing ranked higher on the list of concerns from healthcare leaders than industry consolidation.

Just in the year 2018, Definitive Healthcare reported a stunning 803 mergers and acquisitions, as well as 858 affiliation and partnership announcements. They predict a higher figure by the end of 2019.

As larger corporations continue to gobble up the smaller ones, combining departments, and trimming their rosters, healthcare professionals are extremely wary that another merger or acquisition is around the corner, potentially jeopardizing their job status.

Be as transparent as possible about what is on the horizon for your organization. Let them know the succession plan that's in place should it be necessary. In this setting, trust is crucial in the recruitment process.


Quick Leonard Kieffer (QLK)
As a deeply experienced executive search firm, QLK understands these dynamic, involved challenges facing your healthcare business. Contact one of our seasoned recruiters, and allow us to put our extensive network, industry savvy, and 20 years of experience to work on your behalf to identify, attract, and retain the high-level talent you need.