Current Healthcare Staffing Industry Trends and Looking Ahead to 2018
Over the past decade, the description of the American workforce has changed dramatically. Today’s worker makes different value judgments about what is most important to them. In the past, workers would gravitate toward whatever job paid the most or had the best benefits regardless of what hours or shift was required of them. Now, many workers are more concerned with how their career fits into their lifestyle choice. This has led to a growing movement toward a “gig” or contingent workforce. The healthcare industry is no different from other sectors regarding the need to understand and deal with these workforce trends.
Already, approximately 26% of the workforce is contingent, with estimates showing that number rising to 40% or more over the next five years. These numbers reflect the overall workforce, if you examine the healthcare industry adoption of contingent staffing, the number is in the single digits. These lower numbers in healthcare are an indication that the industry overall is slower to react to the changing views on career vs. lifestyle.
With RN hospital vacancy rates above 8% nationwide, being behind the contingent workforce curve is not helping providers address rising demand.
Many industry leaders are using advanced artificial intelligence to develop their workforce trending and modeling which is guiding much of their future hiring. Healthcare staffing industry leaders, like Supplemental Health Care, are experiencing the effects of these changing workforce trends. Clients in the healthcare industry are looking for partners that can offer more than just staffing solutions. Staffing industry leaders are developing client-specific “total workforce solutions” that include Managed Staffing Programs (MSP) and Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) in a single, streamlined process.
In the coming year, the seismic shifts throughout the healthcare industry are expected to continue. The industry will witness more mergers, more unrest due to partisanship in Washington, D.C., and continued staffing pressures across all specialties. Adapt to survive is a sound strategy for 2018 and beyond. A failure to react to the changing landscape will have a direct impact on every aspect of their business. Without recognizing or adapting to the continued staffing shortage, the patient experience will suffer. New bundled payment models will reflect the diminishing quality of care and resultant increases in re-admission penalties, and already tight staffing margins will be further stressed by increased turnover. A gloomy outlook for organizations who aren’t adjusting quickly enough, to be sure. But, for staffing professionals, the opportunities are all out in front of us. Healthcare organizations will help themselves by relying on partners who can help them fill gaps with quality staffing solutions, but just as importantly, help them stay ahead of the changes on the ground and in Washington.
Donna Carroll is Supplemental Health Care's Chief Client Officer. As CCO she focuses on bringing people and solutions together by building and leading teams that put client service and delivery at the highest priority. You can connect with Donna on LinkedIn.