Attracting and retaining qualified workers in the healthcare industry is crucial now more than ever. With the aging of the population in the United States as well as the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the demand for skilled employees in various healthcare sectors is increasing rapidly.
This year, more than 11 million Americans have enrolled or re-enrolled to get health insurance via the Affordable Care Act. Needless to say, this will require a sizeable workforce to meet the new demand. The healthcare industry needs to become prepared to meet serious challenges in the coming years.
Increase In Patients, And The Affordable Care Act
This increase in demand obviously means healthcare organizations are — and will continue to — hire more medical employees.
According to the Bay Area Council in California, the Affordable Care Act creates almost 100,000 new jobs and boosts the economic activity in California by over $4 billion. This is good news for healthcare workers looking for a job in their field or to advance their career.
Unfortunately, in some areas the demand for qualified candidates is stronger than the available supply. Hiring managers who want to stay ahead of curve need to prepare and find ways to reach a much larger number of qualified workers.
How It Affects Staffing In The Medical Industry
With the increase in patient demand, healthcare institutions are faced with logistical as well as technical challenges. As the number of patients going through the healthcare system increases, planning and organizing schedules and payrolls, as well as properly documenting patient information and treatments is crucial.
Furthermore, the ability of hiring managers to recruit, hire and retain qualified employees is key to ensure the success of health organizations. And these qualified employees go beyond the traditional medical job titles. Recruiters are spending time and effort on the frontline searching, recruiting and hiring candidates in industries that are not traditionally associated with healthcare. Such fields include: computer science, user experience design, web-development, programming, mobile development, big data analysis, and software programming.
Let’s not forget that with any reform comes regulations and guidelines — this opens the door to recruiting and hiring lawyers, consultants, human resources personnel, as well as qualified employees to handle payroll and other finance related activities.
According to Market Watch, nurses, physician assistants, computer programmers, medical coders, and occupational therapists and some of the positions that are in demand.
How Medical Institutions Can Adapt To These Changes
With the demand for skilled medical workers showing no sign of slowing down, medical institutions need to adapt and get ahead of the curve, when it comes to recruiting, hiring and retaining qualified workers.
Hiring managers can benefit greatly from using online tools such as discussion forums, blogs, social media and professional networks. Learn more about reaching qualified candidates through social media.
Build a Dynamic Workforce
Institutions are also seeing a benefit to building a dynamic workforce, complete with permanent employees and a contingent workforce. According to a report by Brocair Partners, temp-to-hire services have increased over the last few years.
A continent workforce can be beneficial to both employers and employees. In fact, a recent study by researchers at the University of Rochester School of Nursing, found that hiring temporary nurses is a cost-effective strategy in adapting to the increase of patient needs and shortage of permanent nurses.
Temp-to-hire employment allows healthcare organizations and their employees to work together before making the commitment to a permanent relationship. Similarly, contract and temporary workers can gain experience and maintain a stronger work-life balance. A contingent workforce also allows organizations to increase its workforce for special projects, or unexpected peaks in need.
Build a Healthy Employee Environment
Many institutions are increasing salary, but for many healthcare workers, salary may not be the biggest concern. According to an article from Armstrong State University, healthcare employees are interested in living more balanced lives, finding opportunities for personal and professional growth, and knowing that their contributions are important. This means you need to find ways to provide your employees meaningful experiences with your organization.
With the increase in patient volume and a declined in uninsured patients, the healthcare landscape is changing before our very eyes. Medical institutions that adapt well to this changing industry have seen an improvement of financial well-being.
Organizations that put in the time and effort to adapt and understand the new realities that the Affordable Care Act has brought will come out ahead and have more qualified employees (and thus, better patient care), stronger teams, make sound financial decisions, and have a more robust organizational structure.