Oct 06, 2022
The Current Situation
Like many industries in 2022, healthcare is experiencing a talent shortage. A years-long pandemic and a stressed healthcare system are continuing to alter the way the industry operates and quickening the pace of the need to hire practitioners. Unfortunately, the healthcare professionals needed to fill integral positions just aren’t there.
While technological advancement is almost always positive, the need to adapt to meet new expectations can be challenging. It’s especially hard when it comes to staffing. In fact, a survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), found that 46% of HR professionals found it “very difficult” to fill full-time roles for high-skilled medical positions.
While it stands to reason that rapidly accelerating tech and a pandemic stressed an already overwhelmed healthcare system, the answer to the shortage is more complex. Let’s take a deeper dive into what’s causing the shortage and how we might solve it.
Supply, Demand, and The Baby Boomers
The demand for high-skilled healthcare professionals is outpacing the supply of healthcare professionals. Why? The Baby Boomer generation is aging and creating a two-part challenge.
First, an overwhelming amount of physicians are actually of the Baby Boomer generation. As they retire, they are leaving positions open. However, there aren’t enough qualified candidates with the experience, training, and education needed to take their place because A.) Generation X has a significantly smaller pool of available professionals and B.) Millennials, while the largest generation to enter the workforce since the Baby Boomers, still lack the needed experience.
Second, Baby Boomer patients are proving to cause significant strain on the healthcare system because they need more healthcare services. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that the U.S. population 65+ will increase by nearly 50% from 2015 to 2029, and a significant portion of that demographic is not as healthy as previous generations. While their life expectancy is longer, they suffer from higher rates of life-threatening issues like obesity, hypertension, and diabetes.
With the two-pronged challenge presented by the Baby Boomers, the next generation of healthcare workers has its hands full.
Burnout and Low Recruitment
With professional burnout becoming more prevalent in the healthcare industry, young people are finding themselves turning away from the field as a viable career option. The Association of American Medical Colleges projects that the U.S. will be short 130,000+ physicians by 2025 and this is due partly because physicians aren’t recommending the gig. With burnout, poor work-life balance, and stressed hospital systems, it isn’t hard to see why.
As the industry sees an increase in need, a decrease in applicants, a lack of real-world, on-the-job experience among existing applicants, and a pervasive fear of burning out, what are HR recruiters in the healthcare field to do?
The healthcare talent shortage is complex and multi-faceted, however, it isn’t hopeless. Finding high-quality physicians with specialized skills, experience, and qualifications is possible – it just requires some assistance. Stay tuned for our next post in this series where we dive into the steps you can take to retain great talent and avoid a shortage at your facility.