Finding qualified employees puts damper on revved up healthcare jobs market

Results from a new survey on the state of hiring in the healthcare market confirm what has been reported for years, even in the midst of an economic downturn: the healthcare jobs market is scorching. Trouble is, hiring managers are finding it challenging to get the qualified people they need.

According to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive for CareerBuilder, one of the largest online employment companies in the country, 22 percent of healthcare hiring managers are planning to add full-time, permanent employees in 2013. That’s up three percentage points from 2012. But, 23 percent of healthcare employers also reported they have open positions for which they have not been able to find qualified talent.

[See also: Healthcare industry adds 45K jobs in December]

“Basically it comes down to one thing, and that’s general supply and demand,” said Jason Lovelace, president of CareerBuilder Healthcare. “There are more positions today then there are people.”

Lovelace said that even as hospitals and other healthcare organizations face declining reimbursements and struggle to function as viable businesses, healthcare jobs will not contract. Why? Because organizations that can’t withstand the changes brought on by changing payment models like pay for performance will be “gobbled up” by bigger organizations that can.

“The bottom line,” Lovelace said, “is that there’s always going to be people that need to be serviced.”

And that’s good news for those who are looking to enter the professional market, he said. “Healthcare is going to scream opportunity,” he said. "It’s almost recession proof. The opportunities will exist.”

[See also: Survey finds eight in 10 healthcare businesses impacted by bad hires]

Regardless of the number of people looking for jobs in the market, healthcare organizations are going to need to be proactive if they’re going to find the people they’re looking for, and many are already doing that, Lovelace added.

The CareerBuilder survey found that healthcare employers are taking such actions as increasing compensation for both established employees and newly-hired employees, increasing their efforts to retain employees and retraining existing staff rather than waiting long periods to hire the “right” person.