The pandemic particularly challenged the Human Resource in all industries. For one thing, many companies were forced to lay off workers or cut down salaries. This could’ve taken a toll on HR managers because they had to handle potential lawsuits. For another, most office-based companies shifted to the work-from-home setting, and the burden to oversee its efficiency lay on HR.
In the healthcare industry, HR saw a different set of challenges. We all know how hospitals looked like last year and until now. COVID-19 patients crowded the wards, and hospital workers were exhausted, to say the least. Many nurses and doctors also acquired the virus, some of them dying. And every day, despite the numerous layers of their Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), health workers were still at a high risk of catching the virus.
The stress, fatigue, mental health issues, and other hardships among health workers challenged the industry’s HR. As much as the workers’ needed a break, they also had to render extended hours. This left the HR managers struggling to keep the workforce engaged and able to beat burnout.
The Pandemic’s Effect on Talent Acquisition and Onboarding
Surprisingly, the healthcare industry didn’t mass hire during the pandemic. Instead, they focused on reassigning existing staff. Sebastian Girard, Senior VP of Workforce Engagement at Atrium Health, shared that they morphed their talent acquisition efforts into recruiting and redeployment. They filled their internal needs with staff from operations that were slowing down. It was their way of keeping everyone employed and attracting talent.
But given the dwindling healthcare workforce, HR also had to look at talent pools. However, the task became rather challenging because they had to hire with a new sense of urgency. The HR needed to speed up the recruitment, orientation, and onboarding processes. Thanks to technology, though, hiring fast was manageable.
On the talents, the impact of urgent hiring was also significant. Every talent must show that they are aware of the pandemic’s effects and how it may affect their employment. Their performance on the onboarding process and how they started their careers mattered heavily in determining whether they’d remain on board. A new healthcare worker needed to have the grit, presence of mind, dedication, and commitment to serve and last in the pandemic frontlines.
How The HR Selects Talents
Since the pandemic is far from over, the demand for competent healthcare workers will continue. As such, a new talent, especially a fresh graduate, needs to meet the stringent qualifications required in the industry.
If you’re still in college, you don’t need a health-related course to qualify in medical school. But a degree in biology or other life sciences will give you an advantage. If you’re already enrolled in a different course, include those subjects in your load because they’re necessary.
To improve your employability even further, consider getting a post-graduate degree, particularly a master’s or doctoral program. A master’s degree opens doors to specialized fields, such as public health or speech pathology. On the other hand, a doctoral degree hones specific expertise. For example, if you want to focus on formulating drugs, you have to go to a college of pharmacy. Other options include dentistry, optometry, public health, and medicine schools.
To be a doctor, you must be licensed to practice medicine in your state and be board-certified in your specialty. The license is mandatory, while the certification is optional. But of course, getting certified gives you an edge against other talents.
Top Skills Required
Aside from your specialty, educational background, and experience, your technical and soft skills also matter. Those skills help determine how you’ll progress in a healthcare facility. The top skills required for carving out a good career path are as follows:
The healthcare industry uses high-tech systems to track its billing and collection processes. As such, you should be adept in the latest healthcare software and the handling of electronic patient records.
Strong Management Skills
Depending on the position you’ll apply for, you may be required to manage a team. If you work in a small, rural healthcare facility, for example, you’ll oversee the work of the entire staff. You need strong management and organizational skills to excel in such a duty.
Healthcare workers should also understand laws regarding healthcare services. This includes insurance claims and the like.
You’ll also face tricky situations while providing care or managing a team. Hence, you have to be creative in formulating solutions and perform a difficult task confidently.
Healthcare workers are currently receiving a lot of praise for their hard work during this challenging time. So extend a helping hand to your fellow experts by contributing your talent to the workforce. It may be stressful and discouraging at present, but the world will eventually recover, and you’d be proud that you’ve helped make that happen.