The Healthcare Talent Strategy for an Increasingly Complex World

Healthcare roles are changing, and there’s a great need for roles with new and different mindsets. What are the keys to attracting this talent? How can healthcare organizations think strategically about workforce planning, talent and leadership development? What are the challenges? Axiom Consulting Partners’ Susanna Mlot, Partner, shares perspectives on how healthcare organizations can ensure they have the right talent in place for the future.

I’ll start with an issue that’s magnified right now in the healthcare field, which is that of attracting the right kind of talent, especially as work is changing and as technology creates the need for different mindsets around how jobs get done and who we need in healthcare organizations.

In this labor market where finding just warm bodies is a challenge, in healthcare it is even greater because obviously there are licensing and skill issues that factor in. So, having the right kind of talent pipeline, having the right recruitment system, selection processes that operate super efficiently, while at the same time making every hiring manager feel like they’re getting concierge service is massively important. And, that scale issue, while providing a concierge level of service out of the HR organization, is the next frontier for all HR functions.

The leading health systems have their ducks in a row when it comes to thinking strategically about workforce planning, talent and especially an increasingly important area, which is leadership development and management development. But those cases are fewer and further between than you would hope or like to see. And I think the vast majority of healthcare systems and organizations, academic medical centers being one key piece of that, really struggle to take what is their business strategy and plan and translate that.

And, having HR leadership be able to translate that into long-range plans where they can say, “Three to five years, we know that our nursing vacancy rate is not going to be 20%. It has the risk, if we don’t do something, of being even twice that given the reduced number of seats that we’re finding in nursing programs, the stronger and stronger requirements for success in nursing programs, and having to be much more creative about sourcing talent and preparing for those future needs.”

The other thing that’s making it challenging is the role of technology in medicine and how that is almost leapfrogging a health system’s ability to keep up with finding the right kinds of people. So I think there needs to be much closer articulation between what’s going on in terms of innovation around medical technology, how that’s going to impact specific specialties, specific fields, and therefore specific jobs in order for health systems to have the right kind of talent in place for the future.

Transcript edited for clarity.

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