Experts are seeing real progress in both employment and industry growth. A recent economic update reported that the US has just entered its 12th consecutive month of growth since the pandemic began.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) May Employment Situation report, non-farm employment rose by nearly 560,000 last month, reducing the unemployment rate by .03%, down to 5.8%. This is the first time since the start of the pandemic in February 2020 that the unemployment rate has dipped below 6%.
Total unemployment numbers have fallen from 496,000 to 9.3 million, lessening the pre-pandemic employment gap to 3.5% or 5.7 million.
Healthcare Employment at a Glance
Healthcare employment had a good month in May, recovering around 23,000 jobs overall.
Ambulatory health care services continue to dominate job growth in healthcare for the second month in a row, adding 22,000 new jobs since the end of April. Health practitioner offices, including physicians, dentists, outpatient health centers, and laboratories were responsible for 20,000 of the new jobs and home health care recovered an estimated 2,000 jobs.
Nursing home and residential care facilities have continued to decrease over the past month (-2,400), but compared to April’s report of 19,500 lost jobs, a reversal seems to be on its way. While the dip centered largely around residential and community care facilities (-3,400 jobs), nursing home facilities actually gained approximately 1,000 jobs.
The healthcare industry is now an estimated 508,000 jobs away from reaching pre-pandemic numbers.
What Healthcare Organizations Should Prioritize in the Coming Months
As healthcare employment continues to grow, HR teams will need to stay on top of industry trends and stay ahead of the competition. Here are three ways you can prepare to hire in a recovering, post-COVID world.
Focus on staff retention
The percentage of people voluntarily leaving their jobs has risen above pre-pandemic levels, according to the US Chamber of Commerce, adding to healthcare’s national talent shortage. Home Healthcare Pulse found that caregiver turnover is one of the biggest threats facing home care providers, with nearly 41% of employers calling it a top concern.
Prioritizing retention to combat staff turnover and shortage can look like:
- Preventing burnout and compassion fatigue with resources like wellness initiatives, flexible scheduling, and regular breaks and mental health days.
- Offering on-site professional development and creating internal career paths and leadership opportunities.
- Implementing digital hiring practices to smooth over the hiring process and make it easier for candidates to apply, interview, and complete onboarding.
Set and evaluate recruitment goals
Underhiring may be a problem, especially during a talent shortage, but overhiring can also affect your ability to provide high-quality service and care. To avoid overworking your staff or cutting into your facility’s profit margins, take some time to revisit your recruitment goals.
Once you’ve made sure your goals are appropriate for your facility’s and clients’ needs, consider how best to meet them. Your recruitment marketing strategy should be built to serve those hiring goals and include milestones and analytics tools so you can analyze progress and adjust your plan accordingly.
Showcase your culture
Creating a better work environment and hiring process to retain staff is just one part of the equation. Learning to hire competitively means helping your facility build a positive reputation as a good employer with a long-term digital recruitment strategy.
Social media recruiting is an excellent way to promote your employer brand while reaching a larger audience online.
Social platforms allow you to develop a unique brand voice, share valuable content, and interact with potential job candidates while supporting your digital recruiting efforts. Choose a channel, or channels, that best fits your brand and strategy, and start establishing your online reputation by connecting with your staff and other healthcare professionals.
Apploi brings the healthcare HR process online, from recruitment to staff documentation management. Interested in learning more? Contact us today for a free demo of our end-to-end solution.