HR Challenges Facing the Healthcare Industry
While the healthcare industry has always faced numerous stressors, the COVID-19 pandemic added extra layers of complexity for those in this field. Post-pandemic, significant changes to the workforce have occurred. These changes, along with added legislative compliance challenges, have enhanced the day-to-day stress of running and maintaining a business in healthcare. Let’s take a look at some HR challenges facing the healthcare industry in 2023.
HR Challenges Facing the Healthcare Industry in 2023
As with any industry, a business’ human resource department is the backbone of the entire operation. From recruiting, to hiring, training, payroll compliance, and ongoing personal management, this all falls under the umbrella of HR. For healthcare businesses, adding the responsibility of caring for patients on top of these challenges can be overwhelming.
The following areas are challenges that the healthcare industry faces in 2023:
- Staffing Turnover
- Wage and Benefit Competition
- Records Compliance
- Local HR Laws
- Training and Development
Similar to other industries, healthcare has seen a rise in difficulty recruiting new talent. The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a curveball at the healthcare industry, resulting in a larger number of open positions and the need for more workers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2021 to 2031. This is much faster than the average for all occupations and this increase is expected to result in about 2 million new jobs over the decade. Whether it be athletic trainers, chiropractors, dentists, nurses, physicians or surgeons, the need to recruit new talent is on the rise.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment in the industry is at 2.4 percent, the lowest in over a decade, and 391,000 new jobs have been added over the last 12 months. With low supply and high demand, healthcare professionals can easily leave jobs to pursue new opportunities.
Healthcare businesses need to provide their employees with an enjoyable work culture, competitive wages and benefits, and growth and development opportunities. These factors can help a business increase their employee retention rates, combatting the high turnover rates of their industry.
Wage and Benefit Competition
While the majority of healthcare workers earn more than minimum wage, over 30 states across the country have increased their minimum wage in 2023. This shows that as the cost of living rises, wages increase as well. Healthcare businesses need to offer competitive wages to help attract and retain top talent. For smaller healthcare facilities, such as a local veterinarian or massage therapist, competing at a higher wage level can be detrimental to the business.
One advantage can be to offer a more competitive benefits package. These benefits can help put a business ahead of the competition while being more cost effective. Some examples include:
- an increase in work-life balance options with flexible scheduling
- offering extra paid time off
- employee discounts and wellness allowances
- tuition reimbursement
State and federal laws require certain employee data be obtained and securely stored by employers. The healthcare industry faces additional recordkeeping challenges. Patient data must also be properly secured. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge. Furthermore, healthcare organizations face high turnover rates, multiple office locations and complex licensing paperwork. These factors result in increased risk of data exposure and required healthcare business to have increased data security.
Local HR Laws
Like other businesses, those in healthcare must adhere to any local and state HR compliance laws that arise. For businesses in Maine, that means knowing and following guidelines for the following laws in effect in 2023:
Complying with these laws, and having a well written policy in your company handbook that employees can refer to, is important for your business to avoid fines levied by the Maine DOL.
Training and Development
Training and career develop is an essential part of the healthcare industry. As medicines evolve and patients’ needs change, healthcare workers must be trained properly in all potential problems that could arise. Employers and HR workers need to have an adequate training system in place for employees to be able to thrive within their company. Additionally, HR departments need to be able to track all of these employee trainings, as well as any required certifications and licenses.
How Paper Trails Can Help the Healthcare Industry Face These HR Challenges
Facing all of these challenges, as well as the worry of providing your patients with excellent care, can be overwhelming. Paper Trails has the tools to ensure compliance for your business. Whether it is an applicant tracking system (ATS) to help recruit new talent into your organization, strong employee onboarding practices, or help with new Maine state laws, we are here to help.
A few of Paper Trails tools specific to the healthcare industry include:
- ATS with healthcare-specific job boards
- HR tracking certifications, trainings and skills with expiry emails and notifications
- An Employee Marketplace for financial wellness and wellbeing
- Scheduling based on certifications or teams
- OSHA management and reporting
- and more!