Welcome back! This is a continuation of our two-part blog series on trends in the healthcare hiring world. If you missed the first post regarding the market factors that created these issues, you can go back and read that here. In Part 2, we’re going to dive into what these trends indicate within the industry, and what you can do to combat them within your company.

To recap, we know that the combination of a candidate shortage, the lethargic pace of hospital recruiting, and the frantic nature of many of the searches constantly leaves recruiters struggling to fill their open roles. But why did these industry issues crop up? What happened within the industry to create these roadblocks facing recruiters today?


1) High Employee Turnover

Industry experts have pointed to the high rate of turnover within the industry as one of the main contributors leading to the recruiting crisis. Leaders For Today found that “37% of candidates plan to leave their current hospital within the next two years, and 68.6% plan to leave within five years.” Some of you may be pausing now thinking, “Wait, shouldn’t high turnover mean there are always more candidates to be found? When more people leave jobs, aren’t there consequently more people to hire?”

In reality, hospitals still struggle to find candidates, and employee turnover is extremely costly for a company, with hospitals shouldering up to $400,000 for overall turnover cost. With some roles, hospitals can see that number easily creeping up to over $600,000. These figures include the cost it takes for recruiters to find and screen candidates, bring them in for interviews, and on-board their new hires.

2) Shrinking Workforce

Not only are employees switching companies frequently, many physicians are nearing retirement age, and will soon be leaving the workforce entirely. This creates several concerns for the workforce, namely wondering where the candidates to fill these roles are going to come from. If 33% of all physicians in the United States are 55 or older, that leaves 66% of the current workforce available to fill the open roles they leave – in addition to the open roles already on the market.

In an ideal world, the upcoming workforce would be large enough to replace the retired current physicians, but with the next largest workforce (Millennials) being 20 years younger, that leaves a sizable gap in the workforce. This gap is exacerbated by the 11-14 years of schooling it takes to become a medical professional, not taking into account the years of working in an industry to gain experience. These requirements to become an industry expert increases the time it takes before someone becomes a viable candidate for an open role, feeding the clinical talent shortage.

3) Rapid Industry Growth

Tied in with the aging workforce is the rapid industry growth that is driving demand for medical professionals. Physicians and their cohorts who are nearing retirement age are contributing heavily to this boom, in addition to the growing general population. With many baby boomers having at least one chronic disease, the need for medical professionals to provide care, coupled with the general population that needs care, is growing.

As a result of the shrinking resources in many medical educational facilities mentioned in Part 1, there are not enough people coming into the workforce to assist with the 3.8 million new jobs the healthcare industry is projected to add to the United States’ economy by 2024. Rural and inner city hospitals are being hit especially hard by the candidate shortage for this reason. They are adding more jobs as their population grows, but without the candidates or qualified professionals who want to live in these areas, their open roles get harder and harder to fill.


All of these market factors working together have created a tangled mess of clinical recruiting that has been a puzzle for hospitals to work out. So what can be done to help? At the top of the list is employee retention. HR leaders should be focused on stopping the bleeding of clinical talent before rushing out to find new candidates. The constant flow of employees from a company should give HR leaders a hint to shift their focus to employee retention. Considering that losing employees is the reason for most open roles, the majority of survey respondents ranked employee retention and culture or career development for current employees near the bottom of their priorities. Creating workplaces that make employees happy to stay and give them opportunities to grow could help hospitals save thousands in recruiting fees every year – simply by making an effort not to lose their current employees.

In fact, taking steps to reduce employee turnover will have positive effects on hospitals’ recruiting efforts, as they’ll simply have fewer roles to work on filling. This is especially true when hiring and retaining Millennials and Generation Z workers, as those are who hospitals will need to rely on to fill the spaces left by baby boomers. With the growing market, the heat will only increase for recruiters at hospitals, so taking proactive steps to keep employees will help their hiring processes in the long run.

If you do have any open roles currently and are struggling to fill them, Happie can help! We have industry experts who work quickly to create a pipeline of qualified, interested candidates for your open medical roles. We work along side you to identify your requirements for a position, screen candidates, and present you with the best candidates in your field for you to review. Happie is easier, faster, and more cost effective than traditional recruiters, so schedule a time to chat here, and we’d be happy to give you a consultation.


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