Insights Blog

By QLK Team
on Sep 24, 2018
  • Healthcare | Recruiting
5 Traits To Look For When Hiring Your Next Healthcare Leader

Low-to-mid level talent acquisition in healthcare is no small feat in today's labor market but hiring healthcare leadership positions is especially challenging for organizations. With so many pressing issues affecting the industry, healthcare organizations need to hire dynamic leaders who can navigate the challenges of today, as well as the ones of tomorrow.

But, amongst the chaos, a dynamic leader can propel a hospital to overwhelming success and put managers, physicians, nurses, patients, and family members at ease. So, what traits will the healthcare leader of the future possess?

Here are 5 traits to look for in your next healthcare leadership hire.

1. Agile
Patient needs evolve over time. The modern patient requires a different type of care than patients needed ten years ago, and in five years their needs will again change. Healthcare leaders who can adapt to innovation will provide the best care for their patients.

They also will need to remain steady during periods of change. It is essential to try and keep the ship moving forward even when your team is struggling to see eye-to-eye about changes. Transition can be messy, so leaders must have the ability to assess the new market and communicate and develop new plans.

When making your next healthcare hire, make sure that your hire demonstrates the ability to adapt as healthcare evolves.

2. Outstanding Communicator

Like many other industries, at its core healthcare is about relationships. Your next healthcare leadership hire will need to build strong relationships with their staff and to do that they'll need to possess strong communication skills.

It's unrealistic to expect a healthcare leader to speak to every employee and chat with every patient. However, by establishing a culture of communication and creating strong relationships with supervisors, a leader can maintain an understanding of how the patient experience is going, and how their staff is performing.

To make an impact, a healthcare leader needs to be a great listener. By listening to the feedback from their supervisors, they'll be able to anticipate when and where change is required.

3. Forward Thinking
Most hospitals are bogged down by day-to-day operations. With a business that runs on a 24-hour cycle, days turn into weeks, months, and even years before you know it. An expert leader will meet each day's challenges without losing an eye on the future.

You want to hire a leader who will evaluate the here-and-now while keeping an eye towards the future. A great leader will anticipate issues before they arrive and have a plan for how to combat them. Being able to balance the present and the future when keeping with your organization's mission and values is what will separate a good healthcare leader from a great one.

4. Optimistic & Inspiring
Staying positive can be a challenge in healthcare, as you're seeing patients on their worst days. Patients and their families arrive at your healthcare facility low on morale and desperate for the answer to their problems. In these challenging times, the patient's and their families need to receive outstanding care and a dose of positivity to lift their spirits.

A strong healthcare leader leads by example. By inspiring an optimistic workforce, the positivity of a healthcare leader can trickle down to the patients, which improves their experience.

5. Culture Builder
As all healthcare organizations are aware, there's a nasty talent shortage on the horizon in healthcare. To help prepare your team for that impending challenge, the healthcare leader you hire today needs to be capable of building a healthy work culture.

One of the best ways to avoid the challenge of recruiting in a thin labor market is to establish a great culture. A strong workplace culture drives employee retention by keeping your current staff happy and engaged. It also serves as a useful recruiting tool when competing for talent in the market.

When making your next healthcare leadership hire, ask candidates how they plan to build a positive culture at your organization, or how they plan on maintaining a positive workplace culture you've already cultivated.