Executive Jobs - Hospital Executives on the Move: A Recruiter's Perspective

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RSG Health Services reports demand for executive search up significantly over last year. While many clinical providers and ancillary staff are staying put to weather the storm, many healthcare executives are on the move.

RSG Health Services finds executive job requisitions are up significantly over last quarter as healthcare executives plan their next endeavor.

As part of a routine quarterly analysis, RSG Health Services found the demand for executive placement increased by almost 14% over last quarter, up 26% over last year. “As a healthcare recruiter for almost 20 years, I have never seen an employment market quite like the one we’re simmering in. While many clinical providers and ancillary staff are staying put to weather the storm, many healthcare executives are on the move,” says Dale Hannegan, a Partner with RSG Health Services.

According to Hannegan, it’s because smart leadership is in short supply, and companies are trying to get the best and brightest in an effort to remain profitable. “Keep in mind, there are many young executives out there who have never seen the likes of an economy like this. Many are struggling to keep their organizations above water”, says Hannegan.

Regardless of how some feel about working with recruiters, many top executives work with executive recruiters for a variety of reasons. The top reason is usually confidentiality. The second is time. “Successful executives typically do not have the time to surf job boards all day, nor do they want their resume being plastered all over the web. Therefore, a relationship and understanding is established between me and the executive, and I go to work", says Hannegan.

The recruitment model has also redirected to some degree, whereas more and more hospitals are opting to work on a retainer model for many of their high level searches. According to Hannegan, this type of agreement offers a higher level of service, a partnership mentality and overall better results. Savvy executives understand this too. “Typically, when a hospital opts for a full-service approach to recruitment that means they are working with fewer search firms. In many cases, only us. This tends to benefit all parties involved because it’s less to manage and you can focus on quality, not quantity. Furthermore, healthcare executives like this as well. They know a hospital who has the mentality of working on retainer is serious and shows the financial commitment to find the right person for the job”, says Hannegan.


There is a surplus of candidates on the market for many positions these days. However, the lack of quality executive candidates is the main issue at hand. “Many executives jumped around when times were good, and now that has come back to haunt them in this economy. If your resume shows five jobs in ten years, or that you have been a “consultant” on and off for a long time, you’re not well-positioned as a candidate”, says Hannegan.

Traditional methods of candidate procurement do not apply well with healthcare executive search. Human Resources Departments typically have their own “in-house recruiters”, but they typically rely on candidates coming to them through ads or websites. Run an ad on a job site or post it in the newspaper. You’ll get candidates alright, and you will spend the next week going through a pile of discouragement. In order to find high caliber executives, you have to have a thick skin. “In-house recruiters do not cold-call an executive at work to ask them if they would consider another job opportunity if the situation was better for them. Many are not privy to the sources that are available beyond what corporate gives them to find candidates. The fact is, we do things HR recruiters sometimes don’t have the time to do”, says Hannegan.

RSG Health Services meticulously controls costs from every angle, so we understand the hospitals need to do the same. We have partnered with health care organizations to deliver honesty and integrity in the industry for many years, and our clients include large academic medical centers, physician group practices, and critical access hospitals. There is no organization too large or too small and we take the same approach with all of our partners. We listen, refine, set expectations, work the process and deliver. “If you want it done right, call me. If anything, I can give you some free advice. I’ve given out so much free advice in my career, I should charge by the hour. If after we talk I feel we can’t help, I will tell you”, says Hannegan.

Dale Hannegan
RSG Health Services
(800) 804-2345


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Bridgette Dipboye
RSG Health Services
(800) 804-2345
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