September 25th, 2023 | Sterling

Trends in Healthcare Recruitment: 2023 State of Hiring Report

To view the full report, click here.

The demand for healthcare professionals has surged over the past three years, and the current hiring and economic landscape has undergone significant changes. Health systems are facing unique labor challenges, including staffing shortages, financial constraints, increased demand for specialized healthcare services, and adjusting to new types of work, such as telehealth and contractor staffing models.

Sterling conducted a mid-year survey with our healthcare and life sciences clients to better understand the unique challenges they were facing, and to learn how they were overcoming these obstacles in order to keep up with today’s hiring demands.

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Take a look at some of the highlights from our report and see where there are opportunities to improve your current hiring, retention, and background screening processes for greater efficiency.

“Workforce Challenges” Now the #1 Priority for Healthcare Leaders

For the first time in more than 15 years, the leading priority for leaders in the American College of Healthcare Executives’ annual survey wasn’t “financial concerns,” but instead “workforce challenges.” We found that 47% of HR teams are struggling to find talent, while another 16% are experiencing higher than typical turnover. Many factors have contributed to this talent shortage, including an aging population (both patients and healthcare workers), employee burnout, and the fact that there aren’t enough residency slots available for medical school graduates to keep up with the growing demand.

Although talent shortages have been impacting the healthcare industry, the majority of HR teams are focused on increasing their employee retention strategy. Retaining valued employees can help staff remain productive and engaged while providing continuity of care for patients. 

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In our report, we reveal other workforce priorities HR leaders are focusing on. We also dive into employee turnover in the healthcare space, strategies to alleviate turnover, and how it has impacted different sub-industries, such as acute care and post-acute care.

Contingent Workers are Helping to Fill Talent Gaps

Many healthcare organizations are turning to contingent workers to help bridge talent gaps and care for increased patient volumes. Our report found that over the course of the last six months, 35% of HR teams were making more contingent hires to speed up their time-to-hire.

There are many benefits to using contingent labor to mitigate the shortage gap, such as workforce flexibility and lowering the risk of employee burnout. However there are also labor-related challenges that can come with implementing a contingent workforce program, including credentialing and compliance risks. HR professionals can’t overlook how important it is to extend their background screening programs beyond their full-time, traditional employees.

HR Teams are Rethinking Their Background Screening Processes 

What makes Sterling’s client success team so successful is that we are always sharing best practices and recommendations with our clients to enhance their hiring and background screening program. As a part of our report, we highlight emerging trends across our different sub-industries (acute, post-acute, healthcare staffing, and life sciences) that are helping our clients keep pace with today’s hiring demands. 

Some of the strategies we’ve uncovered with our clients include:

  • Organizations are starting to consider removing marijuana testing from their hiring policy due to growing cannabis legalization.
  • Acute care organizations are beginning to expand their criminal searches by over seven years for licensed professionals due to the sensitivity of the role, including physicians, nurses, and other patient-facing roles.
  • Organizations are exploring the use of incorporating automation into their workflows to improve efficiencies in their hiring process.

Staying Ahead of Demand with Your Hiring Process

The insights in our report show that despite the challenges HR teams are facing with recruiting, hiring, and retaining their workforce, they are continuing to navigate these challenges with perseverance. We appreciate our healthcare clients for sharing their feedback on today’s hiring landscape, and for trusting Sterling as their hiring and background screening partner.

Download the full report to learn more about the state of hiring and background screening in healthcare. 

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Sterling is not a law firm. This publication is for informational purposes only and nothing contained in it should be construed as legal advice. We expressly disclaim any warranty or responsibility for damages arising out this information. We encourage you to consult with legal counsel regarding your specific needs. We do not undertake any duty to update previously posted materials.