The COVID-19 Impact on Healthcare Recruitment5 min read

Ali Neill / June 8, 2020
Category : News and developments, Recruitment
Caption: The COVID-19 Impact on Healthcare Recruitment5 min read

If there’s one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the surface, it’s that healthcare workers are more than essential. The lives of the US residents are in the skilled hands of doctors and nurses who do their best to help them combat the virus. But how we see medical workers is not the only thing that changed. To see where the healthcare industry is heading, as far as recruitment is concerned, let’s take a closer look at the past few years. 

US Healthcare Today

According to statistics, 2.8 million new jobs were generated in the healthcare sector between 2006 and 2016. In 2016, the US had 21.8 million healthcare workers, which amounts to 14% of all jobs in America. 

In 2019, the average physicians’ paycheck went from $299,000 in 2018 to $313,000, with orthopedists having the highest income ($482,000), followed by plastic surgeons ($471,000).  

Healthcare practitioners’ jobs will account for one-fifth of all new job positions by 2026. Competition for the top-notch talent will also increase. 

Trends show that by 2030, there will be fewer physicians than necessary to provide medical services to the aging population. 

Recruiters must engage in a long-term strategy to build their brands, as 90% of job candidates in healthcare believe that employer branding is essential in recruitment. Recruiters will also have to pay special attention to their websites since they are an important tool as well.  

Healthcare After the Pandemic: Predictions

Predictions say that 11.6 million healthcare workers will be needed to fill new positions by 2026 since COVID-19 made healthcare workers think about putting their lives first and their jobs second. More than ever, recruiters need to make healthcare a priority. Home health aides, personal care aides, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners will be the fastest-growing occupations. But what they will witness is a shift in the way healthcare is delivered.

Telehealth is here to stay beyond COVID-19. Introducing telehealth will assist not only in communication between doctors and their patients but also between recruiters and potential employees. 

Some reports say that the telemedicine market will be valued at about $175 billion by 2026. Since nobody knows when coronavirus will stop spreading, some portion of this money will probably be directed toward educating employees on how to use telecommunication technologies.

Right now, telehealth is all about mental health. The services have been created to assist people struggling with the consequences of COVID-19, and are currently free of charge. Still, if telehealth services are still needed beyond the pandemic, the healthcare industry will have to work on a rigorous recruitment process and offer a paycheck to psychologists lending their time and expertise.

Change in the Recruitment Process

Due to COVID-19, more than 60% of nurses claim they’ll quit their jobs. Replacing this number of nurses could cost the healthcare system about $136 billion if the estimates prove correct. This event has led to the rising demand for the recruitment of critical care nurses. 

There’s also a steady need for mental health nurses and district nurses, while suspended home visits made the need for health visitors obsolete. 

When it comes to recruitment, coronavirus has taken its toll. Preventative measures of quarantine and physical distancing are still in force. Therefore, it’s harder to conduct interviews face-to-face. That’s why healthcare providers and recruitment agencies are switching to online interviewing.

Still, they are barely coping with the pressure and urgency of hiring new staff, since there are fewer candidates available due to the fear of the virus. Healthcare workers are not too keen on returning to work since they are aware of the risks, but also the fact that there’s a lack of widespread testing for the virus. 

Candidates are also worried about the lack of proper personal protective equipment. Another thing that makes them question new employment is that sometimes workers apply for one ward but get assigned to the coronavirus ward upon arrival. 

What Should Employers Do?

Since healthcare employers are faced with new challenges, it’s up to them to ensure that the hiring process is as streamlined as possible. First of all, every hiring manager should make sure that recruiters have the necessary knowledge about effective video screening of candidates. More video interviews are used for the final stage of the employment process than ever before. 

Second of all, they need to remember that candidates are also humans and be aware that they’re going to hire them to work in a very stressful environment. Showing the desire to keep all employees safe from the invisible enemy and providing the proper PPE, enough rest, and occupational safety will help the future employee make the best decision when presented with multiple employment options. 

Conclusion 

There needs to be a positive shift in the healthcare industry and covid-19 has made this particularly obvious. We need to start with how the workers are treated to the use of newly developed technology. The healthcare industry needs to realize how vital medical workers are and what needs to be done to retain them. On the other hand, vacant job positions must be filled in these troubling times, and recruiters need to find alternatives like Skype interviews or something similar. 


We would like to thank Duscan Goljic, Pharm.D., Medical Writer, for this article. Duscan thinks in milligrams every day; how much is enough, and what amounts can cure you or hurt you. His morning dose of caffeine gives him focus. And for the rest of the day, he thinks about herbal remedies, medical devices, supplements, nutrients, and heavy medication. By day, Duscan works with drugs behind the counter. By night, he thinks about apostrophe misplacements.  He is a pharmacist and a writer.

Author: Ali Neill

As the job board tester and blog editor for the Jobboard Finder, Ali works on job boards from all around the world and keeps a close eye on the recruitment trends thanks to a number of sources, including the website’s social media pages.

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