In the quest for exceptional healthcare ops managers, knowing what skills to look for is half the battle. We’ve outlined seven skills your ideal candidate should have.

Healthcare operations is an expanding sector focused on the intricate business and administrative aspects of medicine. It’s a complex field dealing with the ins and outs of insurance, billing and payments. But its main goals? Providing excellent patient care and keeping the books balanced.

Given this, it's no surprise that the demand for talent in health services is skyrocketing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 28 percent growth in medical and health services careers from 2021 to 2031. If you're searching for new managerial talent in your healthcare organization, it's essential to identify candidates with the right blend of clinical acumen and leadership prowess.

So, what are the top seven skills your healthcare operations leaders need?

1. problem-solving

Analytical skills are non-negotiable for professionals in this field. The best healthcare ops professionals combine the clearheadedness to tackle those “Houston, we have a problem” moments with the strategic foresight to keep everything running smoothly in a constantly shifting regulatory landscape. 

2. tech-savvy

In this digital age, it’s not enough for healthcare operations leaders to be comfortable around computers. They need to understand how to leverage technology to improve processes, patient experiences and outcomes. From electronic health records to telemedicine, technology is transforming healthcare. A tech-savvy leader can identify the right tech solutions for your organization, ensuring you stay ahead of the curve. Plus, they'll need to understand cybersecurity to protect sensitive patient data.

3. change management

Change is a constant in healthcare operations. Leaders in this field need strong change management skills to help their teams adapt to these changes. They should be able to evaluate the potential impact of changes, develop and implement transition plans and support staff throughout the process. A leader who can smoothly navigate change can make the difference between successful adaptation and organizational disruption.

4. budgeting expertise

A primary duty of healthcare operations leaders is overseeing the organization's financial health. This responsibility spans from ensuring adequate supplies for patient care to managing payroll. Seek a candidate who is comfortable crunching numbers, ideally with some financial planning experience. During interviews, don't shy away from asking about a andidate's expertise in managing overhead and cutting costs, all without compromising patient care.

5. business administration acumen

Modern healthcare organizations operate as businesses, so it’s a huge advantage to have leaders with a knack for strategic planning to help hit your financial and performance targets. Look for credentials like field-specific MBA programs like an MBA in healthcare management.

6. patient care understanding

While healthcare operations roles primarily focus on business functions, leaders must possess a solid understanding of patient care and clinical operations to execute their duties effectively. Experience in these areas enables healthcare operations managers to make informed decisions that balance operational efficiency with exceptional care standards. You can get a feel for a candidate's clinical knowledge by asking about their experience shadowing providers or working in big hospitals where these skills are tested daily.

7. relevant soft skills

When hiring for health services roles, getting lost in the weeds of technical or hard skills is easy. But don’t forget about interpersonal or soft skills. Look for excellence in areas like communication, relationship building and conflict management. These skills equip leadership candidates to get the most out of the teams that report to them.

Need a hand finding the right healthcare operations professionals for your organization? Get in touch with us today, and let’s talk about how Randstad can support you every step of the way. And if you have a spare five minutes, learn how Randstad helped a healthcare giant kick-start its operations post-COVID.