Healthcare Staffing: A Growth Industry

Healthcare is one of the growth leaders in the staffing industry with expected growth of 14% in 2017. It has been one of the fastest growth staffing industries since 2008 outpacing every other industry. We are expecting this growth pattern to continue in double digits until 2020. The expectation in 2020 is that 1 in 8 jobs in the workforce will be in Healthcare. What is driving this trend?

Since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the number of insured have dramatically increased. Statistics show that since 2012 the insured population has grown by 22 million, leading to an increased utilization of services and affecting the delicate supply demand equation. One of the largest groups within this increasing population is the aging Baby Boomers estimated at 76 million today. Living longer healthier lifestyles, there is an increase demand in orthopedic care like knee and hip replacements. With ACA rewarding shorter inpatient care, this has increased the need for talent in outpatient allied staff across in every vertical.

Another driver is the advancement in Healthcare which has created new super specializations such as Genetic Testing. Ten years ago, this vertical was in the infancy stage and as continued advancements in medicine, talent is needed in more job categories such as Genetic Counsellors, Laboratory Technicians specialized in Genetics, for example.

Let’s revisit ACA implementation, but let’s take a deeper dive. With ACA, there is increased compliance and regulatory requirements creating a need for Electronic Medical Records (EMR) support staff, data analytics and management of such implementations.

With the growth of Healthcare Staffing and the ACA impact, I do believe I saved the best for last: technology is one of the most exciting areas of growth in Healthcare. As mentioned earlier, implementation of EMRs allows Physicians to manage cross industry and have an interactive holistic approach to patient care. In some states this has been slow in coming but the introduction of Telehealth has introduced the need for videoconferencing technicians and support staff. Lastly Cybersecurity, the need to protect medical data has created an entirely new vertical in Healthcare. This need was again emphasized when the Russians hacked and released the medical records of our US Olympian Team in 2016.

Healthcare Staffing is growth industry and is also creating new verticals within Healthcare which truly makes this an exciting place to be now.

One of the difficulties with healthcare staffing is predicting or understanding the needs that will evolve. One simple approach is geography. The East Coast and California just by mere population are areas that are obvious to focus on. With the aging baby boomer population, there is an increasing number retiring and moving south to Florida, Texas, Arizona and we should expect trending increase in Internal Medicine, Orthopedic and Oncologists for instance in these geographies.

Emerging solutions include an increase in the use of Travel Nurses and Locum Tenens for strategic placements. Staffing companies that are creative increasing this talent pool will be winners in this high demand growth industry. Understanding the demands and what the drivers are based on location, hospital needs and seasonality is also key. Other possible solutions are cross industry training for seasoned professionals like cyber security experts in finance and can be cross industry trained to Healthcare which creates a warm growth industry and a win/win.  Accountants, IT, Analytics and all nonmedical talent are all candidates for cross industry training.

Merger and Acquisition SOWs are here to stay as the industry, as the larger medical centers acquire or partner with smaller medical groups, to best navigate the ACA requirements.

Let us not forget Physicians, Nurses, Radiologists and other allied staff are not replaceable with technology and we are not able to print/mint new ones, we need to make these careers more attractive as they once were. But with ACA limiting income for some Physicians, increased legal and compliance costs and poor work life balance, has been challenging, so this issue of attracting talent makes for a great discussion.

The key takeaway for Healthcare Staffing is, that growth in the double digits is here to stay, happening across every vertical in Healthcare.