Posted September 12, 2019

Healthcare jobs are the largest category of employment in the US, with ~18 million workers. In fact, it accounts for nearly 13% of jobs in the US—and is adding jobs faster than in any other category, at  ~2% annual growth. It’s estimated that some $1.5 TRILLION a year is spent on US healthcare workers. For context, that’s nearly the GDP of Canada or Russia. Healthcare also has an ecosystem with a highly specialized and differentiated workforce, unique licencing and staffing requirements, and complex institutional workflows and structures. Yet despite its size, importance, and complexity, the health care jobs marketplace relies on the same tools as every other vertical: (1) old-school placement agencies and recruiting firms; (2) word of mouth and an employer’s own jobs boards; and, of course, (3) horizontal jobs platforms like LinkedIn and Indeed. 

The first two tools are intrinsically inefficient because they’re incapable of scaling with technology. It’s the last category that could be better—but the unique attributes of healthcare jobs makes it far more complicated than the resume and job posting models that underpin the horizontal jobs platforms. The systems designed to work across dozens of verticals breaks down when the unique elements of the healthcare industry enter the equation. 

Just searching for an “ER nurse” job on either platform helps clarify the challenges. The result is a confusing mix of roles varying by specialization, employment status, license requirements, skills needed, and type of employer. Oh, and a Promoted Posts business model across both of them as well.

These results come from the fact that a number of healthcare specific needs and features just aren’t there, and that a platform trying to cater to dozens of verticals isn’t capable of adding. For example:

  • A myriad of specialized roles and categories means unique terminology and data points are needed to properly map a healthcare worker’s skill set to a facility’s needs. Take the dozens of different types of nurses, ranging from a nurse practitioner to a nurse manager to a nursing assistant. This is on top of specialization (oncology vs pediatrics vs emergency). And then there’s full-time, part-time, travel, and per diem nurses. 
  • Second, healthcare has certain licensing prerequisites and certificates that other industries don’t—and they’re critical to candidate screening. For example, a California facility hiring a vocational nurse would need to check their credentials with the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians. To hire a Registered Nurse, an employer needs to check licensing with the California Board of Registered Nursing. Adding to that complexity, these licencing requirements vary by role, by state, and by facility.
  • Third, employers in healthcare often have greatly variable processes and workflows that lead to idiosyncrasies and failure points. For example, hiring can often be a second or third priority for a busy hospital administrator—so great candidates can end up languishing in organization limbo, a terrible outcome for both candidates and employers. A generic jobs platform with a simple “Apply” button is not designed to navigate the complex decision making process of a hospital the way a tailored platform with batches of candidate, timed-bound decisions, and effective collaboration tools would be.

Comparing what hiring should look like in healthcare vs what the horizontal platforms provide, it’s no wonder that satisfaction — for both employers and candidates — is so low. Different data points and levels of granularity, automated screening for certification, variable hiring processes, chronologies, and flow: These are all value-add features specific to the healthcare industry that should be layered into a healthcare jobs platform, and that incumbents can’t or won’t do. The need for a vertical marketplace with a more robust and nuanced product for healthcare workers is long overdue.

Enter Incredible Health

We’re in the middle of a bad nursing shortage, and it’s only getting worse. By 2024 there are expected to be over a 1 million nursing vacancies in the US. With federal staffing ratios potentially coming in (and already in effect in CA) that regulate how many nurses to patients is a safe and allowable ratio, our nursing shortage has the potential to choke huge swaths of our healthcare system. The old methods just won’t suffice anymore. Solving for a more efficient, smarter, and better hiring process would undoubtedly lead to better hiring outcomes—for hiring the talented nurses we already have, and for getting new nurses into new jobs. 

Incredible Health is building the tailored, vertical marketplace the healthcare industry deserves. 

The platform has started with full-time nursing and is built from the ground up with all the tools and features necessary to the profession: automated pre-screening of nursing candidates based on qualifications and licenses, a more structured interview process to move candidates quickly and fairly through the system (employers apply to the talent, not vice versa). The result of all that is access for candidates to a wide selection of the *right* opportunities, a faster interview and decision process, less time filtering roles, and fewer deadend interviews. For nurses searching for the best opportunity and employers looking for the right nursing candidates, this is an experience that no headhunter or broad digital platform could hope to compete with. 

The results already speak for themselves. Over 150 hospitals and institutions across California already use the platform to hire permanent nurses, including Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Stanford Healthcare, CommonSpirit Health and Adventist Health, and many community hospitals. For nurses, Incredible Health has improved the odds of finding a great job while also reducing the hiring time by over 3X—in less than 30 days vs the national average of 90 days. On the hospital side, Incredible Health has (incredibly!) managed to simultaneously reduce hiring times, and also increase hiring rates by over 25X. Improving these metrics not only reduces a hospital’s dependence on expensive travel nurses, it also means hospitals (and nurses) can focus more on what they do best. So it’s not surprising that Incredible Health as already become incredibly popular across multiple states amongst both employers and nurses, with an NPS rating that would make LinkedIn’s mouth drop.  

Iman Abuzeid and Rome Portlock, the founders of Incredible Health, brought the right mix of healthcare expertise, technology experience, and relentless determination to build just this reliable platform, focused on permanent healthcare workers. Iman has seen the healthcare industry from every angle possible. She was raised in a family of doctors; when friends and family complained about the difficulties in working with travel nurses and the frustration of finding a new job in the healthcare space, she knew there had to be a better way.  Her training to be a doctor showed her the issues from the practitioner’s side; her experience as a healthcare consultant gave her the hospital and provider POV; managing product at a mobile health start-up gave her valuable product and consumer insight. Rome’s journey took him from MIT to Linden Labs to Eventbrite, before meeting Iman at a mobile health startup. He’s an engineer who knows how to build things. The two have combined their knowledge of what the healthcare industry needs, their expertise in building products, and their perseverance to create a great experience that hospitals and nurses are excited to use. 

Nearly every broad horizontal platform eventually reaches the time where it starts to get picked apart. Now appears to be the time for healthcare to be ripped out of the broad jobs platforms. Incredible Health is coming for one of the biggest categories out there, and I’m proud to lead their Series A and join their board. It couldn’t be happening at a better time.