Healthcare Recruiting: Art or Science?

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

This post from HealthStream’s Contributing Writer Nick Dowd is part of our month-long observation of National Healthcare Recruiters Recognition Day.

When I took my first job as a recruiter, I had a mentor. He was a man who had been around the search firm business a long time and had been very successful. His philosophy of recruiting and placement had worked well for him, and he took me under his wing to teach me the finer points of candidate selection.

One of his guiding principles was this simple maxim: “Some people are scientists. Some people are artists. Most scientists can’t be artists, and most artists can’t be scientists.” My job was to know the difference between the two and put them in jobs where they could succeed.

It all sounded amazingly simple to me. So, for months, every time a hopeful job-seeker walked into my office to be interviewed, I tried to determine if that person was a Thomas Edison or a Georgia O’Keefe. That artist-or-scientist-exercise was helpful, but only to a point. Soon, time and experience taught me that people weren’t that easily classified.

Recruiting Has Become More Complex

In today’s healthcare world, recruiting and selection certainly isn’t that clear-cut. In a value-based system there is great emphasis on empathy and delivering the best possible patient experience; and yet, clinical quality can’t be sacrificed in the process. Great customer service is vital, but it still doesn’t heal disease.

So, as a skilled talent evaluator, you look for that perfect combination of clinical excellence and high-touch care. The best candidates are both analytical and empathetic – the embodiment of science and art in one tidy package.

Maybe on a good day a Georgia O’Keefe walks through your door. She is naturally oriented toward others and artfully empathetic, but also has a full appreciation of the need for structure and a commitment to delivering excellent care. Then, on another good day, your Thomas Edison walks in – a seasoned healthcare professional with an aptitude for analytics and reason - but who, with a kind word, can make the light come on in a patient’s eyes.

As a healthcare recruiter, you understand the value of finding that priceless blend of skill and caring. As much as anyone in your organization, you are in the unique position of being able to shape your culture by identifying and championing candidates that will make a positive difference – for patients, families and co-workers.

We recognize and thank all the Healthcare Recruiters, who spend countless hours hiring the right fit, so we can have the right care. Learn More About How HealthStream Partners with Healthcare Recruiters Here.