Factors influencing the selection of personnel consultancies in the healthcare sector

Recruitment consultancies play a crucial role in the healthcare sector, and an insight into the perspective of clients shows how they are used, which aspects are important and what added value and the most important criteria are valued in the collaboration.

Hannes Sommer
Hannes Sommer
Founder & Managing Director Sinceritas Executive Search

Results of a client survey

Personnel consulting plays a decisive role in the recruitment and provision of specialists in the healthcare sector.

An insight into the perspective of clients shows how recruitment consultancies are used and which aspects are most important. Based on this, it can be concluded what a recruitment consultancy should be used for most effectively.

So where do clients see the greatest added value and what is most important to them in the collaboration?

Survey "Drivers of customer satisfaction in personnel consulting"

In an internal survey, 89 participating clients were asked about their satisfaction with the recruitment consultancy. The results are interesting as they rate selected services according to importance and added value and thus provide a picture of why a company needs personnel consulting. The added value can also be used to see from a business perspective where personnel consulting reduces costs. Finally, the question of which service packages would be purchased individually is examined.

These individual items in turn underline the results of the other questions. For example, the leading position in the survey on added value is the "identification and approach" of candidates. The "identification of suitable candidates" would be just as likely to be purchased individually.

(Fig.1: Company's own customer survey with 89 participants; greatest added value of items, 2020)

It therefore shows the advantage of recruitment consultancies, as these service areas can often not - or only insufficiently - be provided by the respective clients themselves. Clients are often confronted with capacity bottlenecks as well as a lack of access to suitable candidates.

A recruitment consultancy can create real added value and introduce clients to suitable candidates. A distinction must be made here between so-called active search (precise selection, approach and qualification of suitable candidates) and pure recruitment (presentation of existing candidates from a database without prior qualification).

Identification of the candidates

(Fig. 2: Company's own customer survey, with 89 participants; individual items, 2020)

A recruitment consultancy has the great advantage of having a network of tens of thousands of contacts at its disposal. Individual companies would have to establish contacts via advertisements and other channels Recruiting Channels. This is a very costly and time-consuming procedure that cannot match the reach of an established recruitment consultancy. Because an automated search in the network of so-called "headhunters" can identify a much larger number of potential candidates much more quickly.

Active sourcing can also be used to target specific individuals. This means that "hidden candidates" who are not actively looking for a new job can also be found. As it is not just about finding candidates who superficially match the job offer. Rather, people are specifically identified who match the company's profile and the requirements of the position.

Quality of the candidates

The "quality of the candidates presented" is consequently the highest prioritized aspect in the question about the importance of the individual services.

(Fig. 3: Company's own customer survey, with 89 participants; importance of the items, 2020)

The "quality of the candidates presented" is followed at some distance by the consulting and professional expertise of the contact persons. The expertise of the recruiters is thus ahead of the "speed to fill" and the "number of candidates presented".

The quality and identification of candidates can therefore be seen as the most important benefit of a recruitment consultancy. For individual positions, the "approaching candidates" follows in second place.

Active Sourcing

Active sourcing through a recruitment consultancy is also attractive for candidates because they can act discreetly. An approach by a headhunter is initially anonymous.

This can sometimes be a decisive factor for hospital managers. This is because "70% of candidates (attach particular importance) to the aspect of anonymity and discretion," writes Management & Hospital magazine.

Employees are therefore open to being approached about new vacancies without having to make a decision immediately. This can be a decisive factor for managers in particular.

Recruit management positions in hospitals

Candidates for management positions cannot simply be reached with a WhatsApp number for a quick application. This is common practice for nurses at lower hierarchical levels, for example. Without saying that it is "easy" to recruit nurses. On the contrary. But recruitment consultancies can also help here.

However, employees in management positions are often already in an employment relationship and should therefore be contacted discreetly.

In the future, the shortage of staff will increase due to demographic change and hospitals are dependent on solutions. A lack of applications is also jeopardizing the next generation of senior physicians. At the same time, there is still a lack of female managers in German hospitals. Chief physician positions are held by men 90% of the time, although women make up 48% of working doctors.

In the latter two cases, the reasons are also structural: working hours and a lack of work-life balance. However, the conditions in hospitals are changing. Positions can be shared, benefits are being expanded and the idea of open management in hospitals Open management in hospitals can create new opportunities for participation.

By approaching them directly, a recruitment consultancy has the opportunity to encourage managers to apply for the next higher position.

Active sourcing offers the advantage of being discreet and confidential, so that the current employer is initially unaware of the desire to change jobs.

Further advantages of personnel consulting

A company also benefits from other services offered by a recruitment consultancy, which can be selected individually or in combination. In the survey of individual positions, "identification and approach" is followed by "qualification" with the help of "appropriate interview management".

“Support with applicant and feedback management" is therefore also described as having a relatively high added value. Finally, advice on "salary benchmarking" is one of the areas to which added value is attributed.

Because, when a company outsources these points to an HR consultancy, it saves time and money because it does not have to worry about the details of the application process. It benefits from the expertise of a recruitment consultancy, the experience and the contacts to many potential candidates.

As shown above, advice on HR strategy and even employer branding is also desired, even if this is not as highly prioritized as the previously mentioned service areas. Employer branding is particularly important for hospitals in the long term, because a strong employer brand can both attract candidates and retain employees in the long term.

The benefits of an HR consultancy can therefore not only have an impact on recruitment, but also on long-term cooperation. In this way, sustainable customer satisfaction can ensure employee retention.


This company survey shows that clients see added value and importance in working with a recruitment consultancy. It is primarily the identification and selection of candidates that are prioritized. With active sourcing, a recruitment consultancy has the opportunity to recruit candidates discreetly and anonymously. What's more, "hidden candidates" can also be encouraged to apply for open positions.

But the individual steps in recruiting after selection are also considered important. Thus, the recruitment consultancy can add significant value through a deep understanding of the industry, the recruitment of high-quality and well-fitting candidates and the process of hiring in hospitals and medical care centers.

Ultimately, this helps to fill vacant positions in the healthcare sector and thus ensure the quality of healthcare.