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Recent Key Observations within the Independent Healthcare Markets


Compass Associates’ Director Stuart Cousins recently discussed his key market observations and any trends occurring within the private and independent healthcare markets over the last six months. 

Director Stuart Cousins is one of Compass Associates’ longest serving employees and heads up the Healthcare division. Due to his longevity and seniority within Compass Associates, Stuart recently conveyed his key market observations and any trends occurring within the private and independent healthcare markets over the last six months.  

What are the breakdowns of the teams within your division and what markets do they focus on?

The Healthcare division at Compass Associates is made up of 20 consultants, with all focussing on niche areas of the private & independent sectors. Each consultant operates within Private Acute Hospitals, Diagnostics, Physio and Consumer Markets including Veterinary, Dental, Pharmacy and Private Nurseries. Our consultants operate from clinical to senior director level placements on a non-retained basis. We also have completed several short term and long term projects for high volume delivery of clinical staff with several partnerships.  

What were your division’s recruitment market trends over the past 6 months? If so, what reasons were there for this?

We have just had our best 6 months on record with the internal development of our teams. Diagnostics, Complex Clinical healthcare at home and Private surgical have seen particular surges in growth following the NHS backlog, which has seen us support many of our clients in the longer term growth of their teams.  

Have any of your team members flagged any key observations within their market areas?

We have seen a growth in public sector candidates looking to increase salary, benefits and work environment due to the current challenges within the NHS. The flexibility and recognition of value offered by some of our clients have really engaged a passive candidate market.  

What successes has your division seen as a result of the past six months?

We have achieved our fifth consecutive year of growth with the best performing year on record. From a personal perspective, I was delighted to give out seven promotions this year following multiple exceptional performances. I am also personally proud of our division’s interview attendance of 94%, which I believe showcases the quality support we are giving both candidates and clients to deliver upon receiving job briefs.  

Have you seen demand for support in certain areas within your division due to client demands that has had an impact on team growth and structure?

Diagnostics has shown significant growth alongside a return of demand in primary care. We have supported several key clients in Private Nurseries and Veterinary to headhunt some exceptional talent for their senior leadership teams.  

What advice would you give to job seekers based on current market conditions?

If you are unsure of your worth in a market partner with a recruiter, they can advise you on the best opportunities in a competitive market.  

What key observations have you seen in the markets on budgets with the impact of the cost of living?

Candidates are acutely aware of the challenges presented with the impact of the cost of living, we have found candidates asking for advice on how to improve not only their basic salary but understand all benefit offerings.  

Have client expectations changed at all? Any demands for a certain skill set at present?

High quality clinical skills have remained in top demand. Clients are also adapting their recruitment attraction and processes to streamline it for all candidates, in a highly competitive market this is essential in securing talent.  

What changes have you observed that permanently changed during the pandemic and have never reverted to post-Covid?  

The continued challenges within the NHS have allowed private services to grow. Within Digital Health there has been success within niche providers such as diabetes management, and both men and women’s health. Patients can definitely be considered consumers in these markets, and they want swift accessible healthcare – something which the private sector has strived to improve whether face-to-face or remotely.  

What predictions/plans do you see coming to fruition within the division due to foreseen client expectations/demands?  

With the target of 160 community diagnostics centres due to open within the next couple of years, we can only see the demand continue to grow. Primary care services and private acute should also see significant growth. Finally, community focussed healthcare is likely to see further growth with a growing patient base who would like to receive treatments such as renal and oncology care in their own homes. 

Find out more about Stuart and the Healthcare division here

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