A shortage of qualified IT professionals has hospitals and health systems turning to staffing agencies for help, according to a new industry survey.
Over half of respondents (56 percent) in the 2014 HIMSS Workplace study said they utilize recruitment/executive search firms to fill healthcare IT jobs. That’s up from 43 percent in the 2013 survey.
Respondents also ranked search firms as their “most effective” recruitment tool, outpolling other candidate search methods such as employee referrals, social media, job boards and print advertising.
“The lack of local qualified health IT workers, whether real or not, is a very real concern for many,” said Lorren Pettit, vice president, research, HIMSS Analytics. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see the use of recruiters increase as a preferred recruitment resource as the demand for select IT professionals increases.”
The hiring needs of healthcare organizations remain largely unchanged from the previous year, as 82 percent of survey respondents planned to hire at least one full time employee (FTE) in the next 12 months, a slight increase from the 79 percent of respondents planning the same in 2013.
The most commonly sought roles are Clinical Application Support, Help Desk, and IT Management. These were also the top three reported needs in 2013.
Project managers and IT security are fourth and fifth on the 2014 wish lists of hiring managers. These needs ranked eighth and seventh, respectively, in last year’s survey.
Respondents said hiring challenges threatened the success of some of their IT initiatives. Nearly one-third (30 percent) of healthcare provider respondents indicated that their organization had scaled back an IT project or put an IT initiative on hold due to staff shortages. Another 17 percent were considering scaling back an IT project and putting an IT initiative on hold because the organization could not fully staff them.
About 200 individuals representing healthcare provider organizations and vendors completed the HIMSS survey. The report comes on the heels of Healthcare IT Leaders’ Workforce Engagement Survey, which found high rates of job satisfaction among 400-plus healthcare IT professionals.
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