According to Staffing Industry Analysts projections, “Healthcare staffing services will desperately need workers through 2016.” This is partly as a result of record numbers of people getting insured under the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA). It is also partly as a result of an aging population.
In some instances, healthcare recruiters will actually struggle to fill certain critical positions. According to the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), 4 out of the 10 most difficult jobs to fill in 2016 will be in the healthcare industry.
The bottom line is that 2016 will a busy year for healthcare staffing services. Even then, there are certain trends which will be driving these services. In a nutshell, the top 2016 medical staffing trends to look out for are the following:
1. Registered Nurses: The New Hot Property. The registered nurse is projected to become one of the most in-demand positions over the next decade. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for RNs will grow by 19% over the next seven years. This will partly arise from the more than 526,800 nurses who will retire over the next few years.
A significant portion of those nurses will begin to retire in 2016. As a result, the demand for registered nurses will spike significantly. This will make RNs among the top 10 toughest jobs to fill in 2016, according to SHRM.
Besides retirement, many states in the US are passing laws mandating physicians to work fewer hours. This means that RNs are undertaking more duties traditionally performed by physicians. This multi-tasking capability will make RNs even more in demand.
Basically, registered nurses will be the hot property in 2016. The greatest demand will be in the areas of licensed vocational nursing, licensed practical nursing and advanced practical nursing. Given their relative scarcity, medical recruiters and staffing services will have to figure out creative ways to attract RNs.
2. Health Tech: A Major Recruitment Driver. Technology is currently one of the major drivers of increased healthcare employment. The other is an aging populace. In 2016, this trend is set to continue. In fact, there will be new employment opportunities provided by advances in healthcare technology.
There are two major novel areas which will see increases of recruitment – thanks to technological advances. The first is medical informatics. Over the past few years, medical informatics have been slowly gaining prominence in medical establishments. These crunch large amounts of healthcare data, and make inferences which are critical towards providing patients with holistic care.
The second is telehealth. This is basically tapping into technologies developed for videoconferencing to provide remote access for patients to medical service providers. Telehealth is expected to begin taking root in 2016 – as both patients become more comfortable in interfacing with physicians virtually, and legislations are drafted to govern it.
In the end, these two areas will require people skilled enough to handle both the technical and non-technical aspects. This will require both recruiting new people, and training existing people in the utilization of these technologies. In the end, healthcare technologies will become a key driver of staffing.
3. “Soft Skills”: A Key Hiring Criterion. Over the last few years, medical service providers have started focusing on more than just the technical aspects of treatment and care. They have been focusing more on patient satisfaction. This is partly a result of growing patient expectations and demands.
As more patients are being forced to pay larger portions of their healthcare – thanks to high deductible plans – a kind of consumerism is coming into healthcare. Patients are demanding a better quality of service – beyond just traditional therapies and medical procedures.
This is has been slowly forcing healthcare recruiters to look beyond technical knowledge and skills. They are now considering “soft skills” such as listening skills, a good bedside manner, communication skills and even a customer service background.
In 2016, these “soft skills” are likely to become a major recruitment criterion. This is because as more aged people demand health services, these skills will be key in providing patients with the kind of care they demand (and deserve).
In a nutshell, those are the top three 2016 medical staffing trends. Therefore, every recruiter and medical staffing service provider needs to watch out for these trends. Staying ahead of these trends will increase chances of survival, and ultimately success in the New Year.
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