This article examines the adoption of strategic Human Resource Management (HRM) by for-profit and non-profit knowledge-intensive health services (HS) organizations in the Australian context. Survey data collected from senior executives are used to test the relationships between a strategic HRM model and firm performance. Path analysis found that for HS firms, irrespective of whether for-profit or non-profit, adopting strategic HRM could increase organizational performance. Strategic HRM could be achieved through the cultivation of an external orientation to customers' demands and a commitment to employees. Building an external orientation with internal structural dimensions such as commitment to employees, allows HS organizations to develop a strategic HRM approach with human capital-enhancing HRM practices. Public and non-profit organizations in the HS industry facing or undergoing health sector reform need to be aware of both of these orientations in order to adopt strategic HRM and improve their performance.