How does a Recruitment Agency work in healthcare?

Sep 21, 2023

The healthcare industry presents a unique job market, making recruitment agencies beneficial for both employers and job seekers. If you're wondering, "how does a recruitment agency work in healthcare?", the answer is multifaceted. 

In recent years, there has been a surge in demand for healthcare workers, stretching across both government and private sectors. 

This sudden increase in demand has seen it become challenging to fill roles, especially those requiring specialised skills. That's where healthcare recruitment agencies come into play; their specialised expertise and resources can help employers find the right candidates more efficiently. 

For job seekers, these agencies can be a significant time-saver, even helping to match them with opportunities they might not have discovered on their own. 

To learn more about the vital role recruitment agencies play in the healthcare sector, read on. 

What is Healthcare Recruitment? 

Healthcare recruitment is the specialised process of hiring for a range of roles within the medical industry. Unlike general recruitment, which serves various sectors, healthcare recruitment focuses on filing positions that often require specific qualifications. These roles can range from non-clinical positions like administrative and IT staff to clinical roles such as nurses, physicians, and surgeons. 

In healthcare, the quality of recruitment is particularly important because it directly influences both the patient experiences and the overall reputation of medical facilities, private home care services, or hospitals. Medical facilities and other healthcare organisations normally hire their staff but will often outsource the recruitment process to healthcare recruitment agencies for assistance. 

What do recruitment agencies do? 

Recruitment agencies specialise in assisting organisations to fill their vacancies by managing the process from start to finish. To do this, recruitment agencies follow a structured process that includes several key steps that identify, evaluate and onboard the best candidates before connecting them with their clients. 

Every agency follows a similar process, but the services they provide may vary from each other. Here is the break down of what recruitment agencies generally do: 

Initial Consultation 

The recruitment process begins with an initial consultation, where the employer outlines the vacancies they have, the requirements and skills they are looking for as well as the timeframe for hiring. 

During this phase, both parties agree on a plan of action, and a fee for the recruitment agency's service. Once all terms are agreed and signed upon, the recruitment process can begin. 

Candidate Sourcing 

Upon receiving the go ahead, the agency will employ targeted recruitment strategies to find candidates that meet employer specifications. They typically tap into the large talent pool, as well as utilise industry connections and specialised tools to find suitable applicants. 

The scale of sourcing can vary, from finding one or two highly skilled professionals to recruiting manpower on a larger scale. 

Interviews & Assessments 

With a group of candidates now selected, the agency will arrange an in-person meeting to evaluate each applicant's skills and character. 

The first step often involves an initial screening, where the recruiter will establish the candidate's prior experience and qualifications. This is followed by a more comprehensive interview or assessment involving management. 

During this phase, recruiting agencies compare the candidate's qualifications and demeanour against what is required by the employer. 

Additionally, some recruiters incorporate various tests or assessments into their evaluation process to validate the candidate's stated skills and prior experiences. 

Background Checks & Credential Information

Once a candidate has successfully passed their interviews and assessments, they undergo thorough vetting by the recruitment agency. 

It is the agency's responsibility to ensure the individuals they put forward are qualified for the role, especially in certain industries such as healthcare. 

For example, this could include collecting references, attesting their qualifications, or ensuring they have a license or are registered to practice. 

Job Placement 

Finally, once all verifications have been completed, the recruitment agency presents a job offer to the candidate on behalf of the hiring company. 

In many instances, the agency also oversees the candidate's onboarding to ensure a smooth transition into the new role. 

Benefits of Using a Recruitment Agency for Medical Facilities 

If you are a medical facility looking to hire new talent, finding the right candidates can be more challenging than you may intially think. 

Staffing shortages are a global issue, affecting healthcare sectors in various regions and presenting challenges to employers who opt for independent recruitment. 

Here are some of the universal benefits of working with a recruitment agency for your recruitment needs: 

Skill Gap in Healthcare

The demand for skilled and qualified medical professionals is high, resulting in stiff competition among medical facilities for top candidates. 

Healthcare positions often have unique and non-negotiable qualifications or certifications, further narrowing the available talent pool. 

Thankfully, medical recruitment agencies offer several significant advantages in this regard. First, they have access to a large pool of potential candidates to draw from. Second, they maintain valuable industry connections that can be helpful in the recruitment process. Lastly, their specialised knowledge and recruitment strategies  allows them to know exactly where to find the right types of candidates for specific roles. 

Time & Cost-Effectiveness

Given the skill gap, recruiting healthcare professionals can be both time consuming and financially draining. 

Investing into recruitment campaigns and spending hours trying to source, screen and scan CVs, as well as the interview process, can be very daunting for employers. 

By utilising a recruitment agency, employers can handle their core operations while the agency takes care of the entire recruitment process. The agency's services are always tailored to meet the specific requirements and specifications set out by the employer. 

Legal Compliance & Vetting 

In healthcare, it's crucial that candidates meet specific legal criteria, including licenses and qualifications. 

This can range from having an attested degree to holding a valid license. For instance, a nursing position would require a specific type of nursing license, which may differ depending on the region or location. 

Incorrect or inadequate vetting can have severe ramifications for the employer. Recruitment agencies specialize in this area, ensuring that all requirements are met, and credentials are verified officially. 

Types of roles filled by Healthcare Recruitment Agencies 

Healthcare recruitment agencies can source all types of roles in the industry, from entry level positions to more senior and complex roles. These include: 

Clinical Roles

Clinical roles in healthcare are primarily concerned with delivering direct patient care. Professionals in these roles, such as registered nurses, nurse assistant, physicians and surgeons, interact directly with patients to provide treatment, perform surgical procedures, or deliver other types of medical care. 

Non-clinical Roles 

While these positions are within the healthcare industry, they do not involve direct patient care. Non-clinical roles include administrative tasks, human resources management, executive leadership, and IT support. Such roles are essential for the smooth functioning and administration of healthcare facilities. 

Specialised Roles 

These roles are highly specialised within the healthcare field and may focus on areas such as medical diagnostics, research, or advanced medical technology. The qualifications and requirements for specialised roles are typically stringent and specific, often requiring advanced degrees or certifications. 

Benefits of recruitment agencies for candidates 

Job seekers can significantly benefit from the services offered by healthcare recruitment agencies. From someone who aspires to become a nurse to others looking for specialised roles, utilising the expertise and connections that a recruitment agency has will enable them to access opportunities that they could never do on their own. 

Firstly, one of the key advantages is that recruitment agencies typically do not charge fees from candidates. Agency fees are charged only to the hiring companies seeking to fill vacancies. This arrangement allows candidates to benefit from the agency's professional services without incurring any personal cost. 

Secondly, recruitment agencies possess a unique expertise in identifying a candidate's skills and experiences. These agencies are continuously working to expand their talent pool and have the ability to quickly align a candidate with job opportunities that closely match their professional profile. This results in a more efficient job search, saving the candidate both time and effort. 

Lastly, choosing to engage with a reputable recruitment agency offers an added layer of confidence in the job search process. These agencies usually have stringent vetting procedures, ensuring that the hiring companies are legitimate and reputable organisations. 

This gives candidates the peace of mind that they will not only be entering into employment with a legitimate company but also that they can expect proper training and onboarding procedures once hired. 

Ready to hire or be hired? 

Navigating the complex landscape of healthcare recruitment is no small feat, especially given the unique qualifications and demands of the sector. Recruitment agencies bridge this gap, offering a streamlined, efficient approach to hiring that benefits both medical facilities and job seekers alike. 

In essence, whether you're a healthcare facility grappling with skill gaps and legal intricacies, or a job seeker aiming for a more targeted and efficient job search, healthcare recruitment agencies are the catalysts that make these connections more feasibly and effective.