Join us online for Radancy’s Talent Acquisition Leaders Day 2024 on April 16th!

Sign up now! →

The results of the world’s biggest employee referral benchmark report are finally in!

Download it now →

junger Pfleger mit zwei älteren Menschen beim Mittagessen in einer Pflegeeinrichtung
Picture of Verfasst von Julia Warisch

Verfasst von Julia Warisch

Shortage of Skilled Workers in Healthcare – Are Employee Referrals the Solution?

Firstbird has now become Radancy.

We have merged with Radancy, the global leader in talent technology. Learn more

In order to attract the best talent and use it to advance the company, HR teams in the healthcare sector try to present themselves as attractive employers and create a pleasant working atmosphere for employees. However, as is known from numerous media stories, there is simply a lack of skilled workers. Although the media and politicians are addressing the shortage of skilled workers in the healthcare sector, it will still be a while before possible political measures take effect. Therefore, companies in the healthcare sector have to take up the war for talent themselves. Many of them are resorting to employee referrals as a solution.

The shortage of healthcare professionals is coming to a head

A lack of skilled workers in the healthcare sector has already been apparent for years. According to PwC, 290,000 positions in the healthcare sector in Germany were unfilled in 2022.[1] Nursing and inpatient and outpatient care for the elderly are particularly affected. The lack of skilled workers has a direct impact on employees, 57% of whom work unpaid overtime every week[2] to keep the system running.

Future projections also paint a bleak picture. The World Health Organization projects a global shortage of 10 million healthcare workers by 2030[3], and in Germany, 1.8 million unfilled positions are expected by 2035, representing nearly 35% of the required workforce.[1]

The reason for the shortage of healthcare professionals is composed of two aspects. First, the population is undergoing a change. Life expectancy is rising, which means that the population is getting older on average and therefore the need for healthcare services and thus healthcare professionals is increasing. At the same time, however, fewer and fewer young people are opting for a career in the healthcare sector, which is why the number of newly trained professionals is declining. The challenging working conditions, including low salaries, are a deterrent to entering this field. In addition, the lack of skilled workers already results in an overload of existing employees. In addition, the lack of skilled workers already results in an overload of existing employees. They have to meet the demand despite an understaffed workforce, which is why increasing numbers of healthcare personnel are opting to change careers. A vicious circle that further fuels the shortage of healthcare professionals.

Birds of a feather flock together, even in healthcare

Recruiters are increasingly turning to employee referrals to build a workforce that can collectively meet the challenges of healthcare. Through employee-recruit-employee programs, organizations are leveraging their employees’ networks to find suitable candidates for open positions. In Radancy’s 2022 Employee Referrals Benchmark Report, 75% of healthcare companies surveyed said they already use employee referrals in recruiting. The most common goal here is to increase hiring. Digital employee referral programs in particular have other advantages for the company.

Employee referrals bring high-quality applications

Because your employees know what qualities, education, and experience suitable applicants must have for an open position, they only recommend potential candidates who match this profile. 76% of recruiters describe the quality of recommended candidates as high or very high in the Employee Referrals Benchmark Report. This is particularly helpful in the search for skilled workers and specialists. These positions account for 93% of vacancies filled via employee referrals in the healthcare sector.

Employee referrals increase the reach of your business

By using employee referrals to activate your employees’ networks, you can reach more potential candidates. By sharing open positions on your employees’ private social media channels, for example, their former colleagues or even acquaintances from their training will learn about your company. This group always includes passive job seekers who are not actively applying for new positions at the moment but are not turning away from a new job. In Germany, the group of passive job seekers makes up about half of all professionals.[4] A talent pool that they cannot afford to ignore.

Employee recommendations increase employee loyalty

An employee referral program not only helps meet current recruiting needs but also reduces future needs by increasing employee loyalty. Because employees are involved in the recruiting process, giving them a voice, they feel heard and valued within the company. If one of their recommendations then also leads to a successful hire, employee retention is even higher. A study on the impact of using employee referrals also discovered this. After implementation, employee retention increased, while turnover in the company decreased.[5] This also has the effect of reducing future recruiting needs, in that fewer employees leave the company and therefore fewer positions need to be refilled.

Caritas-CBT already benefits from the network of its employees

Caritas-CBT is a social enterprise specializing in housing and care for seniors. Before implementing Radancy’s Employee Referrals, Caritas-CBT conducted its entire recruiting process, including employee referrals, manually. With Radancy, the company traded the high administrative overhead for dedicated talent scouts and now leverages its own employees’ networks to meet its recruiting needs. Digitizing the talent search went well because, as Kathrin Hartmann, Head of Recruiting at Caritas-Betriebsführungs- und Trägergesellschaft mbH, reveals, “The customer service from Radancy has provided us with valuable tips and tricks. Everything was understood easily and we feel very well looked after.” The results are clear to see: Every third referral is hired because the quality of the referred candidates is so high.

Approach recruiting as a team – with your employees

Finding the right talent for your healthcare company is becoming increasingly challenging. Don’t tackle it alone but as a team with your employees. With employee referrals, you can find the employees who will drive your business forward, while increasing the retention of your existing team.
Let’s take a look together at how we can take your recruiting to the next level with the help of a digital employee referral program to help you achieve your recruiting goals. Contact us at


[1] pwc. Fachkräftemangel im deutschen Gesundheitswesen 2022. last visit on July 21 2023 via
[2] Michas, F. (2022): On average, how many additional unpaid hours do you work per week for your organization, over and above your contracted hours? Retrieved from
[3] World Health Organisation. WHO. Health Work Force.
[4] Statista. (2022). Anteil der Jobsuchenden nach Altersgruppen und Art der Jobsuche in Deutschland Ende 2021. last visit on July 21 2023 via https:\/\/
[5] Friebel, Heinz, M., Hoffman, M., & Zubanov, N. (2023). What Do Employee Referral Programs Do? Measuring the Direct and Overall Effects of a Management Practice. The Journal of Political Economy, 131(3), 633–686. https:\/\/

Like what you read? Share it now:


Follow us

Book a demo
Create a great employee referal program

Consult our experts

Nachricht wurde gesendet
Wir melden uns in Kürze