Core Thoughts: Scrambling For Talent in Healthcare

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Core Thoughts is a  series  on my blog where I throw a question into the ring for discussion and allow my amazing colleagues and connections to answer. In this month’s Core Thoughts series I posed the following question to many of my contacts in the healthcare sector:

“What will be the greatest talent acquisition challenge for the healthcare industry in coming years; and what workforce talent will we be scrambling to find 5 years from now?”


First, the need for top-level health care providers just below doctors. Those who may today be PAs or NPs, and who knows what positions will develop in the near future. These positions are already difficult to fill with quality candidates; retention is also a challenge, of course, particularly with Gen X and Y coming around.

Second, the first line healthcare providers (eg, GNA/PCA/Techs) are difficult to retain and train, primarily because they have so many  personal issues. There  is a growing need for them, and a limited number of competent and dedicated candidates.

– Mark Ostrowski, Director, Talent Management & Employee Engagement at LifeBridge Health

 …my viewpoint is that top notch clinical talent will be the skill set in greatest demand.  Are there enough talented and skilled clinicians (regardless of specialty) to meet the growing demands of an aging population?

– Brian Wheeler, former VP Human Resources for Hanger Orthopedic

 Attracting non-healthcare industry top talent into our industry as the government further regulates it, zapping the excitement and fulfillment of enabling human healing.

Anonymous

Recruitment and retention of the correct number of qualified staff is an on-going challenge.  Everyone thinks there’s a big nursing shortfall, and in some places there is.  But there is a need for highly qualified individuals all around.  Due to the rapid growth of the healthcare sector and its sheer size, it is always a challenge to fill jobs.   And despite this need, there are obvious pressures to control personnel since people make up the biggest component of an organization’s cost. Going forward, advances in technology will require continual training and career development for employees to remain effective and for them to maintain standards of care.   Those who are technologically savvy will be harder to find and more difficult to retain.

– Dave Noe, Vice President Corporate Human Resources at MedStar Health

 Population Health Management and Project ManagementLean Daily Management.

– Sam Ross, CEO at Bon Secours Health System

I view the search for healthcare talent from both the provider side as well as from the healthcare services side. On the provider side, we will all bear witness to a shortfall of physicians, across both the primary care and specialty fields of medicine. There are many reasons, including the impact of the Affordable Care Act, which are driving this shortfall. Regardless, we will all find greater difficulty in gaining access in a timely manner to the physicians we want to access. This is why we’ve seen a shift towards “concierge ” physician practices, thus creating a two-pronged healthcare system whereby a premium will be paid by those who can afford it to receive preferred access. To that end, finding and recruiting physician talent and leadership to help address these concerns will be both a challenge and an opportunity. It is no secret our healthcare challenges are laden with political sensitivities, and it will require tremendous, physician-guided leadership to drive innovation and solutions.

Regarding the healthcare services space, the evolving healthcare landscape is creating an environment ripe for innovation and creative solutions. Over the past three years, we have seen more health care start-ups than we’ve seen in the past ten. Niche healthcare solutions (and companies) are being created to help address identified gaps, specifically as it relates to the health care consumer. With more cost shifting and onus on the consumer to make more informed decisions, solutions are being formulated to provide consumers with better tools to enable them to make more informed healthcare decisions. Gaining talent around the need to build and scale sustainable consumer products and solutions will be paramount. The search criteria will cover a broad range of talent needs, including sales distribution, marketing, business development, information technology, data analytics, and clinical services to name a few. It has been said someone’s problem is another’s opportunity. Innovation in healthcare over the next five years will be a great example of this.

– Todd Martin, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Pinnacle Care