SEEK’s latest Healthcare Pulse Report reveals a substantial rise in available healthcare and medical roles over the last year but a 24% drop in application rates, which has added pressure on employers trying to fill these roles.
The healthcare industry is one of Australia’s largest and fastest-growing industries, currently employing 14% of the nation’s population. This growth is underpinned by several key drivers, including the significant impact of COVID-19, recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, and an ageing population.
COVID-19 has placed an added burden on our healthcare workforce, which has faced significant challenges as the industry was already at capacity before the pandemic.
SEEK’s Healthcare Pulse Report is designed for workforce, recruitment and people leaders in the healthcare industry, including allied services, specialist services, nursing and management sectors, as well as the aged-care sector. The report explores the trends shaping the healthcare labour market and the forces that could impact recruitment strategies.
SEEK National Healthcare Sales Manager James Duncan said that SEEK has been gathering and analysing industry data for more than 20 years, enabling it to provide in-depth insights to Australian healthcare hirers.
“The healthcare insights we offer are unique to SEEK, and draw upon our extensive workforce data, bespoke research initiatives surveying candidates and employers, as well as interactions with our customers to provide a comprehensive picture of the talent and hiring landscape,” he said.
“Since witnessing the challenges faced by healthcare providers in regional areas — where the struggle to find talent is significant — understanding mobility opportunities within the industry has become a particular priority for SEEK. We can apply this data when working with our customers to form solutions around strategic sourcing.”
The report found that, for the first time in 20 years, salary/compensation is no longer one of the top four priorities candidates have when applying for roles — job security now ranks the highest, followed by flexible hours/scheduling, good working conditions and engaging work.
Given candidates’ top priority is job security, there is opportunity to attract talent from other, COVID-impacted industries, such as hospitality and retail, by highlighting the security of the healthcare industry. SEEK is seeing candidates with transferable skills, gained in industries such as these, considering the aged-care sector as an alternative to their current employment.
The report suggests that the fall in candidate application rates in the aged-care sector is due to the significant increase in demand, rather than a lack of candidate attention or hesitation to change roles.
For roles in the aged-care and disability sector, 80% of applicants applied from 28 different role groups, demonstrating the opportunity to source staff from a broader talent pool by taking advantage of displaced and unfulfilled candidates from other industries.
Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Robert Kneschke