Hiring the Right Person at the Right Time

Hiring the Right Person

Finding and hiring the best healthcare candidates can be a time-consuming exercise.

High turnover makes many hiring managers feel they need to “just hire anyone” to fill a hole as quickly as possible, but that can lead to onboarding a bad fit.

As a hospital administrator, hiring manager or HR professional, you can look at a candidate’s resume, and make a determination regarding their professional and academic qualifications. But there’s more to a candidate than words on a resume. One method for increasing your ability to hire the right person at the right time is to pay close attention to a candidate’s “soft skills.”

These are the character traits and interpersonal skills that characterize a person’s relationships with other people. In the workplace, soft skills are considered to be a complement to hard skills, which refer to a person’s knowledge and occupational skills

Today, as more companies scramble to make good hires, soft skills will continue to grow in importance – and can often mean the difference between success and failure in a hire.

Listed below are examples of some of the most important soft skills to consider when recruiting to fill your next opening:

Work Ethic

This soft skill is high on every employer’s list – and top performers have a strong work ethic and a determination to achieve targets. This can be a difficult skill to assess but should be apparent from the candidate’s achievements and confirmed by reference checks.

Communication Skills

The importance of communication skills should never be underestimated in recruitment. Communication means being able to articulate well, listen and be aware of body language. Unlike writing aptitude, which is seen as a hard skill, the ability to understand and be understood, coupled with the willingness and ability to listen can lead to a successful new hire.


Take a look at most resumes and they focus on individual achievements. But the majority of roles – especially in healthcare – call for a team player – someone able to collaborate. To learn more about potential collaboration skills, ask candidates about group projects they’ve taken part in either as a leader or in a support role. And don’t forget to ask about teamwork when carrying out reference checks.


In most cases, the best hires are self-starters able to work with minimal supervision. Motivation is a difficult one to measure but a resume that reflects a varied and active life outside of the working environment is a good indicator of someone who’s curious and more likely to be self-motivated.


Creativity is one of the most sought after skills as it generally means the candidate has innovative ideas and problem solving abilities. It’s also an innate, rather than a teachable, skill. Competency-based questions that highlight creative thinking, innovation, and problem solving should be part of the interview process.


Creativity is often accompanied by flexibility. Candidates with this soft skill can think outside the box and are confident that everything will work out for the best. They possess the ability to adapt to change and challenges rather than remain on a fixed path or get mired in a temporary setback.

Horizon Healthcare Management is a proven nursing and healthcare recruitment firm that puts the goals of our clients first. If you’re a healthcare organization seeking to add permanent, temporary, per diem, locum tenens, or executive-level professionals, visit our Employer Opportunities page today.

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