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The HCIT Talent Shortage...The Perfect Storm

May 12, 2008
by Tim Tolan
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Here’s a (very) boring (and I do mean boring) but exciting statistic: unemployment is around 4.3 percent on average in the United States. Low unemployment, coupled with the shifting demographic trends relative to an aging workforce will create The Perfect Storm (and I love it!)! A DROUGHT IS IN THE MAKING - A SHORTAGE OF QUALIFIED WORKERS! Great news for all qualified healthcare IT candidates!!

Overall, 76 million US workers will retire in the next 12-13 years - that's 16K a day! WOW! This prediction is unlike the Y2K bug in 1999 when we had a clicking time bomb for all major computer applications. ... and we all raced around to make systems Y2K compliant before the fast approaching deadline. OK... I agree - that was a real threat. Guess what? This is a big deal!

There are not enough younger workers to fill the anticipated demand for many healthcare IT positions. Hospital CEO's and CIO's will be under pressure in the months and years ahead to fill vacant IT positions quickly to avoid overloading other team members and to maintain acceptable service levels. Clearly one way to mitigate the downside is if some of the HCIT talent decides to hold off on retirement for now. Or, to opt-in for some temporary IT assignments and travel the US to visit and work in cities they always wanted to visit. Organizations will need to adopt a new way of looking at a more mature worker. No doubt.

The good news is today there are millions of very bright and well-qualified candidates who may be flying under your radar – or you have chosen to ignore them in the past. You may be overlooking candidates because their experience level or perhaps they come from a different vertical market – outside of HCIT. Your role as a creative CIO - i.e., chief talent scout for your company is to recognize and document the core competencies and skill sets needed to fill your open positions.

The game is changing and we all need to embrace tomorrow’s talent shortage with a different attitude and we need a different way of doing business. Did I mention that "I LOVE TALENT DROUGHTS"!

To quote Pluto from the movie Animal House: “This is going to be GRRREAT”!!!

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