Talent Acquisition Fast Facts – 2014 Healthcare Hiring Outlook

Healthcare is perhaps the most volatile industry across the United States, and 2014 shows little sign of stability. As the job market continuously shifts under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and mandates begin taking effect, recruiting and hiring in healthcare will be challenged by a number factors, including (but certainly not limited to):

  • Newly insured patients under the ACA will increase the demand for preventive and primary care, highlighting the growing physician shortage and increased competitive pressures for top talent.

  • Thousands of residents are choosing physician specialties over primary care, impacting the already growing physician shortage.

  • The U.S. is currently home to 48 million uninsured people; under the ACA, these 48 million are required to purchase health insurance by February 15, 2014 or face a penalty when they file their taxes.

  • More access to healthcare and an aging population are resulting in greater demand for healthcare services, and therefore greater demand for healthcare talent.

As healthcare providers strive to meet year-end goals and vault toward the New Year, this week’s edition of Talent Acquisition Fast Facts features a brief outlook at healthcare hiring in 2014 and beyond.

Without further ado, talent acquisition on the go:

Healthcare providers are already challenged by a critical physician shortage (current shortage of 15,000, predicted shortage of 130,000 by 2025) as a result of increased demand for services/care; furthering this trend is the younger generations as, in a survey of 57,087 graduating residents, only 20% plan to go into primary care.

Although there is a growing physician shortage, registered nurses (RNs) are currently experiencing the opposite; the American Nursing Association (ANA) reports approximately 140,000 new nurses become registered each year, as opposed to 73,000 nurses leaving the workforce each year—for the time being, unlike physician recruitment, hospitals and health systems have the luxury of being choosy.

However, the median age of nurses today is 46, with more than 50% of the nursing workforce being just a few years from retirement (also according to the ANA); in light of health reform, newfound access to healthcare and an aging population, healthcare providers will need approximately 712,000 new RNs over the next six years—which will intensify competition for top talent and may also lead to a critical nursing shortage.

According to a study by ADP Retirement Research Institute, 20.3% of the current healthcare workforce will retire within the next five years; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare employment in the U.S. was 17,384,300 people in October 2013—based on ADP’s study results, this translates to 3,476,860 healthcare workers that will need to be replaced over the next five years.

According to BLS employment projections, healthcare support occupations are projected to grow by 34.5% (1.4 million jobs) over the next decade, more than any other service occupation across all industries; this includes, but is not limited to the following roles:

  • Home Health Aides

  • Psychiatric Aides

  • Nursing Assistants

  • Orderlies

  • Dental Assistants

  • Medical Equipment Preparers

  • Medical Transcriptionists

  • Pharmacy Aides

  • Phlebotomists

According to the BLS, eight of the 20 fastest growing U.S. occupations in 2014 and beyond are healthcare positions.

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According to HealtheCareers, a prominent job board/informational resource for job seekers and employers alike, physician and surgeon roles have accounted for the greatest percentage of their job postings in 2013—in fact, in Q3 2013, employers advertised 21,868 physician and surgeon jobs, equal to 49% of total postings; this trend is expected to continue in 2014 as the value-based system places greater emphasis on preventive and primary care.

Across the healthcare landscape, these and other issues have put several items on every healthcare leader’s agenda: improve care quality, patient satisfaction and cost, while enhancing employee engagement. To gain insight into how healthcare providers are excelling in these areas, Cielo facilitated two roundtable discussions at the 49th annual ASHHRA Conference & Exposition. Our latest completely free whitepaper, Aligning Talent Strategies with Healthcare Quality, provides direct reflection of the strategies, research and insights shared during the discussions.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the ASHHRA discussions, statistics above and other 2014 hiring challenges below!