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How to Become a Healthcare Recruiter: Education and Career Roadmap

Learn how to become a healthcare recruiter. Research the job description and the education requirements and find out how to start a career in healthcare recruiting.

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Do I Want to Be a Healthcare Recruiter?

Healthcare recruiters, also known as human resources specialists, assist in finding qualified professionals to fill positions in the healthcare industry. They may write and place job ads, participate in job fairs, review resumes and job applications, conduct interviews and check references for job applicants. Healthcare recruiters must understand the healthcare field and be proficient in keeping track of the various applicants' credentials, certifications and licensure. This is a people-oriented job that requires communication and social skills.

Job Requirements

Most healthcare recruiting positions require a bachelor's degree and related work experience in sales or recruiting. Certification is optional. The following table contains the main qualifications for healthcare recruiters:

Common Requirements
Degree Level Bachelor's degree typically preferred or required*
Degree Field Human resources or related field*
Experience Varies; 1-4 years of human resources, recruiting or related experience is common**
Certification Voluntary professional certification may be required or preferred by prospective employers*
Key Skills Ability to work independently and as part of a team; strong written, verbal and organizational skills*
Computer Skills Proficiency in word processing, database and human resources software***

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Online job postings from employers (January 2013), ***O*Net Online.

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

The majority of employers prefer healthcare recruiters who have a bachelor's degree. In addition to human resources, relevant majors include communications, finance, marketing and business. Regardless of their major, students may consider taking courses in human resources management, employee development, operations management and marketing principles.

Success Tips:

  • Develop strong communication and interpersonal skills. Communicating with job applicants and members of the management team is one of the key responsibilities of healthcare recruiters. To develop these skills, students may take courses in English, public speaking and psychology.
  • Get familiar with common programs and systems. Employers typically expect candidates to be familiar with Microsoft Office and other Windows programs. To gain proficiency in these programs, one can take advantage of the free training videos and materials offered by Microsoft, or practice using them regularly.

Step 2: Gain the Necessary Work Experience

Previous experience is highly preferred by most employers of healthcare recruiters. Aspiring recruiters can establish themselves in the field by working in a variety of industries, including sales, marketing, staffing, recruiting or human resources. Experience requirements vary for each employer, but many prefer candidates who have 1-4 years of previous experience.

Step 3: Get a Job as a Healthcare Recruiter

Healthcare recruiters can find employment in a variety of settings, including staffing agencies, hospitals, clinics and healthcare facilities. While working as a healthcare recruiter, one can expect to screen and interview potential candidates, maintain and update candidate files in a database and participate in recruiting events.

Step 4: Consider Certification

Although there are no certification requirements for healthcare recruiters, achieving certification may help individuals demonstrate competence and knowledge in the field. The National Association for Health Care Recruitment offers the Certified Health Care Recruiter (CHCR) credential; applicants must have at least two years of work experience. Candidates also need to take an exam that covers resource management, screening, interviewing, hiring, information management and marketing.

Success Tip:

  • Make sure to keep certification current. The CHCR credential is valid for a two-year period. To maintain certification, one can complete 20 hours of continuing education during this time or choose to retake the exam, as well as pay any associated fees.
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