Healthcare’s Staffing Shortage Explained

September 18, 2018

Healthcare is a fundamental component of modern society. There’s a reason the industry is constantly shrouded in controversy and debate that dominates the 24-hour news cycle. So why is one of our nation’s largest industries suffering from a major staffing shortage problem? It’s a frustratingly complex issue that has left Human Resources Directors across the board scratching their heads. Like any multi-faceted challenge, it’s one without a clear solution.

In this blog we’ll explore some of the byproducts of the trend, and how to avoid some of the major (but common) pitfalls that have led to it.

One Problem Leads to Many

Inadequate staffing is more than just that. A lack of talent puts a strain on an already struggling system, where employees are often already burnt out, overwhelmed, and overworked. In any other industry, unhappy employees can be unfortunate – certainly not ideal – but when it comes to healthcare, excess stress among workers can lead to damaging/potentially fatal outcomes.

As the national population continues to age, it’s natural that the need for healthcare workers will only continue to increase.

4 Prescriptions for Change

With diligence and some creativity, many healthcare facilities have put procedures in place as a means of course correction for this trend. Here are some of the most successful and easy-to-implement tactics:

  • Make a Compelling Offer
    Great compensation packages, benefits, and bonuses – craft a competitive offer that will attract top-tier talent and keep them with you.
  • Provide Ongoing Training
    Today’s employees want more than a paycheck from their employer. A clear pathway for advancement and the promise of learning new skills has become increasingly important to workers.
  • Offer Schedule Flexibility
    More and more job seekers won’t even consider employers that don’t offer reasonable hours and a consideration of work/life balance.
  • Use Up-to-Date Technology
    Tech-savvy candidates are growing in numbers and getting them on-board requires more than posting vacancies on job boards. Integrating seamless technology throughout the hiring process and beyond is crucial in attracting today’s young, digital-focused workers.
  • The Cure: Not Easy, But Possible

    The staffing shortages the healthcare industry is facing aren’t showing signs of slowing down any time soon. To succeed in today’s employee-employer landscape, healthcare providers will need to create more strategic hiring and retention processes. There’s no overnight remedy, but a cure is possible.


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