Blog > healthcare jobs

Why Is Healthcare Recruitment So Difficult?

Why Is Healthcare Recruitment So Difficult?

So why is healthcare recruitment so difficult?

Lack of qualified candidates

"According to JP Morgan’s recent survey of healthcare executives, as many as 92% said that they were somewhat concerned about finding candidates with the right skills set. And 35% said that the talent shortage within the industry was one of their primary concerns.

So why is there a talent shortage?

Well, with an aging population (more on that later) and fewer people opting for careers in the healthcare industry, this talent shortage was inevitable. But perhaps one of the most telling factors is burnout. As a result of some of the challenges we’ve listed below, nurses and doctors often find themselves working in less than ideal conditions.

This burnout along with a disillusionment with the industry as a whole has seen significant numbers of physicians in the US leave their roles and pursue a new career. Similar trends have also been noted across the globe and it’s a major concern for healthcare executives.

As you can imagine, more vacant roles, fewer graduates, and experienced talent leaving the industry means that hiring for the healthcare industry is one of the most challenging tasks a recruiter can undertake."

Today in the midst of the global coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, many countries including Canada and the United States are experiencing a "second wave" and increasing positive cases. The pandemic is further increasing the demand for healthcare workers globally as well as exacerbating burnout experienced by many frontline healthcare workers.

New graduates find jobs immediately

There are three major benefits to hiring graduates fresh out of school.

  • They’re fresh and enthusiastic about their new career
  • Their training is up to date
  • They’re cost effective

These benefits combined with that lack of qualified talent we spoke of earlier means that there’s often a scramble to nab the best talent before the ink has dried on their degrees and diplomas.

The challenge for a recruiter here is making an employer the most attractive option without offering too high a salary.

Retiring talent

For the last 19 years, 10,000 baby boomers have hit retirement age every single day. That number of people going into retirement has a huge impact across multiple industries, but it is felt the most in healthcare.

This is because, not only are thousands of people who work in healthcare retiring every year, they also require healthcare services as they enter their old age. This means that the number of vacancies within the healthcare industry will rise with some estimates predicting that employment in the industry will grow 14% between 2018 to 2024.

This growing demand for healthcare professionals coupled with the lack of qualified candidates we mentioned earlier, means a great deal of hard work for recruiters in the years ahead. 

Longer time to hire

"According to a report by DHI on hiring statistics in the US, roles in the healthcare industry take the longest to fill. On average it takes 49 days to fill a role in healthcare and with a shortage in the number of qualified candidates on the market, that figure could increase in the coming months and years. 

The findings from that study only tells half the story though. Further studies have found that recruiting a nurse with specific department-related qualifications can take anything from 55 right up to 119 days.

By all accounts, those are quite frightening statistics for any recruiter or HR professional."

Poor employer branding

"Working side by side with recruiters and employers, we understand only too well just how important employer brand is. Studies have found that 84% of candidates feel that a potential employer’s reputation is a major factor in their job search.

Unfortunately, employers in the healthcare industry in most cases do not prioritize investing in employer branding. This is understandable as, quite frankly, they may feel that their research or the care of their patients is more important.

However, this doesn’t change the fact that potential candidates are affected by a lack of effort in terms of employer branding. Increasingly, candidates want to work for employers that value their contributions and pay attention to their social responsibilities. If they find no evidence of this on an employer’s website or social media profiles, they’ll likely have no interest in applying for a vacant role."

Hiring for rural areas

"In 2015, more than half of the global rural population was excluded from healthcare. A study by the ILO also found that only 23% of the global healthcare workforce was employed in rural areas. This is despite the fact that people require healthcare no matter where they live.

However, finding qualified candidates who are willing to work in isolated communities is particularly challenging. This is especially true considering that rural salaries may also be lower than those offered in metropolitan areas.

Although the quality of life and the cost of living in rural areas may be attractive benefits, it can still take considerably longer to fill healthcare roles outside towns and cities." 

Diversity issues

"Each of the challenges listed above are serious in their own right, but when combined, they can lead to the most significant challenge of them all — a lack of diversity in your talent pool.

As you can imagine, when qualified candidates are so few and far between, it’s easy to forget that diversity in healthcare is just as important as it is in any other industry. In fact, some doctors feel that if there is a lack of diversity in a healthcare setting, patients may feel too intimidated to seek medical assistance.

While a lack of diversity in other industries may lead to poor team performance, in the healthcare industry it could have far more serious ramifications.  


The cost of recruiting in healthcare can be exorbitant due to all the factors listed above. At we set out to disrupt the traditional healthcare recruitment model and bring a low cost high value proposition to healthcare recruiters and employers to help find in demand qualified healthcare talent. We do not focus on quantity but rather we strive for quality.

So why is healthcare recruitment marketing so expensive and time consuming?

Social Media

It is becoming increasingly difficult and more expensive to advertise job postings on social media. The popular social networks such as Facebook has removed detailed targeting options for job posts. This means that employers now have to spend more money for less targeting options to advertise jobs on these general social network platforms. The problem experienced by healthcare recruiters and employers who advertise on social media platforms is that healthcare jobseekers are "disorganized and sparsely populated" on these platforms.

General Job Boards

General job boards publish jobs from all industries. Indeed the "worlds largest job board" has an auto apply button to make it extremely easy for any jobseeker to quickly apply to jobs regardless if they are qualified or not. General job boards do not target advertise their services specifically to healthcare jobseekers. Furthermore in demand healthcare talent such as physicians hardly spend any of their limited and valuable time on general job sites searching for jobs.


Traditionally headhunters charge fees in the tens of thousands of dollars to find and place a candidate. Most often than not the candidate after starting work for a period of time decides to leave. The employer has to start again from scratch. This experience is expensive, slow and most often than not demonstrates poor quality control.

Programmatic Recruitment Platforms

In healthcare recruitment a significant budget is required to get the volume of "clicks" required to translate into just a few applications. Due to all the factors already listed above the bid rate is extremely high and competitive for healthcare. Many companies are bidding for the same "click" without even knowing if that click is "qualified" or not. Furthermore I have found that for some hard to fill roles such as physician job postings, we seldom if never receive any qualified applications using this process. The reason in my humble opinion is due to the fact that many programmatic platforms work with general job sites and platforms to buy and sell jobseeker traffic as there are more of these general platforms on the market.


"The healthcare industry is without a doubt one of the most important fields you can work for. It’s an industry where you simply must get every decision right. And that all starts with the right hiring decision."

Reference :


I started because I am trying to solve these very problems as outlined above which are pain-points for every healthcare employer I meet - healthcare recruitment is difficult. My idea was to form an online platform dedicated solely to the healthcare industry, where we built an active community of qualified healthcare jobseekers and healthcare employers. My goal was to create a website where in demand healthcare talent met healthcare job opportunities. I am proud to say that we have achieved this goal and today we have to help make healthcare recruitment easier!

Checkout for help in your healthcare recruitment marketing strategy.

Hope you find this info helpful!


Founder |