As experts in health IT staffing, we keep close tabs on the ever-evolving employment landscape. Below are a few of the emerging industry trends that we’re watching, along with our advice for job seekers navigating this unique and fluid market.
Job Flexibility (WFH)
One does not need a crystal ball to predict that the pandemic will continue to be a significant force in changing how and where we work. With COVID-19 transmission rates on the rise, many businesses have scrapped their return-to-work plans for the foreseeable future. Staffing shortages won’t resolve for some time either.
To attract and retain employees, health systems are offering more flexible remote or work-from-home options. Geographic barriers to placement are being removed for contractors and full-time employees with companies allowing new hires to work from anywhere as long as their skills are a match for the job.
High Demand (and Higher Salaries)
Healthcare employers put large IT projects on hold during the initial phase of the pandemic, but those delays were short-lived. Our clients are reinvesting in clinical and business software solutions with renewed urgency, meaning more work for health IT pros with implementation and project management experience.
For job seekers with relevant skills, high demand + the aforementioned talent shortage = hot pockets (as in lucrative financial gains, not the microwaveable meal). We’re seeing this play out in salary negotiations and annual raises. In fact, according to a new survey, white collar salaries recently saw their biggest jump in 20 years.
To the folks interested in the point above, let’s break down specific areas that should see significant growth for jobs in software development and project management.
We expect to see a continuation of “rip and replace” projects in the ERP category, as our clients sunset existing systems and implement new solutions. Workday, Oracle, UKG, and Infor remain the predominant vendors for these initiatives. Technical and operational legacy support roles typically spin out of these projects, along with needs for integration support and data migration skills.
With hackers getting smarter every day, health systems must invest in technologies and people that keep patient data safe. That means more opportunity for Chief Information Security Officers (CISO), security architects and engineers, and individuals familiar with penetration testing and Malware protection.
Looking to cut expenses and improve scalability, the healthcare industry is largely moving to the cloud for data storage and processing. Cloud Migration architects and analysts will be in high demand, as well as project managers to help clients navigate these transitions.
Digital Front Door
Health systems are aiming for an improved consumer experience—and bottom-line savings—through digital front door initiatives that automate patient intake, scheduling, billing, and other time-consuming, labor-intensive functions. Solution architects and builders who understand and can re-engineer these complex workflows will have no problem finding gainful employment.
The need for outsourced talent is likely to increase amidst a growing industry-wide workload. We see renewed interest in managed service providers to supplement existing IT teams.
There are many use cases for managed services, such as servicing an IT help desk or ongoing legacy system support. Opportunities for this assistance will only continue to grow as the healthcare industry struggles with limited resources and permanent staffing challenges.
Job Seekers: Make a Plan
The Great Resignation is real, but from our vantage point, we see IT pros in a period of reassessment and reflection, as opposed to dropping out of the workforce altogether. Our VP of Delivery and Recruiting, Justin Couch, says many candidates are just looking for a change of scenery.
“It’s a great time to explore new opportunities,” says Couch. “I tell candidates if there is an area they have been interested in, now is the time to try it out. Demand is hot.”
Justin encourages prospective consultants, or existing consultants looking to make a career shift, to map out a game plan for finding new employment in 2022.
- Be confident about your career goals: Start building out your professional network. Establish a connection with a recruiter, who can keep an ear to the ground for jobs that fit your skillset, lifestyle, and long-term vision when you’re ready to make the next move.
- Do your due diligence: It’s not all about the paycheck. Research reviews of how the company treats employees, what leadership prioritizes, and the culture before applying for an open position.
- Have patience in the process: All things come to those who wait. Trust in your recruiter to find a job that’s the right fit for you.