Hiring is almost never easy. On the applicant side, a job search could mean weeks or months of unfruitful, frustrating applications and interviews before finding a good fit. And from the perspective of the hiring company, reading through piles of resumes is almost as painful as staring at an unanswered hiring ad, hoping it will bring in a match. In the field of consumer healthcare, recruitment is highly competitive, as specialized positions have a limited pool of qualified professionals, and up-and-coming trends create a massive demand for new solutions and perspectives. As a result, consumer health industry recruiters have to stay on top of the needs of both consumer healthcare companies and their potential employees.
The Changing Healthcare Landscape's Implication for Hiring
One trend that just keeps growing in consumer healthcare is the idea of the patient as a consumer. As the medical industry shifts to a system in which patients are increasingly responsible for the cost of healthcare, patients themselves are becoming the new end user, rather than healthcare providers. This paradigm shift means that the tried-and-true models of consumer healthcare are soon going to be outdated, if they haven’t already become obsolete.
For the consumer health industry recruiter, then, patient-as-consumer means that executives and employees with outside experience are now required to be agents of change within the industry. Job candidates with experience in consumer-oriented fields are being considered for more executive positions in the field of healthcare. This can present challenges for consumer healthcare companies, however, as candidates without experience in healthcare could be risky hires. Requiring more time to understand and be comfortable with the company’s mission, values, and culture, these industry outsiders could offer valuable solutions and suggest new directions, but could also hinder or derail current company initiatives. Therefore, recruiters have to be able to suggest non-traditional candidates, but also know when a candidate is too different to be a good fit for consumer healthcare.
The Challenge of Physician Shortages
The Association of American Medical Colleges reported in 2010 that the United States would see a shortage of 90,000 doctors by 2020, an alarming statistic that has, unfortunately, manifested in some unexpected ways. While there is currently a shortage of primary care doctors and specialists, it is much more modest than the AAMC’s dramatic forecast, and has more to do with urban-rural distribution of physicians.
Even with demand for physicians remaining constant, or rising in some areas, data from Doximity, a social network for medical professionals, shows that more than 85 percent of doctors are open to considering a new job. Compared to just 10 percent who are actively seeking employment, this is a significant pool of talent that could be sought out for consumer healthcare positions with the right channels and know-how. Consumer health recruiters need to be prepared to bring offers to candidates, rather than being found.
With new challenges, new medications and treatments, and new ideas constantly changing the landscape of consumer healthcare, recruiters have to keep up with both the industry and the people with the potential to do their best work in it. Being able to hire the best person for the job is difficult when the requirements are a moving target, but despite the difficulties, consumer healthcare recruiters are getting the job done.