Soft Skills to Look for When Hiring at Your Healthcare Facility

Out of the many qualities that make a great healthcare candidate — quality education, relevant experience, and strong letters of recommendation — soft skills are perhaps the most overlooked. While these can’t be measured, graded, or certified like other skills, soft skills are essential indicators of how well a candidate will fit in your facility and excel in their position.

Whether you have some current open positions to fill or are looking for ways to improve the operations of your facility in the future, these are the soft skills to look for in potential employees.

What Are Soft Skills?

Hard skills are the trained techniques and knowledge that candidates accumulate over the course of their schooling, internships, and entry-level jobs. Soft skills, however, are the personal characteristics that candidates can also apply to their job, including professionalism, critical thinking, and creativity. While hard skills are specific to the individual duties of each professional, soft skills are useful to employees in any position, and they help to determine the way that an applicant will interact with members, patients, and associates of your facility.

Which Soft Skills to Look for in Applicants

You need to know that the next person you hire can perform, but you also need to know that they can successfully collaborate with your other employees, adapt to the ever-changing needs of your patients, and manage their time accordingly. Therefore, the top soft skills to look for when screening candidates include:

  • Communication — Whether it’s with a patient, third-party provider, or member of the same department, your employees must always clearly and professionally communicate.
  • Adaptability — Every patient, treatment plan, and medical claim are different from the last, which is why healthcare professionals must be able to adapt as needed.
  • Patience — Hiccups and holdups happen all the time in healthcare, which is why your future employees must be patient enough to provide excellent service at all times.
  • Time management — In the healthcare industry, workloads change on a daily basis. Therefore, it’s imperative that your staff can prioritize their daily and weekly tasks accordingly.
  • Teamwork — Being able to effectively collaborate within and outside of their own department is critical to the success of any healthcare employee.

Where to Find the Right Candidates for the Job

If you want to find candidates with not only the right soft skills, but also the right experience, education, and technical expertise for the job, partner with HealthCare Support. Our team of healthcare recruiters will find top talent for your open positions based on a range of factors. We’ll also use personalized skills assessment testing, screen each candidate with a multi-level system, and measure their performance with quality assurance calls. When you’re ready track down the best talent, call us today at 888-219-6285.

Mindfulness at Work

You may read this title and immediately think of monks or yoga poses, however mindfulness at work doesn’t need to involve either to decrease your stress level!  The main principal of mindfulness is being consciously present, that is being aware of what is going on around you and within you. Tips on exploring mindfulness are abundant and said to increase productivity, decrease stress and help take back control of your emotions. We’ve listed the basics, and our favorites below.

Press Pause

Give yourself time to live in the moment. Pause before heading into the office each morning and regularly throughout the day even if it’s for 4 slow deep breaths. This, along with different types of mindful exercises help rebalance the nervous system and encourage rational decisions over rash reactions.

Aim for Conscious Awareness

Practice being present in what you are doing, while you are doing it. It’s not uncommon to get distracted at work, but when your mind begins to wander, acknowledge it and bring your thoughts back to the project at hand.

Active Listening

Hearing, but not really listening… We’ve all been there! Also coined inactive listening, tends to happen when we are not in the moment, distracted by thoughts outside of the conversation or stressors unrelated to the topic. We often don’t realize this is happening until it’s too late. You’ve been asked a question or it’s your turn to talk and you’re clueless. To dodge these types of awkward scenarios, stay engaged by asking questions, providing feedback or even jotting down notes, if appropriate.

These small changes in mindfulness and therefore attitude can literally add years to your life and improve your productivity and achievements in the workplace.

Are You Engaged at Work?

This info graphic explains some great ways you can ensure you are remaining engaged at work. With 2/3 of the American working population disengaged we couldn’t help but share some tips!

statistics: CBS News

Signs of a Good and Bad Job Candidate

Finding the right employee to fill an open position at your company can be tough. If it seems like over and over again you are hiring the wrong people, you may need some help with the hiring process. Specifically, you need to be able to pick up on positive and negative signs of a candidate during the interview process. This way, you’ll avoid the dreaded situation of figuring out you’ve hired the wrong person and having to start the search over again. Watch out for the following indicators of good and bad candidates for your next job opening.

Good Sign: They show excitement and zeal.

Bad Sign: They seem disinterested or even bored.

Paying attention to the candidate’s level of interest in the job is critical. Sure, some may be polished, seasoned interviewees who know how to fake it for a job offer. But, you will usually be able to tell in your gut after getting to know them better if they are truly excited to work with you. On the other side, it is a serious red flag if the interviewee seems like they’d rather be somewhere else.

Good Sign: They are punctual and prepared.

Bad Sign: They are late and ill-prepared.

Punctuality conveys that the candidate values your time and is thoughtful enough to plan ahead. A good candidate will have multiple hard copies of their resume, and their resume itself will be carefully constructed with perfect grammar and punctuation. If a candidate comes in without their resume, or it has typos and basic mistakes, it shows that they are not detail-orientated and lack focus. If you think you can overlook these things, remember that they will likely make similar mistakes after you hire them.

Good Sign: They ask thoughtful questions.

Bad Sign: They have no questions at all.

If the candidate is asking in-depth questions about your company, it shows that they have spent time thoroughly researching things before coming in. Even more so, it demonstrates that they have carefully considered what it would be like to work at your company and aren’t sending out applications all over the place. A candidate that has no questions for you at the end of the interview is likely one that isn’t actually interested in your company, but sees the job simply as a way to make money.

The hiring process can be tiresome, stressful, and costly, so let HeathCare Support help you fill open positions with the right candidates. Our team specializes in matching all manner of health care professionals to employers looking to hire. Call us today to learn about how we can assist employers at 888-219-6285.

How to Choose Between Two Qualified Candidates

You have seen tons of applications, you have done countless phone interviews, and have been through many face-to-face interviews, but now you are stuck. There are two very qualified candidates that you just can’t seem to choose between. These two candidates have been side by side throughout the entire recruitment process, so how are you going to choose between these two candidates? Here are a few things to keep in mind if this situation occurs:

  1. For the Long Haul

Which of these candidates do you see fitting well long-term? Look into the future. What candidate do you think will positively impact the company down the road? Look past all the requirements and look at how much potential they have to grow and move up in the company. Also, look at the skills they have that don’t apply to the position, but could still be very useful to the company, such as leadership skills, enthusiasm, or being able to work in a team. There’s also the factor that this process is a two-way street. You might pick one candidate and they may not end up accepting the position. So, go with your gut. It’s usually never wrong.

  1. Coffee Break

Take them out for coffee. Get to know them a little outside the office.  Keep in mind that you’re going to be spending most of your time with them, so which candidate can you see yourself hanging out with or getting along with the rest of the team? While hanging out once may not uncover everything there is to know about the person, it will almost certainly leave you with a clear picture of if you mesh well. If possible, bring some of your coworkers with you and see what they think. Different people catch different things.

  1. Use References

Contact their previous employer for a reference. All it takes is one negative review, or even a sentence, from their previous employer for you to choose one over the other.

  1. Cover All Your Bases… Again

Make sure you have asked their thoughts on salary, the role, growth, etc. one last time. They should have no questions about the expectations for the position. During this final comparison you may uncover that one candidate has a bigger salary in mind or cannot say for certain if they’d accept the position immediately because they are interviewing for others simultaneously.

There are worst things than being torn between two great candidates. Even though the final decision is harder than you expected, the good thing about this situation is you’re going to end up with a good candidate no matter what. If you’re in the opposite position and struggling to find even 1 great candidate for your opening, consider working with a staffing and recruiting firm like ours. We specialize in the placement of healthcare professionals in both clinical and non-clinical roles and have a proprietary database with over 1 million vetted candidates. To start the process with us, submit a job request form here.