Addressing the Skills and Talent Gap in the Healthcare Industry

One of the biggest hiring challenges facing the healthcare industry is the skills and talent gap –a problem that is not unique to the healthcare industry. With the large number of baby boomers reaching retirement age, healthcare providers are struggling to find candidates to fill the departed positions. Additionally, as technology continues to innovate the healthcare industry, new positions are constantly being created to oversee and implement the technology.

What can providers do to overcome the skills and talent shortage?

Emphasize Employee Retention

One way to combat the difficulties of hiring in a talent-short job market is to prioritize retention for your current employees. By retaining your employees, you can avoid having to fill vacant positions.

In any job market, placing an emphasis on retaining your healthcare organization’s employees is good practice. The healthcare industry is prone to long hours, which can inevitably lead to burnout. Healthcare providers should keep an eye out for signs of stressed and overworked employees and try and intervene before the employee reaches a breaking point. Having regular meetings with employees to gauge how their workload is going is one retention strategy to deploy.

Other strategies that healthcare organizations can use to drive employee retention is promote employee wellness. You can create programs to encourage healthy lifestyles, exercise, and work-life balance. Some organizations hire a yoga instructor to teach an all-employee class a couple times a month or create a stress and noise-free wellness room where employees can go and collect themselves during times of stress.

Career Development

As we mentioned earlier, one of the drivers of the talent shortage is the sheer numbers of people leaving the workforce due to retirement. Healthcare organizations that are caught off guard by retirements find themselves with the choice of picking from a slim talent pool or promoting a candidate prematurely.

But, if organizations plan ahead and stress the development of their employees, they can begin grooming younger employers to fill in when the need arises. The first step to grooming your employees is to identify promising employees that demonstrate potential.

Recruit Younger Employees

If your going to accelerate the career path of your early and mid-level employees so that they can replace your departing senior members, you’re going to want to also ensure you’re bringing in plenty of junior employees to fill their shoes. By establishing partnerships with high schools and colleges, healthcare providers can create a recruiting base for hiring young and promising entry-level candidates.

Make Your Organization Appealing to Talent

By recruiting young employees to enter your organization and emphasizing retention and development with your existing staff, your healthcare organization will be well prepared to combat the skills and talent gap. However, at some point you’ll need to depend on hiring a talented candidate to fill a vital role in your organization. When you do post a vacant position, you’ll want your organization to stand out.

An obvious consequence of the skills and talent gap is that the dwindling number of qualified candidates now enjoy having a number of employment options. If your healthcare organization is talking to an IT specialist or a RN seeking a new opportunity, chances are a few other organizations in your market are as well. The candidate will make their selection based on the best opportunity available. The more appealing you can make the prospect of working at your organization, the greater your chances are at securing the candidate.

Need help identifying talent for your vacant healthcare positions? Learn how HealthCare Recruiters International can help.