Soft skills are essential for interacting with coworkers, bosses, and patients. These skills influence how we feel about our jobs and how others perceive us. Strong soft skills are vital to healthcare because employees must communicate health information in a professional and inspiring manner. Lacking effective communication, patients may not listen or follow directions, which ultimately impacts their health. 

Five Essential Soft Skills to Look for When You Hire Your Next Healthcare Employee


Communication is, without question, the most vital skill in the healthcare workplace. It involves the ability to articulate oneself, listen, and use appropriate body language. It allows healthcare professionals to connect with patients. To assess communication skills in a potential hire, consider these questions: 

  • How do you communicate appropriately with a difficult colleague?
  • How would you explain a particular term to a person from a different discipline? 


This soft skill immediately impacts patient care. The ability to work alongside colleagues improves the level of care and safety for patients while increasing efficiency, job satisfaction, and responsiveness. When hiring an employee, seek out those who function efficiently as part of a team. Develop questions to assess their ability to be part of a team: 

  • Tell us about the experience of dealing with a team member who opposes your ideas? 
  • What would your reaction be if a team leader urged competition between team members instead of collaboration? 


Healthcare technology is everchanging, so it is essential for healthcare professionals to have the ability to incorporate change and adapt to new ways of working. Hiring an employee resistant to change will impact your organization’s morale while impeding their career growth. Consider asking a prospect the following: 

  • Discuss a situation when a project’s priorities underwent a change and you had to adapt? 
  • How do you handle multiple tasks with the same deadline? 


The flexible employee is ready to adapt to the demanding lifestyle of healthcare. Considering that healthcare positions are not the typical 9-5 jobs, flexibility is vital. Those hires who are habitually late or miss work frequently cause staff shortages. Working shorthanded causes other employees to work extra, which leads to high turnover and burnout. 

Time Management 

The ability to prioritize a daily workload while simultaneously managing multiple tasks is a critical skill for a healthcare worker. In medicine, lives depend on timeliness. Consider asking your potential hires these types of questions: 

  • How do you respond when you realize a task will be late? 
  • How do you track the progress of your tasks? 

Need Help? 

Finding, interviewing, and hiring an employee is a time-consuming and often frustrating experience. CnStaffing can find quality employees eager to help your organization succeed. Their recruiters do a variety of screening and skills assessments to ensure a potential hire will help you attain the goals of your organization.  


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