According to the U.S. Department of Labor, healthcare job numbers are projected to grow 13 percent from 2021 to 2031, well above average compared to other industries. This projected increase could lead to roughly 2 million new jobs. While this is good news for healthcare professionals, practices and facilities are facing staffing shortage issues that are affecting the quality of care they deliver along with their reputation.
Reasons for Healthcare Staffing Shortages
There are several factors that have contributed to staffing shortages in the healthcare industry. Some of the most common include:
- Burnout. The COVID-19 pandemic created more stress for healthcare professionals, with longer hours and the heightened risk of getting sick. Due to these extra stressors, many healthcare workers became “burned out” and left the profession. Unfilled positions and high turnover rates further aggravated staffing shortages.
- Not enough new healthcare professionals. The U.S. Department of Labor states that there are roughly 1.9 million openings for healthcare professionals each year due to current growth and replacement needs. This statistic reflects the critical need for more professionals to enter the healthcare field.
- An aging population. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the baby boomer generation (which encompasses around 73 million people) will be 65 or older by the end of this decade. This shift puts additional pressure on the healthcare system to care for this aging population. In addition to the higher volume of older patients, technological advances continue to help people live longer, which also increases the need for more healthcare professionals. Therefore, there has been an overall increase in demand on the healthcare system, with not enough new healthcare professionals to meet that demand.
How Staffing Agencies Can Help
Amid all these challenges, how can healthcare organizations find the professionals they need? For many, utilizing a staffing agency is the most efficient way to fill open positions and avoid the negative effects of a staffing shortage. Here’s what to look for when deciding if a staffing agency, or which staffing agency, is right for your needs.
- Location – Make sure a staffing agency has a solid geographical footprint in the area(s) where you need staff. This ensures their pool of candidates are available to work in your area and also ensures the agency is knowledgeable about the local community.
- Recruitment style – The heart of a staffing agency is in its recruiters. Talk with at least one of them and ask them about their strategy, experience, and how they can specifically help you. Be sure to ask questions like, “What type of screenings do your candidates go through?” or “How do you vet candidates?”
- Industry knowledge and areas of focus – The right staffing agency should be well-versed in your specific subsection of the healthcare industry. For example, if you are staffing for an outpatient physical therapy office, make sure the agency has a team or team members who specialize in staffing these types of facilities.
Are you looking for highly qualified professionals to staff your healthcare facility? Find candidates today with Maxim Staffing.