The most sought-after skills in the healthcare industry

By Rachel Lamb . 09/08/2018 · 4 Minute read

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With ongoing skills shortages across the care industry, employers are in desperate need of talented individuals to fill these gaps. 

A career in healthcare can be extremely rewarding, while also challenging. This means it takes someone with the right skill set to succeed in a healthcare industry role.

So, what are the most desirable skills in the sector? In this article, we explain the key skills employers are looking for from healthcare workers and why these are so important.


You will struggle to find a role in the industry that doesn't involve teamwork. The best team players should be able to carry out their roles independently, but also help others where necessary.

This should contribute towards creating a positive and productive team dynamic, where patients receive the best level of care.

However, it only takes one individual who doesn't work well with others to create a poor team dynamic. This can cause miscommunication, tension and even compromise patient wellbeing. Therefore, teamwork is a key skill on every hiring manager's checklist.


Roles in this industry are people-based, which means you'll always be interacting with others. So, if your patients, their relatives or your colleagues struggle to understand and communicate with you, it can cause a heap of problems.

On top of this, there are many potential barriers to communication that can prove to be challenging within the health sector. For instance, some patients may not be able to communicate verbally and others may not speak your language.

Therefore, your communication skills must be brilliant to be able to handle the demands of this industry.

Compassion and empathy

You could have all the qualifications in the world, but without compassion or empathy, it's unlikely that you'll succeed in healthcare. After all, you'll be working with individuals who have a variety of needs and they'll require more than just physical assistance.

Employers are looking for those who are able to build relationships with their patients and create trusting and positive connections.

There may be times when you have to give others bad news or provide emotional support to someone who is distressed. Hence, being compassionate towards others will go a long way.


When caring for others, it's essential that your observation skills are sharp. There may be times when you need to safeguard a patient or raise a concern. Those who are observant will usually be quicker to notice the smaller details, which make a big difference.

For instance, someone who is observant may notice that a patient seems confused and take the appropriate action before the problem worsens. Therefore, employers will want candidates who are on the ball and who pay attention to detail.


With limited time to spend with each patient and understaffing issues causing heavy workloads, organisation is an important skill in this industry. After all, the work can be demanding and the option to clock-off at finishing time may not be possible.

You may have to prioritise tasks and complete paperwork alongside your duties to patients. For some, this may prove stressful and will only worsen with a lack of time management skills.

This means that those with good organisational skills should be able to manage the challenges more effectively.

What's more, when someone is responsible for the care of others, disorganisation could be problematic, especially if someone isn't prepared for an emergency or is late to give a patient their medication.

In summary

The healthcare industry can be challenging to work in, so it takes an individual with the right skills and mindset to work effectively. Overall, employers are looking for those who have a good balance of these skills and are able to put them into practice in a care setting.

Advice from CV-Library, the UK's leading independent job board, which advertises jobs across the UK. It also owns a range of sector-specific career sites, including JobsMedical.

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