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Healthcare Positions: How to Find the Hidden Job Market in Healthcare

Updated on February 10, 2010

The hidden job market in healthcare is much larger than the advertised job market. Most job seekers do not know about these healthcare positions; so, few people apply for them.

A whopping 80% of all jobs are filled without employer advertising. This is why many healthcare positions are hidden from most job seekers. Instead of advertising available jobs, many hospitals and health care companies work with recruiters. In addition, they post their job openings internally; so, their own employees can apply for a promotion or do a lateral transfer into a job they prefer.

This hiring strategy saves hospitals and health care companies a lot of money; they can avoid spending a lot of money hiring and training new employees. Instead of losing a current employee to another company, they can promote or transfer him (or her) to another position that can offer more income and job satisfaction.

Another hiring strategy that healthcare companies use is that they pay current employees financial incentives or bonuses for referring job candidates. These bonuses can be as much as $1000 to $2000 or even more just for one referral -- and employees are always encouraged to refer as many people as possible. This strategy allows companies to get pre-screened job applicants. Even with financial incentives, most employees will only refer candidates that they know very well and they think will potentially be good employees for the company. Why? They know they might end up working with job applicants they referred and they’re going to be careful choosing their potential co-workers.

So, how do you find a job in healthcare if you don’t know anyone who is already working there? One solution is to try working with a recruiter.

Especially if you think you will be a good candidate for a job that’s hard to fill, it’s a very good idea to work with a recruiter. You can use these job search tools to find a recruiter for your target position. Some of the jobs are posted by recruiters and you can get their contact information by using these search tools: - This is a search engine for jobs. This allows job seekers to find jobs posted on thousands of company career sites and job boards. Many recruiters also post jobs here.

  • You can search for available jobs near your area by using keywords.
  • You can get information about government jobs and internships.
  • You can also get information about jobs in other countries.
  • You can get additional job search-related tools that can help make your search easier.
  • You can get job and industry trends. This is useful in finding out if jobs are increasing or decreasing in your industry of interest.
  • You can search salaries from over 50 million jobs in the past year. - This is a very useful tool for locating hard-to-find jobs in your city or country. Many companies and recruiters post their jobs using this site because it’s very inexpensive and cost-effective.

  • You can search for available jobs near your area by using keywords.
  • You can search for part-time, contract, telecommuting and non-profit jobs as well as internships.
  • You can also search for healthcare positions offered by individuals or families needing someone to help care for a disabled or sick family member. You can find "Medical/Health" under the Jobs category and you can search for people needing a “caregiver” near your area.

What else can you do to find hidden jobs in healthcare?

You can call a hospital or healthcare company in your area and talk to Human Resources (HR) about any available jobs related to your background. You can visit their website to check for any available jobs that they may not be advertising, but they have posted online. You can also visit the company and apply directly.

You can use local search to find a hospital or healthcare company in your area. You can input your city or zip code and use the keywords: “health care”, “healthcare”, “hospital”, “nursing center”, “nursing facility”, “convalescent”, “home health”, “home care”, “private duty”, “senior care”, "health service jobs" or "medical jobs".

If you’re feeling gutsy, you can also do some “networking” onsite. Talk to some nurses, therapists and other healthcare employees; you can try to get some information about any available jobs or soon-to-be-available jobs that they know about. You can also try to get some advice about getting hired for their company.

It’s a good idea to wear office attire when you do this; so, people will be less afraid and more willing to talk to you. You do not want anyone to call security just because you look scary. Besides, you want to be able to go to HR and apply right away if there is a job opportunity available.

Try to approach and have your “networking” discussion with someone who doesn’t look busy or in a rush. Otherwise, you might not get a positive response. Try not to take it personally if a health care employee does not want to stop and help you. Remember, health providers have patients to see and deadlines to meet. Unless you’re very unlucky or your timing is just poor, you should not have any problems getting help from one of the employees for that healthcare company. Remember, healthcare employees are in a helping profession. So, it’s very likely that they will help you if you ask for it. Just like any other networking event, you have to be courteous and respectful of your potential network.

Additional Tips:

  • Don’t rule yourself out just because you don’t have any experience for a healthcare job. Some positions will offer on-the-job training.
  • If you apply for a job in a convalescent hospital, nursing center or nursing facility, ask HR if they offer on-the-job training and certification. You can use the certificate to get an easier or better-paying job in the future.
  • If possible, try to work for multiple healthcare agencies especially if you’re going to work for smaller, private companies. Why? If the patient census is low and you end up not working for one agency, you can accept an assignment (a patient) from another agency. What if you already have a patient from one agency and another one wants to give you a patient? Just tell the truth. Just say, you’re already working and can’t take another patient… but you’re available for other assignments in the future. For large hospitals like Kaiser, low patient census is usually not an issue; so, you shouldn’t need more than one job if you get hired there.

Due to the aging population and the unhealthy lifestyle of Americans, opportunities in healthcare will only get bigger. By finding the hidden job market, you can have an edge and find well-paying healthcare positions faster than other job seekers.

Interested in Healthcare Positions or Medical Jobs? You Can Get An Edge By Finding the Hidden Job Market


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