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What it Takes to be a Successful Healthcare Recruiter

With the healthcare industry projected to add 2.6 million new jobs over the next decade, it’s a great time to consider a career in the field. But what skills and qualities does a person need to be successful in the fast-paced world of healthcare recruiting?

Healthcare recruiting requires similar skills to healthcare workers, like flexibility and communication. Healthcare recruiters just use those skills in different ways. This post will cover six skills and traits that a person needs to be a successful healthcare recruiter. 

Solid Organizational Skills

Can you quickly locate your resume on your computer? Are your taxes a breeze to do because your documents are always organized? Do you have a system that helps you stay on task and meet deadlines with time to spare? These are valuable skills for any healthcare recruiter.  

Healthcare recruiters manage multiple contractors, each one coming with their own timeline of assignments and onboarding requirements. Successful recruiters develop and maintain a system that reliably keeps track of all these moving parts.

As  travel nurse recruiters, we speak with multiple nurses every day. Often we need to find their information quickly and keep track of where they are on the contractor continuum. If our contractors miss a deadline, not only do they look bad, but we look bad. And this affects my relationship with the nurse and Planet Healthcare’s relationship with the facility. we must know what each contractor needs at any given time. 

Analytical Skills

What are analytical skills, anyway? Analytical skills are used when a person pulls together relevant information, organizes it, and then evaluates how to use the information to solve problems.

Recruiters spend a lot of time reviewing and analyzing documentation, such as resumes and cover letters. A good recruiter spots missing skills and quickly sums up a candidate’s qualifications. Knowledge of different medical specialties and the skills required for each helps the recruiter analyze a resume and determine if that candidate will be successful in a particular position.

Remember, a recruiter’s job involves matching candidates to jobs. Good relationships with contractors and facilities depend on the recruiter making appropriate matches, so using analytical skills to make informed decisions can contribute to the recruiter’s success.

A Variety of Communication Skills

Do you love talking with people from all walks of life? Can you transition effortlessly between emails, texts, phone calls, and meetings? 

Communication skills are essential for healthcare recruiters. Recruiting involves almost constant communication with people with different backgrounds and different needs. And good communication can have a ripple effect in healthcare recruiting. Your main contacts may be your nurses or contractors, but how you communicate can affect how the facilities think about your agency overall.  

Let’s dive into some of the communication skills needed for success and why they are important. 

Responsive, Empathetic, and Confident Communicator

Recruiters communicate through a variety of channels, and this can easily make up a large portion of a recruiter’s working hours. Being responsive to communications from contractors helps build good relationships and keeps them coming back for more assignments. 

But it’s not enough to just answer calls, write emails, and be available to your contractors. Healthcare workers’ jobs are stressful. There’s a lot of emotion involved in caring for patients. Having empathy, or the ability to put oneself in another person’s shoes, is vital to building relationships with your contractors. 

Nurses may encounter problems when on assignment. A travel nurse may feel like an outsider and can become uncertain and unhappy when issues arise. The recruiter should be empathetic and understanding of what the nurse is experiencing. Yet, the issue at hand must be resolved. The recruiter needs to balance empathy with calm and confident reassurance, walking the nurse through the hardship and to safety. This equilibrium helps the nurse feel more secure and builds trust. 


A healthcare recruiting agency, such as Planet Healthcare, operates as a team. Recruiters communicate with all team members to facilitate the successful recruitment, onboarding, and retention of contractors. 

This is where organizational skills, and a good memory, can help. Get to know facilities and nursing units through conversations with contractors and other team members. Recruiters can make life easier for their contractors by sharing information about the facility, the unit, or even the local area. Knowing which restaurants are best, which parks are most colorful in fall, and which running paths are safest can make the contractor feel more at home. 

Relationship Builder

Are you an organized communicator with analytical skills? If so, you already have most of the building blocks for establishing solid relationships with your contractors and teammates.

Long-term relationships start with the onboarding process. Provide the facility with a nurse who is excited about the job, completes the onboarding on time, and finishes the assignment with minimal hiccups. Provide the nurse with an assignment that fits her needs and skillset. When the facility and the nurse are happy at the end of the assignment, relationships are strengthened. 


Are you like the ER nurse who thrives on not knowing who’s coming through the door next? Great! Successful recruiters are adaptable and know how to prioritize and remain calm during a storm. No two days are ever the same in the life of a recruiter. Bumps in the road are expected, but remember, you have a team to lean on when chaos reigns. 

Professionalism and a Good Work Ethic

Recruiters represent a company that is larger than themselves. While it is helpful to share some lighthearted moments with contractors as you develop relationships, it’s important to always be professional in your communications with them. Being professional shows respect for the contractor and assures them the recruiting agency is worthy of their trust. 

Your agency appreciates a strong work ethic. At Planet Healthcare recruiters may have the opportunity to work from home after their initial training. This opportunity comes with the expectation that the recruiter will maintain that good work ethic even when working from home. 

As you may have realized, these skills are vital for success in many professions and can be cultivated as you gain experience. At Planet Healthcare, we pride ourselves on providing a thorough and thoughtful orientation that sets our recruiters up for success. We would love to talk with you about a career in healthcare recruiting. 

Photo Credit: Canva

By Joseph Grospitch, Recruiter, Planet Healthcare 

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