Leveraging Technology in Direct-care Talent Acquisition

Recruiting smarter to support the aging U.S. population and healthcare needs

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Photo credit: Depositphotos

By Kirk Waldfogel, CEO of Model Match

If Americans got asked to guess the main challenge the healthcare industry faces (primarily, assisted living), most would probably say the pandemic. While the disruption of COVID-19 cannot be understated, many are unaware that there is another set of issues positioned to overwhelm the healthcare industry if left unsolved – namely, the growing talent shortage combined with an aging and retiring workforce. 

Already, 41% of surveyed healthcare organizations expressed concern over uncertain staffing levels, with 82% beginning the process of cross-training employees to fill in gaps. Additionally, healthcare organizations increased the use of technology internally for recruiting, hiring, and onboarding by 60% to address the increased turnover and promote employee retention. Prior to the pandemic, only 29% of organizations used video interviews – now, 70% have integrated this method into their hiring process. 

Many observers have commented that the healthcare industry – traditionally a late adopter of technology – should consider undergoing technological advancements, such as the use of video interviews, by integrating tech stacks and hiring more IT specialists. These efforts should help to curb the staffing shortages, fortify security and enhance infrastructure. Nevertheless, healthcare organizations’ primary concern for the future will be the inevitable retirement of their senior professionals.  

America and healthcare’s aging population

The healthcare talent shortage is due to several factors, including the steady increase in chronic diseases and the limited pool of new graduates to fill open positions. But the most significant contributor to the shortage is the aging workforce. Today, over 50% of all registered nurses are over 50 years old, and 44% of physicians are over 55 years old. In five years, these workers will retire, creating a huge vacuum for caregivers and doctors to look after the aging Baby Boomer population, who themselves will gradually be unable to hold their healthcare jobs.  

The U.S. population pyramid is a constrictive type based on its age-sex distributions, meaning the percentages of young people are lower and possibly decreasing. Recent projections estimate that by 2026, 14% of all jobs in the U.S. will be in the healthcare and assisted living industry. Another study discovered that the U.S must hire 2.3 million new workers by 2025 to look after the older population. Despite the need for healthcare professionals, almost 60% of assisted living providers reported that their staff declined since 2020. 

The drastic increase in patients, coupled with the steady decrease in suitable workers, will be disastrous for assisted care living facilities if their existing recruitment models are not changed. Currently, it takes 48.3 days on average to fill any given position at a healthcare organization; some vacancies last even longer. Traditional recruitment processes must be improved for organizations to survive and thrive in the coming years.

The potential of talent management systems  

A possible approach to the present inefficient staffing models is talent management systems which can help healthcare establishments find, organize, and hire the right people to support the aging population and compensate for the industry’s retirees. These recruitment technologies streamline efforts and bring an organization’s pipeline and team into a central, collaborative space where candidates and team members can unite on high-priority opportunities. Because everything gets managed in one virtual space, healthcare organizations can track and store notes on individual candidates while using talent management technology. 

Moreover, sourcing, attracting and selecting talent will be simpler due to the greater availability of insights and analytics – which will be vital when qualified workers become scarcer. Most of these solutions allow for team collaboration so that all authorized members can look at resumes and candidate profiles and make a collective decision. Also, segmenting contacts by experience and skills accelerates the turnaround for filling vacant roles. Furthermore, after hiring a worker, these management solutions have reporting options enabling HR staff to measure performance and leave notes for areas of improvement. 

As business rapidly increases with the influx of patients, automated notifications will keep caregivers on top of upcoming interviews and requirement opportunities. Conveniently, these platforms typically don’t require an IT specialist to manage or maintain a talent management system; almost any CRM or spreadsheet can be imported to a requirement solution so that existing data isn’t lost. Additionally, talent management systems come with meeting scheduling technology that can auto-sync with an employee’s calendars. 

A significant benefit to recruitment solutions is that they are designed to scale with an organization; this is essential as assisted living becomes more prevalent in the U.S. Ultimately, regardless of the technology or platform a healthcare provider choose to adopt, they must enhance the current recruitment models to stay competitive and keep up with the workforce demand that will flood the next decade. 

About Kirk WaldfogelAs CEO, Kirk sets vision and drives overall strategy for Model Match and was recently awarded a Top 10 Talent Management Solution Provider in 2018. Kirk’s former companies were winners of VentureNet99, selected to participate in the UCLA Anderson School of Management Entrepreneur Program, and earned a Most Innovative Product Award at CES in 2003. Recently his accolades include winning 2014 CTIA Startup Lab, selected as 2014 Telecom Council of Silicon Valley Most Innovative Product, and winner of the 2014 CES AppNation Garage.

About Model Match: Model Match is an award-winning, innovative platform that supports individual and team hiring goals in the mortgage and financial services industries. The Model Match recruiting solution incorporates processes, best practices and proven methodologies for sourcing, attracting, hiring, onboarding and retaining production talent. The platform enables its clients to efficiently and effectively manage infilling and strategic growth initiatives by leveraging their best resources, their managers, leaders and internal recruiting departments. The company is headquartered in San Clemente, Calif.

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