What Job Seekers Should Know About the Hospital Hiring Process
Every hospital or hospital system is a little different, but the hospital hiring process is pretty standard. Of course, the application process starts with a solid resume. While you might be a wizard with patient care, you should be equally confident your resume is polished and professional. If you struggle with formatting or clearly conveying your depth of experience, get help. Your first impression with a hiring manager is through your resume. Don’t waste it with a bad impression. Do a thorough job search on the hospital’s site and then select jobs that are the best fit for you. Don’t apply willy nilly to everything. That leaves a bad impression with hospital recruiters. While the competition for top healthcare jobs is tight, if you are good at what you do, have strong presentation skills both while interviewing, and your resume, you should have no problem landing an excellent hospital job. If you need help finding that perfect job, or if you need help filling YOUR job, seek out Healthcare recruiters that works in the hospital space.
What Hospitals Want from Applicants
Hospital hiring managers are going to choose the applicant that best matches the skills that are in highest demand – AND has an outgoing personality that will resonate with patients. For instance, if you are an ICU nurse and have hands-on experience with that hospital’s brand of critical care equipment AND you know its EMR backwards and forwards, you will stand out over another candidate that has experience with patient monitoring devices, but not the ones this hospital uses. But IF you have that specific experience but a sour attitude, your “sun flower” colleague may get the nod over you because she convinced the hiring manager she could quickly get up to speed on their equipment. It’s a balancing act.
- Your licensure and credentialing needs to be up to date for the specific role you are applying for.
- Personality is key for landing a hospital job. Are you approachable? Are you outgoing? Are you a team player? Can you manage multiple competing priorities, especially in emergency situations? The best hospitals are well oiled machines, with each employee filling a specific need. But you have to be the kind of person who can step in to fill gaps, willingly, as needed. This is something you have to convey, and this should show via your references and track record.
- Your resume should be polished and professional.
- Resume Tips: DO NOT use color, or fancy fonts to decorate it. Keep it simple, clear, concise but DO convey the depth of your experience. Bullet points are a great way to organize.
- Resume Design: For example, you could use bullet points to list your certifications and credentialing.
- Make sure you have 3-5 strong references, with at least one you reported directly to. You need to contact those references, tell them what you are applying for, make sure
Steps in the Hospital Hiring Process
- Once your application has been received, generally you will automatically receive an email confirmation. It’s a good idea to set up a “job search” folder that you can add these important documents to. It’s also very important you “enable” that email so future emails don’t go into your spam folder. This is the route you likely will be notified of future interviews.
- Usually the first step is review and hopefully a phone interview with the hospital’s internal recruiter. Do your homework and practice obvious interview questions.
- Telephone interview tips: Your personality must shine during this first interview because it’s critical to moving on to the next step, which likely would be with the hiring manager. This may also be by phone or video, but could also be in person.
- On-site interview tips: Some hospital systems interview in a panel format, with several leaders asking different questions. This is when you need to come up with different answers to questions. For example, “tell me about a time when you had to step in to help a colleague who was in trouble with a patient. How did you handle it and what was the outcome?”
- Be prepared with articulate and relevant questions to ask your interviewers. For instance:
- “How quickly do you want to fill this position and what can I expect time wise during this process?”
- Can you describe the hospital’s reporting structure and culture?
- Is there a difference between internal and external hospital hiring in terms of my chances of being hired?
- Will I be notified directly of any status change of my application or do I need to log onto a separate portal?
- How long do you generally give candidates to consider an offer?
- When you are asked about salary, be honest in what you would accept. Do ask about benefits.
- Be prepared for background checks and drug testing.
Each hospital runs different timelines on hiring, depending on urgency and need, which is why it’s a good idea to ask this important question at the beginning of the process.