Qualified and experienced healthcare professionals know the importance of hiring top-notch employees. But in today’s crowded and competitive healthcare market, that job is harder than ever, and healthcare staffing managers have a lot of work on their hands.
Hundreds of thousands of jobs are created each year in the medical industry, and in addition to priority expenses like supplies cost, patient care, equipment and technology, healthcare staffing accounts for one of the most expensive operations that healthcare managers and administrators need to address. With the employment outlook for the healthcare industry rising 22 percent through 2018, there is no doubt that hiring will not slow down in this industry.
Healthcare Staffing Concerns for Executives
There are several concerns that healthcare executives have when it comes to hiring for their organization. With thousands of dollars on the line, it is extremely important that hiring managers recruit the best talent for their organization.
During the recruiting and hiring process, there are some main concerns that hiring managers always have on their minds. Many of the healthcare staffing shortages are reeking havoc on budgets and the well-being of current employees, and filling in these gaps in a timely manner is extremely important. With this in mind, medical staffing managers must not hire solely to fill the position; they are also concerned with retention of their employees, budget restrictions where salaries and benefits are concerned, and the competence of the new hire to do the job as they are required.
Fastest Growing Sectors Driving Employment Needs
Healthcare hiring managers have to deal with a greater number of applicants and an increase in the amount of work that needs to go into finding, interviewing, integrating, and retaining top talent as a result of the high demand in the healthcare market.
While healthcare as a whole continues to grow, there are specific areas of the industry that are growing exceptionally fast. Here are some of the most in-demand areas of the industry, where healthcare staffing will be incredibly important throughout the next decade:
- Health IT – With new legislation in the Healthcare Reform Bill and the widespread transition to EHR, EMR, telemedicine, and other digital equipment, the demand for health IT workers has grown, and will continue to grow, exponentially.
- Physician’s Assistants – The shortage of primary care physicians means many health centers in areas facing these shortages are using PAs to fill the gaps.
- Registered Nurses – Another area where there is a shortage of staff is in nursing. To help fill in staffing gaps and reduce overworked employees and overtime expenses, healthcare staffing will focus on filling RN positions.
- Hospital Public Relations – With the appeal of social media spreading to all industries, including healthcare, many large and small organizations are seeing the benefits of connecting with their patients, doctors, and other companies. Those that can help bring a social voice to the organization will be in demand.
- Billing/Account Collectors, Medical Coders – With new legislation increasing the amount of people covered by health insurance plans, there will be an increase in the demand for professionals who can help manage all of these accounts and properly code and bill providers for reimbursements.
Best Practices Healthcare Staffing Efficiency
In order to stay on top and continue to provide excellent patient care, healthcare staffing must be a top priority, and health and medical organizations will have to create top-notch hiring practices to bring in only the best talent.
To ensure that healthcare staffing efforts bring in and hold on to the best employees, health executives need to use unique recruitment methods that allow them to:
- Better manage current employee work life – healthcare is a stressful environment by default, so it is imperative to listen to concerns of current employees regarding stress, efficiency, hours, etc. to reduce the risk for “burnout” and reaffirm their pride in their work for the organization.
- Craft carefully-written job descriptions – make sure that prospective employees are aware of the duties they will perform as well as what will be expected of them right off the bat. That way, new hires will be less likely to leave a position when they are faced with unexpected responsibilities.
- Use interviews as a two-way street – as important as it is for the interviewee to relay his/her experiences and qualifications to the interviewer, it is just as important for the interviewer to share with the prospect the culture, environment, daily procedures, and overall “feel” for the organization. This can help ensure a strong employee-employer relationship for high retention rates.
- Establish close relations with schools and universities – building talent takes time, and by working hands-on with students that are pursuing healthcare and medical degrees, strong relationships can be established that can turn into experienced, well-trained, and loyal employees in the future.
- Turn to current, engaged employees for referrals – it may be advantageous for some healthcare organizations to establish a referral program to help bring in top talent from the relationships current employees have outside of the organization’s network.
- Offer attractive, whole-life benefits – there is more to the healthcare industry that multiple-figure salaries. Today, prospective employees are looking for more in a career than just a paycheck, so healthcare organizations may want to consider other benefits like career development, tuition reimbursement, childcare assistance, retirement savings plans, and more.