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Healthcare’s Ever-Changing Workforce

February 10, 2016
by Tim Tolan
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A whole new way of hiring is upon us
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The days of hiring and maintaining a permanent workforce for your hospital IT staff—all being traditional W-2 workers is...well...over. To remain competitive and attract top technical talent, the hiring practices of CIOs and CMIOs will have to evolve and include the new independent workforce, as it’s now known. I would avoid pushing back on this issue as this train has officially left the station. All aboard.

Your IT staff will soon be comprised of regular W-2 employees, freelancers, contract workers, a project-based workforce, 1099 employees, contingent workers, an on-demand workforce, and an extended workforce. Talk about options!

With healthcare surging to a record 17.5 percent of the GDP in the U.S., the impact of this ever-changing workforce will be more than noticeable. For some of you the changes have already started while, in other instances, the makeup of your workforce remains more traditional—at least for now. Get ready for some very big changes over the next 36 to 48 months. Some prognosticators for the U.S. predict a blended workforce with nearly 50 percent of contingent workers by 2020. That shift in the labor pool will have a significant impact on technical executives in need of talent who chose to ignore this massive paradigm shift.

Here are a few crazy statistics to validate this transformation on how you will staff your IT department in the very near future:

The top three industries for contingent workers, according to a recent article by Forbes:

                1.            Retail

                2.            Financial services

                3.            Healthcare

According to a leading multi-national staffing company, over 40 percent of companies report finding their top talent through the contingent labor force. The contingent workforce has more than doubled in the past seven years. The Great Recession of 2008, in part, is one of the big drivers of this new workforce model. Many workers had to adapt when the market tanked working multiple jobs often as a contractor.

As a search firm we too, must evolve. Many candidates we screen today already have their own LLC or S-Corp, and accepting a new position as a full-time W-2 employee is no longer appealing to them. For us to adapt to this changing marketplace, we are adding interim search (contractors) to our search offering. With the marketplace changes ahead, we simply must alter and enhance our services to compete and deliver what the market demands while embracing this new blended workforce model.

Another challenge is the changing demographics in the workforce. The baby boomers are slowly but surely exiting the workforce. This generation has been a major force in the labor market for the past 20 years, but has officially reached its prime in terms of productive working years. Many companies will want these workers to continue working beyond their official retirement age and be a part of the employee workforce to mentor the younger workers. However, a large percentage of boomers that work past their retirement age will opt to become more independent choosing instead to be a 1099 worker or a contingent staffing professional and bypass the full-time W-2 option.

By 2020, the millennial generation will make up nearly half of the entire U.S. workforce. This generation communicates using their smartphones and social media. Always connected, texting is their preferred method to converse with the outside world. Traditional interview processes and strategies will have to adapt. We’ve actually had millennial candidates request that offers be sent to them via text message before the written offer is sent so they can review the details on their smartphone. Talk about an across-the-board change in bisynchronous communications! Many of our clients struggle with adapting to this new way of hiring and communicating with this new generation of workers. But, it’s here to stay.

That’s where we are. Get ready. A whole new way of hiring is here—right now!