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Qualities and Traits to Look for When Hiring for Healthcare Jobs

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Recruiting healthcare staff is a little different than hiring other professionals because employers have to consider things beyond the candidates’ academic records and hard skills. 

Healthcare providers have the tremendous responsibility to hire the right staff in their practices because this decision literally affects multiple lives. All healthcare specialists apply for a job after passing a series of trials and exams, and each of them flawlessly knows the inner workings of the human body. But their knowledge and education aren’t enough when you’re looking to hire a stellar professional for your practice. Besides their diploma, many other qualities and traits are required to qualify them for the job. A day in the life of a healthcare practice employee is described as far from easy-going and relaxed. Like all the jobs in the medical field, it comes with many responsibilities, tasks, and duties. No two days look the same in medical practice, and the candidates’ qualities make the difference between an average and stellar worker. 

Here are the traits to look for when hiring for healthcare jobs

Flexibility and adaptability

The ideal candidate for a healthcare practice is able to work in a chaotic and highly unpredictable setting. Medical emergencies are common in most medical practices, and if an accident happens near the facility, they should be immediately available to help. Depending on the specificity of the practice, medical specialists might have to come in from their free time to perform time-sensitive procedures and treatments. Also, some medical procedures take long hours, and your employees should be willing to work overtime. In addition, in a medical office, all manner of things need to be taken care of in a short time, so the candidate should be willing to put their personal life aside and make themselves available when needed. 

You want your staff to be happy with their job, and happy medical workers are adaptable specialists. The unpredictability of the schedule comes with the job, and if they get upset for not being able to plan months in advance or to work during holidays, they might not be the right candidate. Adaptability is a mindset in the medical sector and requires the professional to consider all options. They should remember that what they have in mind isn’t the only possibility, and flexible thinking should be one of the traits they possess if they want to succeed. 

Empathy and emotional intelligence

Healthcare specialists choose this career because they want to help other people, and therefore they should be quite empathetic. But this is not always the case, and as an employer, you must ensure that your staff has clinical empathy. The Society for General Internal Medicine defines the concept as the act of acknowledging the state of an individual correctly without experiencing it. There is no doubt why people working in the medical field should show empathy, they’re working with suffering individuals. But because the healthcare experts don’t experience the same symptoms as the patients, some might keep an emotional distance. 

Besides being empathetic, your workers should also be emotionally stable. Being able to stay calm under pressure is a crucial skill when working in a medical facility because they can deal with medical emergencies daily. So, they have to understand their patients’ emotions without being affected to provide them with the needed care. Healthcare specialists care for people in great pain, and they should show them kindness, empathy, and emotional stability to boost their confidence and assure them they’re in the right hands. 

Great communication skills

An essential part of being a medical specialist is engaging with people from all walks of life, so having great communication skills is a paramount requirement to be an efficient medical worker. Communication skills enable them to work efficiently in a stress-inducing and fast-paced environment. 

Also, patients often neglect to tell the full story to their doctors or are hesitant to provide some details about their symptoms. The healthcare specialist’s job is to make them feel at ease to share complete information about their health. They should encourage their patients to provide them with all details about the issue so they can treat them accordingly. 

You want to hire staff with excellent communication skills because it’ll protect your practice from being held liable for medical malpractice. When a worker cannot explain to the patient what a procedure implies, they make your practice a target for a medical negligence lawsuit. The specialists from provide information about how patients can claim compensation when they fall victim to medical negligence and the scenarios when they can hold an institution liable for it. Check the data to ensure you don’t make one of the listed mistakes.  


We have already established that the medical field is a high-stress environment, and your healthcare practice staff should be able to make a diagnosis and identify the best treatment for your patient as quickly as possible. There’s no room for your staff to second-guess their decisions because it can lead to medical negligence. Being a good medical expert also comes with being self-confident, besides having the needed education and other soft skills. When under high stress, your staff have to rely on their gut to make the right decisions and ensure the patients benefit from proper care. 

Time management skills

No matter the specific area of your medical facility, not all patients are cut-and-dry cases. You already know that some individuals require more time to identify their conditions than others. Also, some might be anxious and fearful and need reassurance that a specialist will handle them. Others might have several questions about the condition and treatment. Time management skills are essential to enable your physicians to juggle between consults without making your patients rushed or unwelcome. Ensure your future employees are able to prioritise their tasks and provide the patients with proper care. 

Let’s wrap it up

Now you know what qualities and traits to look for in a candidate. Make sure you identify them during the interview to develop a team of professionals who always put the patients first.

About the author


Cynthia Madison