The healthcare staffing landscape is changing by the hour. New laws, practices, and employee preferences often make it hard for employers to keep up. Meeting the demands of this increasingly complex industry requires a meticulous approach to monitoring the latest trends.
From the growing demand for healthcare workers to the integration of AI and ML in recruitment processes, staying on top of these developments helps healthcare organizations attract and retain top talent.
Both healthcare providers and organizations can benefit from studying what the industry is offering them this year. This valuable information can help make the right career choices and achieve employment goals.
Let’s take a closer look at the latest healthcare staffing trends.
Demand for Flexibility and Remote Work Opportunities
One prominent trend in healthcare staffing is the increasing demand for flexibility. Healthcare providers want more remote operation opportunities and demand more control over their work hours.
The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the possibility of working from home and maintaining an excellent quality of care. Even though the pandemic is mostly over, practitioners want to continue taking advantage of this opportunity.
Healthcare organizations are responding by offering options such as telecommuting, flexible hours, and part-time roles. This trend not only helps attract and retain talent but also enables healthcare workers to achieve a better work-life balance. To help with that work-life balance, there are also answering services for doctors offices that help take the stress off of those working in the office.
Growing Demand for Healthcare Workers
The demand for healthcare workers continues to rise steadily. This trend is powered by multiple factors, including:
- Aging population (the median age is steadily rising in each state)
- Increased chronic disease rates (by 2050, almost 65% of the white population will have a chronic condition)
- Great Resignation during the COVID-19 pandemic (even though it’s almost over)
Healthcare organizations are facing challenges in recruiting and retaining skilled professionals to meet this growing demand. To address this, organizations are adopting innovative recruitment strategies and investing in professional development opportunities. They are also trying to work out better compensation packages.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) have become an integral part of successful healthcare staffing strategies.
Organizations are recognizing the importance of fostering a diverse workforce that reflects the communities they serve. By prioritizing DEI initiatives, healthcare organizations can improve patient outcomes, enhance cultural competency, and create a more successful work environment.
They are focusing on such strategies such as:
- Targeted recruiting efforts
- Unconscious bias training
- Employee resource groups
Implementing the DEI approach doesn’t just contribute to recruitment success, it often improves the organization’s reputation.
AI and ML in the Recruitment Process
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are transforming the healthcare recruitment process.
These technologies help streamline candidate sourcing, resume screening, and interviewing. Today, AI-powered tools can:
- Analyze large volumes of data to create successful job descriptions
- Identify qualified candidates by analyzing resumes and job boards
- Predict the likelihood of the candidate’s success with the practice
By automating repetitive tasks and reducing bias, AI and ML enable recruiters to focus their efforts on building relationships with candidates, improving the overall efficiency of the recruitment process.
High Nurse Churn Rates
Nurse churn rates continue to be a significant concern in the healthcare industry. In 2023, it’s an astounding 27.1%. Factors such as burnout, long working hours, and inadequate staffing levels contribute to high turnover rates among nurses.
Healthcare organizations are increasingly prioritizing nurse well-being by implementing programs that address work-life balance. The focus is on providing emotional support, offering career advancement opportunities, and prioritizing well-being.
Be it a nurse recruitment agency or a large hospital’s HR department, anyone who is working with nurses is shifting the focus to making conditions for nurses as great as possible. If satisfaction and burnout rates aren’t addressed quickly, the churn rate can become critical.
Prioritizing Healthcare Workers’ Well-Being
The well-being of healthcare workers has gained significant attention in recent years. The demanding nature of the profession, coupled with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, highlights the importance of supporting the well-being of healthcare workers.
Organizations are implementing well-being programs, providing resources for stress management, and fostering a culture of open communication. Prioritizing healthcare workers’ well-being not only improves job satisfaction but also enhances patient care outcomes.
Shift to Telehealth and Telemedicine
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift to telehealth and telemedicine, transforming the way healthcare services are delivered. According to the American Medical Association survey, 85% of physicians are currently using telehealth options.
This shift has also impacted healthcare staffing trends. Healthcare organizations are increasingly hiring professionals with expertise in virtual care. This allows for greater access to care and increases patient engagement.
However, implementing telehealth options come with a number of challenges, including software costs and cybersecurity. This creates an issue for both practices and patients that could lead to a decline in telemedicine opportunities.
Rise in Locum Tenens
The use of locum tenens, or temporary healthcare professionals, has been on the rise. Locum tenens provide healthcare organizations with flexibility in meeting staffing needs, especially when staff shortages are an issue.
This trend allows organizations to maintain continuity of care, reduce burnout among permanent staff, and fill critical gaps in staffing. Locum tenens also offer healthcare professionals the opportunity to work on a flexible schedule and explore different employment options.
From a provider’s standpoint, it’s easy to see why so many physicians are willing to work locum tenens positions.
In addition to flexibility, it offers physicians the unique opportunity to travel, work in various healthcare settings, provide care to different segments of the population, and have enough downtime to pursue interests outside of medicine.
Though locum tenens has some drawbacks, such as having to purchase your own doctors life insurance, disability insurance, and health insurance policies and make quarterly tax payments throughout the year, doctors are embracing these temporary positions. The chance to work as a self-employed physician is an exciting opportunity that more and more medical professionals are embracing and enjoying.
Higher Healthcare Provider Salaries
The demand for healthcare professionals, particularly in specialized fields, resulted in an increase in salaries. Healthcare organizations are offering higher compensation packages to attract and retain top talent.
This trend addresses the growing shortage of healthcare professionals. To compete with other industry players, healthcare organizations try to offer competitive salaries. Higher salaries don’t just incentivize professionals to enter the healthcare field but also contribute to overall job satisfaction.
Staying on Top of the Latest Staffing Trends
Learning about the latest healthcare staffing trends allows healthcare organizations to navigate the evolving landscape successfully. The latest considerations that are worth your attention are the focus on employee satisfaction, well-being, and demand for flexible work hours.
By staying informed and proactive, healthcare organizations can build a resilient workforce to provide high-quality care in the ever-changing healthcare environment. Meanwhile, practitioners can make sure they are taking full advantage of available employment opportunities and benefits.