Healthcare Job GrowthRecruiting for healthcare jobs has never been more challenging. According to a study published by the Brookings Institution, over the past 10 years the healthcare industry has grown 10 times faster than any other industry. Currently, about 14.5 million people are employed by the U.S. health care industry, a 22.7% increase from 2003. During this same period, employment in other industries rose by only 2.1%. With this increase in healthcare hiring, recruiters now have the difficult task of determining who will be a good fit for their organization. 

The Increase in Healthcare Jobs

The most significant cause for this steep increase in healthcare employment is probably the changing demographics of the U.S. population. According to the Pew Research Center, there are 79 million baby boomers, which is estimated to account for 26 percent of the country’s population. These 79 million people are expected to live longer than any previous generation, and many of them will need continuing medical care for the rest of their lives. A report published by the University of Albany’s Center for Health Workforce Studies demonstrates that as people age, they use a disproportionately large share of healthcare services. A larger population of all ages also translates into a greater demand for healthcare providers. 

Healthcare suggests that our current population has increasing expectations when it comes to maintaining their good health; as a result, when a healthcare concern comes up, we’re more likely to seek out medical care sooner than previous generations would have. Additionally, while the preventative care movement grows, medical technology continues to evolve, leading to the need for new types of specialists to manage delivering this new care model. Billing and information professionals are also in large demand in order to establish and maintain the digital patient records required by healthcare reform.

Outcomes of Increased Access to Healthcare

When The Affordable Care Act takes effect in 2014, more than half of the 40 million uninsured Americans will have affordable access to healthcare. This change in accessibility will result in greater demands for healthcare, in both the prevention and therapeutic settings. Many people who have postponed treatments and screening tests due to high cost and lack of accessibility will now enter and remain in this newly expanded pool of patients. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that advance practice nurses and physician assistants will be among the most in demand healthcare professionals. Since healthcare insurers will continue urging providers to keep costs down, many aspects of routine care will be handled by these medical professionals. 

How Talent Management Software can Help

Due to the increasing elder population and the greater accessibility for all people to obtain healthcare, the influx of healthcare job opportunities is likely to keep growing in order to meet these demands. In a down economy, any publicity of a stable, growing job market is going to attract lots of job candidates. Unfortunately, not everyone applying for a position is going to be a good fit for the role or the healthcare organization. With the help of talent management technology, such as an applicant tracking software and behavioral assessment software, talent acquisition professionals will be able to identify top candidates more easily. With an applicant tracking system, a candidate’s resume is carefully parsed for key words and recognizes those that are associated with the job description. This helps recruiters quickly identify whether or not a candidate has the credentials to be considered eligible for a position. After candidates are deemed eligible based on their background and credentials, a behavioral assessment can be administered to determine if they possess the behavioral competencies needed for the job (such as compassion and customer focus). Behavioral assessment software helps organizations hire for cultural fit and has been known to aid in the reduction of turnover (i.e. better cultural fit = a higher retention rate). After a candidate completes a behavioral assessment, their answers can be evaluated with a customized interview guide that allows recruiters and hiring managers to probe further into a candidate’s behavioral competencies and learn more about how they would react in certain situations, especially when it comes to interacting with patients. 

The publicity of a growing and stable healthcare industry, combined with the unstable job market as a whole, has led many prospective job applicants to turn to the healthcare industry for employment. With the consequent flood of applicants, talent acquisition professionals working in healthcare can turn to their applicant tracking software and behavioral assessment software to help them identify and sort through talent so that they can distinguish top candidates and evaluate them for cultural fit.  

One of the best ways to assess talent is by completing automated online reference assessments that evaluate past behavior. Too often, recruiters merely “check the box” when it comes to checking references. Read our white paper, Reference Checking isn’t a Waste of Time — You’re just Doing it Wrong, to learn more! 

About The Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff is a team of writers with a passion for helping healthcare organizations manage their biggest and most important investment: their employees.