Insiders' Insights: Recruiting in a Recession

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Healthcare is in an odd place these days. On one hand, healthcare is one of the labor market's few growth areas, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the other hand, hospital layoffs are becoming increasingly commonplace. Is the dire economic climate helping or hurting executive leadership recruitment efforts?

Joseph Patrnchak
Chief Human Resources Officer
Cleveland Clinic

Whether you are in a good economy or a bad economy, the key to recruiting is to build a strong brand to be an employment destination. If you are working hard to be an employment destination and a great place to work and grow, the bad economy doesn't affect your ability to recruit. In fact, sometimes it actually helps because if you have that brand, it may facilitate recruitment in certain jobs. However, the bad economy does impact a bit if you are recruiting nationally, because the work force tends to be a little less mobile in their ability to relocate and sell their homes. Also, during a bad economy people do mentally become a little less mobile: "I know what I have right now, so I'm not going to move."

Rosemary Haefner
Vice President of Human Resources

Healthcare continues to be one of the strongest and most recession-proof of all industries despite tough economic times, adding 372,000 jobs in 2008. An aging population requiring more medical attention is helping to fuel job growth and has healthcare organizations facing a shortage of qualified talent. Healthcare executives are in demand. In a recent survey, 80% of healthcare workers say that while they are not actively looking for a new job, they would be open to a new one if they came across the right position. This is good news for those recruiting healthcare executives and bad news for those who will be losing qualified workers to the competition. Healthcare organizations will need to revisit recruitment and retention efforts to ensure they're emphasizing what is most important to critical talent.

John Commins

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