Recovery may mean hiring headaches

We're starting to see signs of life in the economy. The jobs outlook is improving, ever so slightly, month over month.

By Royale Class

While the economy may be getting better, hiring may not be getting easier.If the Great Recession taught us one thing, it's that business is volatile. Things change fast in business today. Sometimes over night. As such, we're seeing that companies need more flexibility in their workforce than they needed before. 

If we look at the staffing industry as an economic indicator, 2014 might be a good year for growth across the board. We've seen pretty stable growth in both healthcare and IT staffing in 2013, and there's signs that those trends will continue into 2014. Technology changes, and businesses have learned that they must keep up with those changes if they want to remain competitive. On the healthcare side, we've seen many regulatory changes in the past few years, and this is having an impact on the work to be done to stay compliant with the changes. 


In healthcare, we've seen HIPAA changes; HITECH and "meaingful use," ICD-10 and the Affordable Care Act all impact the delivery of healthcare. They all also impact the technology that is used to manage the process - from hospitals to physician offices to the insurance companies, each of these businesses has technology that must be updated, changed and in some cases replaced, to accomodate the changing regulations. 

This has farther-reahing consequences as well. We've all heard about the "talent gap" and the lack of high- and middle-skills workers (read our post on the talent gap here). Nowhere is this more evident than in healthcare and healthcare IT. As these companies open new projects, and thus, jobs, they can have a difficult time attracting talent with the experience that they want. The longer the job sits open and unfilled, the more likely they are to relax their requirements related to direct experience. Rather than require someone with 5 years of healthcare IT experience, they'll take someone who has the right skills, but may lack direct experience. 

Candidates that don't have direct healthcare experience are often excited to add healthcare experience to their resumes and many will accept these contract positions as a way of growing their expertise. This reduces the number of people in the talent pool for businesses outside of the healthcare arena. 

What can a business with project needs do when this shortage happens to them? How can they compete with the salaries, experience and promise of even more lucrative work for these highly skilled and experienced professionals? 

There are a variety of tactics one can use, but at Royale Class, we find that one thing works really well: project-based assignments. Generally the healthcare IT world is filled iwth project-based assignments - 3, 6, 9 - even 18-month contracts are not uncommon. It can take time to move an IT professional from one contract to another, and as such, Royale Class keeps them "on the bench." While they're on the bench, they might be performing work for Royale Class internalls, or, more likely, taking on additional short-term projects with clients outside of healthcare. 

We're certainly seeing signs of an improving eonomy on our end, in the number of open requisitions and new projects that we're being asked to assist with. If this trend continues, it could become very difficult to find and hire candidates that have the skills and experience to get the job done. In that case, don't hesitate to outsource projects to a skilled business partner with the subject matter expertise to get the job done right - on time and on budget.

Until next time, I've gotta 'lotta opinion about everything,

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PS: If you haven't already, take a look at "The Anti-Staffing Agency Manifesto" and see how we're waging the talent war on a whole new level. We'd love to hear from you and to know what you think.

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