Key insights from the 2020 State of Healthcare Recruiting Report

Dec 02, 2019 - Cat DiStasio

I need to break the fourth wall for a moment and tell you something.

You know me as the author of your favorite talent acquisition technology blog (this one, right?) but in my former career, I was a technical recruiter. I worked in the trenches for years, trying to figure out where to find the candidates I needed and what I could do to convince them to talk to me as opposed to the dozen other recruiters who were vying for their attention. It was challenging, stressful, and I honestly loved it.

Most recruiters, I’ve found, really love their work. But wouldn’t you love your job even more if it were just a little bit easier? 

Yeah, me too. 

Brazen partnered with Talroo earlier this year and one of the benefits of that relationship is the valuable insights I’m about to share with you. This is the stuff I would have killed to have access to in my recruiting days, and now we’re giving it away. You’re so lucky.

Healthcare recruiting comes with some unique challenges, not the least of which is trying to recruit for a variety of different roles, oftentimes with very different types of candidates involved. Talent acquisition leaders in healthcare have been consistently asking questions about how and when to engage with candidates. We know you want to become more effective at talent acquisition in order to reduce costs and improve results at the same time, so we set out to answer those questions.

We went straight to the source. With Talroo’s help, Brazen surveyed close to 400 healthcare job seekers in three job categories: nursing, business and technical, and facilities. We asked them about their experiences and preferences when looking for a job, and their answers are both reassuring and surprising. We put it all in the 2020 State of Healthcare Recruiting Report and in this post, I’ll share some of the biggest lessons from the report. 

Recruiting chatbots are still a unique part of the recruiting process

Of all the healthcare job seekers we surveyed, 15.9% have interacted with a recruiting chatbot before applying. This tells us that organizations that implement a recruiting chatbot can easily set themselves apart from the competition and create a unique, personalized candidate experience.

Online chat leads to higher application rates

Healthcare job seekers also told us that having the opportunity to chat online with a recruiter would increase the likelihood that they will complete an application. In fact, more than 57% of respondents said that they are either likely or very likely to apply after talking to a recruiter.

Job seekers want better applications

When asked about the application process of the last job they applied for, healthcare job seekers reported a lot of room for improvement. Less than half (43%) of job seekers we surveyed said they were satisfied with the application process of the last position they applied for and more than a third (39.6%) reported neutral feelings about the process. Employers of choice should aim to do better.

Communication channels matter

Beyond the application, healthcare job seekers know how they want to communicate with recruiters. Of all the methods we suggested, job seekers in all job categories ranked email as their highest preference, phone calls second, and text messaging third.

Ultimately, candidates want recruiters to listen to and care about their preferences. Communicating via a candidate’s preferred method(s) is an easy way to do that and it naturally improves the candidate experience. Giving candidates what they want begins with listening to what they tell you they want and if you’re not sure, you can ask them. Prompt candidates to rank communication methods in order of preference in their application, for example.

Why it all comes back to candidate personas

Surely, you’ll use this information to change your behaviors during the recruiting process. But the real value in this data goes beyond the tasks and tactics. Recruiters should use this data to update or create candidate personas, and then design recruiting workflows that deliver the desired candidate experience. 

In recruiting, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea of making decisions based on what you prefer. But that’s a mistake. Your target candidates are not you, and it’s crucial to keep the focus on them - what motivates them, what challenges they have, and what they want out of a recruiting process with their next employer. Creating conversational recruiting strategies based on strong candidate personas gives you a clear road map to follow and reduces the opportunities for your imagination to run wild.

The future of healthcare recruiting

The ultimate talent acquisition challenge is understanding the unique desires and experiences of job seekers in different categories and experience levels. Now that you have access to hard data right from the job seekers you’re trying to reach, we hope you’ll find it much easier to create a conversational recruiting strategy that speaks to the candidates you want to attract. 

To learn more about the priorities and attitudes of healthcare job seekers, download the full report here


healthcare recruiting report 2020


This was our first survey of healthcare job seekers and we don’t think it will be our last. There is no end to the list of questions talent acquisition leaders are dying to know about their potential candidates. Wouldn’t it be great if we could dive deeper into the preferences and experiences of healthcare job seekers? If you have any burning questions you’d like to see us include in a future survey, email Joe Matar at

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