Why identifying soft skills can help recruiters separate a good physician candidate from a great one.

Posted by Doximity TF Team

soft-skills-sGood communication is a “soft skill” that’s essential for building great relationships. It’s important for physicians to communicate effectively with patients and their families, plus honing communication can lead to stronger relationships with colleagues and vendors, too. In fact, soft skills are often what separates a good physician from a great one.

In a recent article from Forbes magazine, the top prediction for the healthcare industry in 2019 was this: Humanism and humanity will make a real comeback. How do we bring the humanity back to physician recruiting? We think a deeper look at soft skills is key.

You could call soft skills bedside manner, but they are skills that go well beyond patient care: teamwork, attitude, social acumen, and empathy. Commitment, confidence, and flexibility make the list of soft skills, too. Because soft skills often genuinely help doctors be more responsive to the needs of their patients and colleagues – and fit into the hospital or healthcare facility’s culture recruiting candidates with great soft skills can lead to higher physician retention, too.

Interpersonal skills aren’t part of the medical curriculum, so how do you recruit for them? Take a look at a candidate’s communications with you. Do they listen, read emails thoroughly, ask clear questions? You won’t find soft skills on a CV, but they complement the candidate’s hard skills. Feedback from their colleagues is a great way to learn about a candidate’s soft skills. Is the candidate open to constructive feedback?

Another soft skill that’s critical for physicians is time management. Physicians have many competing priorities. With heavy patient loads and mountains of administrative demands, the ability to focus and prioritize is crucial.

A 2019 survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Yoh says having the right experience and skills for a job is not enough – candidates also need to fit in culturally in order to succeed.  Another report form Modern Healthcare says, “soft skills are quickly becoming a core recruitment criterion for many healthcare positions, especially as patients are demanding a better level of service due to the rising cost of healthcare premiums.”

The report finds that employers are hungry for skills like communication, critical thinking, ethics and problem-solving. “The most valuable workers now and in the future, will be those who can combine technical knowledge with human skills.”

We wrote about soft skills previously, and one item of note bears repeating: some doctors are taking pains to improve their soft skills by attending creative and communication workshops that help them become more socially receptive and expressive in how they deal with patients and colleagues.

Do your candidates offer solid interpersonal skills? Are they adaptable? Are they empathetic? Look for the right balance between soft skills and hard skills and amp up your physician recruitment game.

Are you looking to hire outstanding physicians? Social recruiting is a great place to find and connect with this group of talent. To learn more about how you can use social recruiting to hire the best doctors, click the button below.

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Topics: Social Recruiting, Soft skills complement hard skills, What soft skills mean in physician recruitment, interpersonal skills

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