In this weekly feature, the editors of SpringBoard highlight one career in the health care professions–including a basic description, educational requirements, core competencies/key skills needed, and related web sites and professional organizations where you can find more information!

 101 Careers in Healthcare ManagementJOB DESCRIPTION

Executive search firms conduct personnel searches for a variety of organizations, including hospitals and health systems. The Senior Associate’s primary role is to manage the initial candidate identification and development process. In addition, the Senior Associate will assist consultants and shareholders in generating, managing, and/or executing search assignments, including potential candidate development, screening and presentation to clients, cultivating, and/or maintaining client and candidate relationships. As a vital member of the search team, the Senior Associate has the ability to network with professionals and assist them in achieving their career objectives in organizations committed to improving quality of life, assess a candidate’s skills against a client’s needs, and collaborate with colleagues across the firm.


The Senior Associate requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, with preference given to those with a Master’s in Health Administration. Senior Associates typically possess 5 or more years of experience in healthcare executive search, with preference given to those with direct healthcare experience.


  • Outstanding interpersonal skills including the ability to effectively communicate with current and potential customers along with persons throughout their organization
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to participate in and/or lead the search process, including, but not limited to, working with clients and search committees, sourcing, interviewing, conducting references, negotiating, and closing assignments
  • Demonstration of an understanding of the full search process
  • Proactively network and seek out candidates in an expeditious and cost-effective manner 
  • Participate in candidate development. When appropriate, manage candidates through the search process, including candidate interviews, candidate presentations, and referencing
  • Ability to build and maintain strong client relationships
  • Ability to develop an effective and compelling presentation to market the role and client company to prospective candidates.
  • Communicate position profi le to potential candidates
  • Relationship management, strategy development, problem solving, and change management skills
  • Demonstrated ability to use standard computer software programs, including Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint 


Senior Associates generally earn a base salary of $88,000 to $125,000. In many cases, bonus compensation in the form of cash is made available to associates who successfully place candidates with firms.


The employment outlook for Senior Associates in executive search firms is good. There is a high level of turnover in executive-level healthcare positions, and many hospitals and health systems turn to executive search firms to help identify candidates for these jobs. There are a limited number of large, national firms and competition for the best Senior Associates is fierce.


Association of Executive Search Consultants 

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