5 Takeaways from the AHA 2015 Health Care Talent Acquisition Environmental Scan

5 Takeaways from the AHA 2015 Health Care Talent Acquisition Environmental Scan
Marketing Manager

The American Hospital Association recently released its annual Environmental Scan, which discusses the latest talent acquisition challenges and opportunities facing healthcare employers. It goes into depth about how the environment has changed over the past year, and what changes to expect in the future. According to the latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry added 45,200 jobs in April, the largest monthly increase so far this year.

From hiring trends to recruitment strategies, here are 5 key takeaways I deemed as important from the 2015 Health Care Talent Acquisition Environmental Scan.

Merging a Multigenerational Healthcare Workforce

The disparity among today’s healthcare workforce ranges more than 40 years, creating unique challenges and opportunities for both employers and employees. Over the next decade, Generation X and millennials will fill many leadership roles currently held by many baby boomers after they retire from their positions.

“Professional/clinical turnover is on the rise,” says Amy Barry, Chief Human Resources Officer at Lakeland Regional Health. With the increasing number of baby boomer retirees, there’s a lack of experienced team members and it’s very difficult to find replacement staffing, especially in specialty areas like lab and information technology departments.

Employers should consider restructuring their organization and modifying job requirements to cater to new and emerging roles. This includes adjusting competencies so that the workforce aligns with new population health needs. As jobs are redefined, the workforce may transition and redeploy to different settings, roles and organizational structures like acute care facilities.

Promoting Diversity in Healthcare

Communities are becoming increasingly diverse and healthcare leadership and staff should also reflect that. Minorities represented 31 percent of patients nationally in 2013, up from 29 percent in 2011. However, minorities comprise only 14 percent of hospital board members, 12 percent of executive leadership positions, and 17 percent of first and mid-level management positions.

“There’s a need for our employees to mirror the populations we serve,” says Laura Beeth, System Director Talent Acquisition and Human Resources at Fairview Health Services. We’ve made initiatives to work in key neighborhoods and design career pathways starting with youth programs to community college fellows programs to align students with entry-level jobs in our organization while they obtain their education. “These strategies [will] strengthen our communities by providing education and jobs to diverse populations. Developing career pathway programs for our city residents allows opportunities to provide employment to diverse individuals who speak many languages and come from numerous cultures that mirror our patient population.”

Improving Healthcare Recruitment

“Management turnover is an issue,” says Barry. “There is a need in the [healthcare] field to find and attract out of industry and non-traditional leaders with strong analytical and critical thinking skills. [Healthcare] needs a new, innovative attraction strategy to achieve that mix of new talent.”

According to the 2015 AHACareerCenter.org Job Search Insight Survey, 75 percent of candidates use online job boards such as CareerBuilder, Indeed and Monster; as for the most effective social media channel for online job searches, 52 percent prefer LinkedIn.

Additionally, the majority of job seekers look at competitive compensation (74%) when evaluating potential employers, followed by great benefits (64%) and flexible hours (48%). These are a few areas to consider when reevaluating your recruitment strategy.

State of Healthcare Hiring

While the number of insured Americans continues to rise, the shortage of healthcare staff gains prevalence. There are a total of 147 million job candidates in the U.S. and only 9.9 percent of the total job candidates are in the healthcare field. Pediatrics, geriatrics and behavioral health have been among the top 10 most in-demand healthcare skillsets in the past four years.

“There will be a need for more clinicians in the future,” says Beeth. “We are devoting more time to clinical education through centralization of their important work. For advanced practice providers, we desire longitudinal placements, so the provider students can go through all their clinical rotations within our health system and they are able to transition to practice more quickly upon graduation.”

Physician Employment

Physician employment by hospitals has risen by more than 54 percent since 2000 due to a variety of reasons: changes in lifestyle, decreased interest in owning a business and levels of regulation—just to name a few. Over 244,000 physicians found positions in hospitals, and they are working closely with their local hospitals to form joint ventures and other contractual arrangements to better serve their patients and communities.

Has your healthcare organization initiated a plan to address any of these challenges? What are your thoughts on the current hiring and physician employment trends? I hope these takeaways help shine light on possible issues that may be affecting your organization and allow you to make more smart, informed decisions that will set you up for future success.

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