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Workforce Planning | 7 minute read

Want to provide better healthcare? Start by updating your talent forecasting

July 20, 2023

The healthcare talent shortage has significant consequences, not only for healthcare organizations, but for patients and employees as well. Forecasting staffing needs and hiring accordingly is essential to providing high-quality patient care. 

According to a 2022 PwC survey, 55% of healthcare industry leaders believed that the inability to hire and retain top talent was the biggest obstacle to achieving company growth goals. And while the lack of talent is largely due to a skills shortage, workforce planning better prepares healthcare organizations ahead of future staffing needs.  

With rising demand in healthcare services and decreasing supply in healthcare workers, talent forecasting in healthcare should not be overlooked.  

Read more: Key talent acquisition trends so far in 2023

Calling all stakeholders 

Staffing levels are of concern for leaders across the entire healthcare organization – from hiring managers and department heads to recruitment managers and individual contributors. The talent acquisition (TA) function can help keep organizational leaders abreast of forecasting (and all hiring-related logistics) by serving as a guide and facilitator. 

Hiring managers can more effectively respond to changes in patient volume, demographics and care by being aware of and willing to adapt based on talent forecasting. Having access to the most up-to-date data – real-time is best – is of utmost importance. Government data, from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), for example, reports data that’s already months behind.  

Human resources (HR) professionals should consider the needs and goals of their healthcare company and involve relevant stakeholders, including clinical staff and leadership, in the forecasting process. Their on-the-ground experience and knowledge of the industry may provide context for the workforce planning data. To gain insight into the required talent pool, companies must take a comprehensive approach that incorporates both in-depth and top-level perspectives. 

Planning for potential talent demand might be more beneficial than the plan itself. This process can help TA leaders and hiring managers understand what staffing decisions to make for their healthcare organization and improve their skills when dealing with uncertainty.

Read more: How to address hiring challenges in the healthcare industry  

Putting a plan into action 

Once you have everyone on board with the data, how should you action it? 

Develop a recruitment plan that outlines how to fill future job vacancies, which can include hiring external talent, initiating talent mobility programs and bolstering employment branding and recruitment marketing. Tools like Claro can also help you pipeline potential candidates by identifying passive job-seeking behaviors and facilitating outreach.  

Workforce planning can help healthcare providers: 

  • Retain top talent 
  • Combat burnout 
  • Avoid high turnover rates 
  • Meet all legal requirements for staffing levels and employee safety   

HR leaders’ responsibilities go beyond traditional transactional tasks, like pay and benefits. When aligned with the healthcare organization’s growth goals, it has the potential to impact the bottom line. 

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About WilsonHCG

WilsonHCG is an award-winning, global leader in total talent solutions. Operating as a strategic partner, it helps some of the world’s most admired brands build comprehensive talent functions. With a global presence spanning more than 65 countries and six continents, WilsonHCG provides a full suite of configurable talent services including recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), executive search, contingent talent solutions and talent consulting. TALENT.™ It’s more than a solution, it’s who we are.