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  • Navigating a challenging healthcare hiring market

    Author: HealthTimes

As we continue to emerge from two years of disruption, there’s a lot going on in the Australian job market. Unemployment is down, falling to its lowest level since 2008. Job ads are up and the highest on record in SEEK’s 25-year history.

In the Healthcare & Medical industry – the country’s biggest employer comprising 14% of the working population – job ads reached record highs between November 2021 and February 2022. This is the hiring landscape that is mapped out in SEEK’s 2022 Healthcare Pulse Report, which provides an in-depth look at key trends shaping the healthcare labour market.

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For healthcare hirers, managers and organisations, it’s clearly a challenging environment. Demand for candidates is well above pre-pandemic levels in all role groups, but there simply aren’t enough candidates to fill open positions.

For Healthcare & Medical roles, a job ad will receive on average 27% fewer applications than before the pandemic – even though individual candidates are applying for more roles. Along with surging demand for Aged & Disability Support roles, there’s been a distinct increase in the need for nurses and healthcare managers. Job ads for Psychology, Counselling & Social Work roles, as well as Speech Therapy positions, are also well above pre-pandemic levels.

Demand for all Healthcare & Medical roles is expected to continue to grow strongly, while supply challenges are predicted to persist. The solution for healthcare hirers struggling to find suitable candidates lies in the effective implementation of sourcing strategies.

It’s crucial to tailor messaging to ideal candidates and pay close attention to location and demographic-specific nuances, explains says SEEK Analytics Manager, Shanika Yapa.

“Because there's so much demand out there, it's really a candidates’ market at the moment,” she says. “For specialised roles like these, there’s a finite pool of candidates – it's not like you can tap into industries like retail or hospitality to get candidates with transferable skills to come and work for you. It's important to attract people into a role, given that all your competitors are looking for the same people.”

Work-life balance is a key driver attracting candidates across all regions and most age brackets to roles across the Healthcare & Medical industry, according to SEEK’s Laws Of Attraction research.

“Healthcare organisations really need to understand what work-life balance means to their clinical and frontline staff, as unfortunately the work-from-home solution enjoyed by other industries is broadly not an option in healthcare,” says SEEK Healthcare Leader, James Duncan.

With growing demand and a finite pool of candidates to choose from, hirers are also using targeted strategies like SEEK’s Premium Talent Search service to reach suitable candidates. “A greater proportion of candidates in allied health roles are being tapped into,” Yapa says.

Ultimately, healthcare hirers who prioritise the needs and preferences of this dynamic workforce are well-placed to navigate immediate supply and demand challenges—as well as inform workforce planning for a successful future.

To access the latest healthcare employment market insights – and learn more about the key workforce trends and sourcing strategies mentioned here – download SEEK’s 2022 Healthcare Pulse Report.

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