2019 ASHHRA Survey: The Evolving Landscape of Healthcare Hiring

2019 ASHHRA Survey: The Evolving Landscape of Healthcare Hiring


Everyone knows that healthcare is changing but what about hiring? Is technology the answer?

At this year’s American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administrators Annual Conference (ASHHRA 2019) in Chicago, we surveyed our colleagues about search strategies. Here’s what we uncovered.

Understanding Passive Candidates

First, we asked about passive candidates – those who are not actively looking for a new role. Most respondents identified the correct answer. Fully 78% of employees said they aren’t looking for a new role, but would be open to the right opportunity (CareerBuilder).

In fact, Energage reports that 84% of passive job seekers would think about leaving their current employer if another with an outstanding rating made a job offer. This underscores the critical value of partnering with a Search firm that specializes in identifying passive candidates.

Kirby Bates is led and operated by successful and professionally active nurse executives. The passive candidates you need are in our leaders’ vast professional networks. 

Where are Healthcare Organizations Finding Potential Candidates?

What strategies does your organization use to identify and recruit passive candidates for leadership roles

Second, we asked about strategies for identifying potential candidates. In order of the most to least selections, here is how our colleagues reported finding candidates:

1. Social Media 

2. Professional Organizations 

3. Job Boards 

4. Networking Websites 

5. Executive Search Consultant

6. Personal Professional Networks 

In addition to all of these, Kirby Bates leaders leverage their personal professional networks to identify best-fit candidates for your organization’s unique circumstances and agenda. This personal referral makes a difference: iCIMS reports that 86% of workers report they would expect to be happier at a job to which they were referred.

Partnering with Kirby Bates casts a wider net with a more focused evaluation to fill your mission-critical nursing leadership roles. We communicate regularly with passive candidates, so when the right opportunity presents itself, we have potential leaders at the ready. 

Diversity and the Healthcare Talent Pool

Third, because AHA reports that less than 15% of healthcare executive leadership is diverse, we asked about inclusive hiring processes. 

From most to least respondents reported that their organizations: 

1. Develop interview questions and an evaluation tool that are linked to objective, measurable performance criteria

2. Define objective, measurable criteria for the role that relate to success in the position

3. Educate each interviewer panel on objective criteria for the role and inclusive practices

4. Choose consultants who articulate and demonstrate inclusive processes

Kirby Bates’ search process employs each of these strategies to assure an inclusive search process and to minimize implicit bias. Executive Vice President of Executive Search, Jane Fitzsimmons, MSN, RN, leads a national diversity and inclusion effort and has led multiple forums on the topic.

As successful healthcare COOs and CNOs, Kirby Bates Associates lead healthcare organizations to achieve high quality, cost-effective patient care with our comprehensive portfolio of proven leadership services. We are a strong complement to your human resources department.

Contact us to learn more about the Kirby Bates Executive Search team or view our most recent engagements.

Interested in learning more about the executive search process? Read, “How the Retained Search Process Can Add Value for Healthcare Organizations.“