Addressing the Widening Skills Gap in Healthcare

travel-workWhen most people think of a “skills gap” they assume you’re speaking about the high-tech jobs that are going unfilled because applicants just don’t possess the required educational background, typically in STEM classes.

That is, unless you are speaking about the skills gap in the healthcare industry.

PREMIUM RESEARCH: Healthcare Staffing Growth Update

The healthcare industry is replete with well-educated, qualified individuals who don’t face the employment dilemma confronting the under-educated that lack training and experience. They have the skills that allow them to pick and choose among any number of facilities that require their expertise to serve their organizations and communities.

This puts the qualified healthcare professionals such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech/language pathologists, special education teachers, school nurses and other healthcare professionals in the proverbial catbird seat.

They have the rare opportunity to pick and choose from geography and time frame. Six months in the mountains? A year near the beach? How about a part-time job for six weeks in one of the Great Plains states?

These healthcare professionals are in the enviable position of choosing to stay or go and staffing companies make those decisions possible.

Staffing companies are not merely satisfying the curiosity and wanderlust of their cadre of healthcare specialists either, they are fulfilling the needs of communities that require professionals with those sought after skills. Staffing companies help fill the gap with professionals who aren’t readily available in those areas.

What can a facility seeking a healthcare professional do to attract a desirable candidate?

  • Communicate what makes your community a pleasant place to live.
  • Share the challenges and opportunities for skills development at the placement.
  • Promote your organization and its clients as welcoming and appreciative.

Healthcare professionals are like any other workers who take pride in their work: they want to feel appreciated, challenged and fairly compensated. An unusual aspect of the healthcare professional is that they can satisfy those career requirements while sampling a variety of locations and professional experiences.

The rigorous education that is required of every healthcare professional is paid back in numerous ways; among them is the freedom to enjoy working in many locations. There are many placement options for healthcare professionals, and that is one reason it’s such a wonderfully satisfying vocation. You not only get the satisfaction in helping people overcome health problems and live more active and vital lives, you also get to choose where you fulfill your career objectives.

MORE: The Benefits of Mobility

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