Soft Skills in Healthcare

The Importance of Soft Skills in Healthcare Hiring and How to Identify Them

Healthcare is a field that demands not only technical proficiency but also a strong set of soft skills.

Soft skills refer to personal attributes that enable individuals to interact effectively and harmoniously with others. In the healthcare industry, these skills are critical to providing high-quality patient care, fostering positive workplace relationships, and ensuring overall success.

A 2021 editorial in the Journal of Patient Safety found that communication errors were a significant factor in 70% of adverse events in healthcare settings. As such, healthcare leaders must place a high value on these skills when hiring new employees.


Being a clear communicator

One of the most important soft skills in healthcare is communication.

Clear and effective communication is essential for ensuring that patients receive the right care, at the right time, and in the right way. For example, a healthcare worker who communicates effectively with patients and their families can help to allay their fears, answer their questions, and ensure that they understand their treatment options.

Good communication also helps to prevent medical errors and promotes trust between patients and healthcare workers.


Empathy is Key

Another key soft skill to look for when hiring in healthcare is empathy.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others. This skill is particularly important in the healthcare industry as it allows healthcare workers to put themselves in their patients’ shoes and provide care that is tailored to their individual needs. Empathetic healthcare workers are better equipped to understand and respond to patients’ physical and emotional needs, leading to improved patient satisfaction and better health outcomes.


Being a Team Leader

In addition to communication and empathy, teamwork is another critical soft skill in healthcare, but it may be harder to spot in an interview.

Healthcare is a field that requires a collaborative approach, as workers must often rely on each other to provide the best care for patients. Effective teamwork helps to ensure that everyone is working towards a common goal and that each team member’s strengths are utilized to the fullest.

Asking questions during the interview about how candidates have handled conflict or working with others in high-pressure situations can be very insightful.


Having the ability to adapt

Finally, adaptability is another important soft skill to look for in healthcare interviews.

The healthcare field is constantly changing, and healthcare workers must be able to adapt to new technologies, procedures, and regulations. Healthcare workers who possess the ability to be flexible and adapt to change are better equipped to handle the demands of this field and provide the best care for patients.


Final Thoughts

Healthcare leaders must recognize the importance of soft skills in their hiring processes and make them a priority. There are several ways to identify these skills in candidates, such as conducting behavioral interviews, observing candidates during the interview process, checking references, and using pre-employment assessments.

By placing a high value on soft skills, healthcare leaders can help to ensure that their organizations provide the best care for patients, foster positive workplace relationships, and achieve overall success.


For more information on attracting talent in the healthcare industry, please contact us here.