As with clinical laboratories, worker shortage is affecting large retail pharmacy chains and independent pharmacies alike
Staffing shortages in clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups caused by the Great Resignation is having a similar impact on retail pharmacy chains. Consequently, pharmacy chains are reducing store hours and even closing sites, according to USA Today.
Pharmacies now report similar shortages in qualified workers, partly due to the sharp decrease in revenue from COVID-19 vaccinations, but also due to worker burnout. Both developments have counterparts in clinical laboratories as well.
“I’m concerned that without the help from the COVID-19 vaccinations that everyone needed, these pharmacies that were able to tough it out for another year or two might not be able to continue,” B. Douglas Hoey, PharmD, CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), told USA Today. Clinical laboratories that processed large numbers of SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics have experienced the same sudden drop in revenue causing similar difficulties maintaining staffing levels. (Photo copyright: Cardinal Health.)
Staffing Shortages Leading to Safety Concerns
According to the Washington Post’s coverage of a study conducted in 2021 of 6,400 pharmacists in various retail and hospital environments, a majority did not feel they could conduct their jobs efficiently or safely.
“75% of the pharmacists in [the] survey disagreed with the statement ‘Sufficient time is allocated for me to safely perform patient care/clinical duties.’”
“71% said there were not enough pharmacists working to ‘meet patient care/clinical duties.’”
“65% said ‘payment for pharmacy services’ did not support their ‘ability to meet clinical and non-clinical duties.’”
“Workplace conditions have pushed many pharmacists and pharmacy teams to the brink of despair,” said the board of trustees of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) in a press release, the Washington Post reported. “Pharmacy burnout is a significant patient safety issue. It is impacting patients today with delayed prescription fulfillment, unacceptable waits for vaccines and testing, and potential errors due to high volume, long hours, and pressure to meet performance metrics.”
This is a sentiment that has been repeated across every facet of healthcare—including in clinical laboratories—where staff shortages are being felt.
“The pressure never let up. No matter how mind-numbing and repetitive the work could get, we had to work with constant vigilance, as there was absolutely no room for error,” Bator wrote.
“We techs were left unsupported and unmentored throughout the pandemic,” she continued. “No one cared if we were learning or growing in our job, and there was little encouragement for us to enter training or residency programs. We were just expendable foot soldiers: this is not a policy that leads to long-term job retention.”
Healthcare workers feeling burnt out and under-appreciated during the pandemic led to mass resignations that produced staffing shortages throughout the industry. It appears this trend has caught up to pharmacies as well.
Workforce Wasn’t Ready
Local and chain pharmacies played an important role in the COVID-19 pandemic. Pharmacists distributed COVID-19 tests and treatment to their communities. But for many it was a struggle to keep up.
Much like Bator recounted in her essay, pharmacy workers suddenly had new responsibilities, longer working hours, and little room for error.
“There are multiple stories about pharmacists just getting overwhelmed. The stress level and burnout is high,” Dima M. Qato, PharmD, PhD, told USA Today. Qato is Hygeia Centennial Chair and Associate Professor (with tenure) in the Titus Family Department of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Southern California. “So, pharmacists leave, and stores have to shorten” their hours, she added.
Scheduling and Patience Can Help
What can be done to soften some of the issues staff shortages are causing? Ferreri suggests that pharmacies set appointment times for regular customers so that a pharmacist’s workload can be more predictable. An appointment system can ease stress for both the pharmacist and patient. Ferreri advises customers to be patient when it comes to their prescriptions. She suggests patients give pharmacies more than a day’s notice for refills.
“I think on both sides of the counter, we need to all have grace and realize this is a very challenging and stressful time for everyone,” said Brigid Groves, PharmD, Vice President, Pharmacy Practice at the American Pharmacists Association.
With burnout, staff shortages, and stress affecting nearly every aspect of the healthcare industry, having patience with each other will go a long way to helping clinical laboratories, pharmacies, and patients navigate the road ahead.
It is more than a shortage of nurses, as most clinical laboratories report the same shortages of medical technologists and increased labor costs
Just as hospital-based clinical laboratories are unable to hire and retain adequate numbers of medical technologists (MTs) and clinical laboratory scientists (CLSs), the nursing shortage is also acute. Compounding the challenge of staffing nurses is the rapid rise in the salaries of nurses because hospitals need nurses to keep their emergency departments, operating rooms, and other services open and treating patients while also generating revenue.
The nursing shortage has been blamed on burnout due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but nurses also report consistently deteriorating conditions and say they feel undervalued and under-appreciated, according to Michigan Advance, which recently covered an averted strike by nurses at 118-bed acute care McLaren Central Hospital in Mt. Pleasant and 97-bed teaching hospital MyMichigan Medical Center Alma, both in Central Michigan.
“Nurses are leaving the bedside because the conditions that hospital corporations are creating are unbearable. The more nurses leave, the worse it becomes. This was a problem before the pandemic, and the situation has only deteriorated over the last three years,” said Jamie Brown, RN, President of the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) and a critical care nurse at Ascension Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo, Michigan Advance reported.
“The staffing crisis will never be adequately addressed until working conditions at hospitals are improved,” said Jamie Brown, RN (above), President of the Michigan Nurses Association in a press release. Brown’s statement correlates with claims by laboratory technicians about working conditions in clinical laboratories all over the country that are experiencing similar shortages of critical staff. (Photo copyright: Michigan Nurses Association.)
Nurse Understaffing Dangerous to Patients
In the lead up to the Michigan nurses’ strike, NPR reported on a poll conducted by market research firm Emma White Research LLC on behalf of the MNA that found 42% of nurses surveyed claimed “they know of a patient death due to nurses being assigned too many patients.” The same poll in 2016 found only 22% of nurses making the same claim.
And yet, according to an MNA news release, “There is no law that sets safe RN-to-patient ratios in hospitals, leading to RNs having too many patients at one time too often. This puts patients in danger and drives nurses out of the profession.”
Seven in 10 RNs working in direct care say they are assigned an unsafe patient load in half or more of their shifts.
Over nine in 10 RNs say requiring nurses to care for too many patients at once is affecting the quality of patient care.
Requiring set nurse-to-patient ratios could also make a difference in retention and in returning qualified nurses to the field.
According to NPR, “Nurses across the state say dangerous levels of understaffing are becoming the norm, even though hospitals are no longer overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients.”
Thus, nursing organizations in Michigan, and the legislators who support change, have proposed the Safe Patient Care Act which sets out to “to increase patient safety in Michigan hospitals by establishing minimum nurse staffing levels, limiting mandatory overtime for RNs, and adding transparency,” according to an MNA news release.
Huge Increase in Nursing Costs
Another pressure on hospitals is the rise in the cost of replacing nurses with temporary or travel nurses to maintain adequate staffing levels.
In “Hospital Temporary Labor Costs: a Staggering $1.52 Billion in FY2022,” the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association noted that “To fill gaps in staffing, hospitals hire registered nurses and other staff through ‘traveler’ agencies. Traveler workers, especially RNs in high demand, command higher hourly wages—at least two or three times more than what an on-staff clinician would earn. Many often receive signing bonuses. In Fiscal Year 2019, [Massachusetts] hospitals spent $204 million on temporary staff. In FY2022, they spent $1.52 billion—a 610% increase. According to the MHA survey, approximately 77% of the $1.52 billion went to hiring temporary RNs.”
It’s likely this same scenario is playing out in hospitals all across America.
Are Nursing Strikes a Symptom of a Larger Healthcare Problem?
“But the problem is much bigger,” Fortune wrote. “Care workers—physicians, home health aides, early childhood care workers, physician assistants, and more—face critical challenges as a result of America’s immense care gap that may soon touch every corner of the American economy.”
Clinical laboratories are experiencing the same shortages of critical staff due in large part to the same workplace issues affecting nurses. Dark Daily covered this growing crisis in several ebriefings.
We also covered in that ebrief how the so-called “Great Resignation” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on clinical laboratory staffs, creating shortages of pathologists as well as of medical technologists, medical laboratory technicians, and other lab scientists who are vital to the nation’s network of clinical laboratories.
Hospitals across the United States—and in the UK, according to Reuters—are facing worker strikes, staff shortages, rising costs, and uncertainty about the future. Just like clinical laboratories and other segments of the healthcare industry, worker burnout and exhaustion in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic are being cited as culprits for these woes.
But was it predictable and could it have been avoided?
Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and staffing shortages exasperated by it, will be felt by clinical laboratories, pathology groups, and the healthcare industry in general for years to come. Creative solutions must be employed to avoid more staff shortages and increase employee retention and recruitment.
Staffing specialists advise medical laboratories to expect shortages to continue
Clinical laboratory and pathology group managers are keenly aware of the Great Resignation and how it has affected lab industry staffing and recruiting. Medical technologists (MTs) and clinical laboratory scientists (CLSs) are in particularly short supply and some experts do not see this critical shortage waning anytime soon.
In an exclusive interview with Dark Daily, Maggie Morrissey, Director of Recruiting and Staffing Services at Lighthouse Lab Services, explains the multi-faceted problem labs are facing meeting recruitment goals, and how understaffing can lead to bigger matters regarding morale and job satisfaction.
Based in Charlotte, N.C., Lighthouse Lab Services is a medical laboratory consulting and recruiting firm that employs 150 people and services more than 1,500 medical laboratory clients.
In July, Lighthouse released the results of its 2022 Survey on Wage and Morale Issues among Medical Laboratory Professionals. The collected data from 1,112 respondents found that only 27% indicated their clinical laboratories were adequately or well-staffed. Forty percent of respondents believe their labs were moderately understaffed while an additional 33% felt their labs were significantly understaffed.
The primary reasons, according to Lighthouse, for staffing shortages can be attributed to:
The number of schools offering medical technology programs has decreased.
People have been retiring at a higher rate than most industries.
It is difficult to become a medical technologist/clinical laboratory scientist.
There are hurdles to jump through to become a medical technologist.
Medical technology is not a well-known field.
“[Eastern Carolina University] told us they don’t have anyone graduating from the [medical technology] program this year because of COVID. There are all these issues exacerbating the problem,” said Maggie Morrissey (above), Director of Recruiting and Staffing Services at Lighthouse Lab Services, in an exclusive interview with Dark Daily. “Making it more attractive starts at the school level. People need to be introduced to the science of medical technology. It’s not something that many students know exists as a career.” This lack of interest in training programs is a major reason for the severe shortage of medical technologists on staff at clinical laboratories around the US. (Photo copyright: Lighthouse Lab Services.)
Stagnant Pay, Low Morale, Lack of Appreciation in Clinical Labs
“The major issue that we see with medical labs across the country is that they are understaffed,” Morrissey stated. “That tracks to low morale. It’s a major issue for laboratories because when a lab is understaffed and everyone is working very hard, lab staff may not feel appreciated and their morale starts to wane, which snowballs into larger issues.”
Morrissey pointed out that individuals who work for different sized clinical laboratories have dissimilar grievances about their jobs.
“Pay continues to be a concern for all, but benefits are also important,” she said. “Pay and lack of benefits, like not being able to get time off, not having a 401K, and not having health insurance are hurdles for people working in smaller labs.”
Professionals working in medium-sized and larger labs are also concerned about pay, but they have other complaints as well.
“They feel like they are a cog in the machine and feel underappreciated,” Morrissey said. “What we hear a lot from people who work in the clinical labs of large hospitals is that they feel unappreciated by those working in other departments.”
Too Few MT/MS Training Programs to Meet Demand
According to Forbes, the US currently has a shortage of approximately 20,000-25,000 medical technologists. The approximately 338,000 technologists working in the country equate to about one technologist per 1,000 people, which translates to a vacancy rate of 7% to 11% in almost every region.
Forbes also reported that medical technologists in the US had performed approximately 13 billion laboratory tests annually before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the pandemic added 997 million SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic tests to the existing workload.
Intensifying the problem is that currently there are only 240 medical technologist and medical scientist training programs in the US, which represents a 7% decrease since 2000. Forbes notes there are some states that have no such training programs at all.
“Having the opportunity to train to be a medical technologist is an important thing,” Morrissey said. “More universities and community colleges need to offer associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in medical technology.”
However, even with an increase in available degrees, few students are enrolling in those programs.
Morrissey suggests that clinical lab professionals contact local educational institutions to inform them of the need for medical technology degrees and determine if they can do anything to help start such training programs.
“If you are a medical laboratory in an area that doesn’t have a school that offers a degree in medical technology, I would recommend banging down the doors of community colleges to see how you can get that type of program into place,” she proposed. “It really benefits you. It is really about getting those schools to realize there is a need for medical technologists.”
Morrissey added that schools are beginning to re-add medical technology programs to their curriculum. This may translate into more available MTs and CLSs to work in clinical laboratories and relieve some of the staffing shortages.
Laboratory Automation, More Federal Lobbying Could Help
Automating some medical laboratory operations could present another solution to staffing dilemmas.
“Automation will help a little bit,” she said. “A significant number of labs are adding automation—either at the technology or collection level—so they don’t need as many technologists to run the lab.”
Additionally, regionalization of clinical labs could help with staffing issues because high volumes of samples can allow for the streamlining of staff.
“Some integrated delivery networks (IDNs) that have multiple hospitals within a city or metro area are regionalizing their clinical laboratories and using couriers to transport the samples being collected, resulting in better efficiency and productivity,” she said.
Morrissey also believes there is room for lobbying for the occupation of medical technology at both the state and federal levels. She compared the clinical laboratory profession to how the nursing profession dealt with shortages in the past.
“Nursing is in all hospital and doctor groups,” she explained. “They have very large organizations that are advocating for them at the federal and state level and labs need more of that.”
Clinical Lab Recruiting Reverting to Pre-COVID Qualifications
Though more people are testing themselves for COVID at home, Morrissey says the need for more clinical laboratory professionals will not subside any time soon.
“Before COVID, there was a huge increase in requests for toxicology reports due to drug testing and screening,” she explained. “COVID caused those needs to go away, not because people didn’t need those things, but because everyone was focusing on COVID. If an individual is not going into work, does he or she really need a monthly drug screen? The needs shifted during COVID and now they are shifting back.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, medical labs were more willing to train individuals who had some lab experience or a background that would indicate they could perform the job duties. It is probable that recruiters will start to have more stringent requirements for potential lab employees, reverting back to pre-COVID qualifications.
Nevertheless, Morrissey believes staffing shortages for medical laboratories will continue.
“In the short term, in the next one to three years, I think it is going to get worse before it gets better,” she said. “In the medium term, automation in clinical laboratories will probably ease the staffing shortage quite a bit. Potentially, we will see more medical technology training programs pop up as the staffing shortages become a better-known issue.”
Amid cost pressures, healthcare providers also plan to cut staff though some jobs are plentiful; adequate staffing at medical laboratories continues to be a challenge
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent “Great Resignation,” masses of people have left the workforce and companies large and small in all industries are struggling to retain employees. Clinical laboratories have been particularly hard hit with no relief in sight.
How this will affect the workload on remaining hospital and medical laboratory staff is clear. And healthcare consumers may not take well to healthcare provides running leaner and with fewer staff than they currently do.
Nevertheless, the PwC survey results “illustrate the contradictory nature of today’s labor market, where skilled workers can still largely name their terms amid talent shortages even as companies look to let people go elsewhere,” Bloomberg wrote on the CPA Practice Advisor website.
“Organizations are still walking a tightrope when it comes to talent as we begin to see the longer-term impacts of the ‘Great Resignation.’ Finding the proper balance between investing in specialized talent, managing headcount costs, and driving productivity and morale will remain a top focus,” said Bhushan Sethi (above), People and Organization Joint Global Leader at PwC and an adjunct professor at NYU Stern School of Business in a PwC news release. Clinical laboratories are finding it particularly challenging to fill staff positions across all areas of lab operations. (Photo copyright: PwC.)
Healthcare Has Biggest Challenges, says PwC
Clinical laboratory leaders and pathologist groups are well aware of the unique financial pressures on healthcare systems and medical labs, as well as shortages of pathologists, medical technologists, clinical laboratory scientists, information technology (IT) professionals, and other healthcare workers.
“Healthcare is seeing bigger talent challenges than other industries and is more focused on rehiring employees who have recently left,” the PwC report acknowledged. This is the second Pulse survey PwC conducted in 2022. The 722 respondents included leaders working in human capital and finance.
Finding Right Talent, Focusing on Growth, Automation
Finding the right employees is so important to companies that PwC ranks “talent acquisition” as the second highest risk (38%) behind cyber-attacks (40%).
“Finding the right talent continues to be a challenge for business leaders,” PwC said. “After a frenzy of hiring and a tight labor market over the past few years, executives see the distinction between having people and having people with the right skills.”
Unlike the high-touch and personal nature of healthcare, industries such as consumer technology, media, and telecommunications can turn to automation to alleviate staffing struggles. And that is what nearly two-thirds, or 63%, of companies in those sectors, aim to do, PwC said.
Other survey talent findings:
50% of companies plan layoffs.
46% are dropping or eliminating sign-on bonuses.
44% are rescinding job offers.
Conversely, the surveyed executives also told PwC they are “cautiously optimistic” and plan on growing and investing even as the economy gives mixed signals:
83% of companies are focused on growth.
70% plan an acquisition.
53% aim to invest in digital transformation, 52% in IT, 49% in cybersecurity and privacy, and 48% in customer experience.
“After more than two years dealing with uncertainty related to the pandemic, business leaders recognize the urgent need to focus on growth in order to compete, and they’re zeroing in on what they can control,” PwC said.
New Remote Work Programs, Reduction in Real Estate Investing, Big Tech
Although companies report having more than enough physical office space, many (42%) have launched remote work programs:
70% have expanded or plan to increase “permanent” remote work options as jobs permit.
22% are reducing real estate investment (financial services and healthcare industries lead the way with 30% and 29%, respectively, saying real estate buys are cooling off).
“While companies continue to invest in many areas of the business, they’re scaling back the most in real estate and capex ex [capital expenditure]. After two years of remote work, many companies simply need less space, and they’re allocating capital accordingly,” the PwC report noted.
In a somewhat parallel release to PwC’s findings, news sources are reporting reductions in real estate and staff at high-profile Big Tech companies.
Meta Platforms, Inc. in Menlo Park, Calif. (formerly Facebook Inc.), is closing one of its New York offices and cutting back on plans to expand two other locations in the city, the Observer reported.
Business Insider reported, “More than 32,000 tech workers have been laid off in the US till July, including at Big Tech companies like Microsoft and Meta (formerly Facebook), and the worst has not been over yet for the tech sector that has seen massive stock sell-off.”
According to Forbes, “San Francisco-based electronic signature company DocuSign will lay off 9% of its more than 7,400 employees (roughly 670 employees), the company announced in a Securities and Exchange filing Wednesday, saying the cuts are ‘necessary to ensure we are capitalizing on our long-term opportunity and setting up the company for future success.’”
And Bloomberg recently reported that Intel is planning to layoff thousands of people “around the same time as its third-quarter earnings report on Oct. 27.”
Healthcare Providers Plan Layoffs, Seek IT Pros
Meanwhile, major healthcare provider networks also are planning staff cuts amid service closures, rising costs, and other issues, according to Becker’s Hospital Review:
Ascension in St. Louis, Mo., plans to close an Indiana hospital and nine medical practices and lay off 133 employees.
“Our health system, like others around the nation, is facing significant financial pressures from historic inflation, rising pharmaceutical and labor costs, COVID-19, expiration of CARES Act funding, and reimbursement not proportional with expenses,” BHSH said in a statement shared with Becker’s.
Amidst these layoffs, however, IT jobs in healthcare seem to be growing. According to Becker’s Health IT, some healthcare providers have posted information technology openings:
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., has 43 IT job openings.
So, though it appears IT positions continue to expand, clinical laboratory leaders and pathology practice managers may want to prepare now for dealing with customers’ response to leaner healthcare systems overall.
Recruiters should target five personas for hiring new talent and retaining existing staff, McKinsey says, a goal that would be challenging for clinical laboratories recruiting medical technologists
Clinical laboratories and pathology groups continue to struggle filling vacated positions with new hires and retaining adequate staff due to what has been dubbed the “Great Resignation.” The ongoing, pandemic-era phenomenon is seeing people leave their jobs in mass exodus and remains a characteristic of the 2022 labor market.
According to the US Department of Labor, 4.3 million people quit their jobs in January of this year. Of equal significance for hospital and health system medical laboratories with shrinking budgets, compensation rates are increasing for these positions at a steady pace.
This international economic trend continues to affect businesses across the country as workers leave their jobs in record numbers. Especially hard hit are hospitals and clinical laboratories, and recruiters seem at a loss as to what can be done to turn it around.
“This isn’t just a passing trend, or a pandemic-related change to the labor market,” Bonnie Dowling (above), Associate Partner at McKinsey, told CNBC. “There’s been a fundamental shift in workers’ mentality, and their willingness to prioritize other things in their life beyond whatever job they hold. We’re never going back to how things were in 2019.” Clinical laboratory recruiters can attest to that statement as they continue to struggle to fill open positions and maintain staffing levels. (Photo copyright: McKinsey and Company.)
Workers Are Unhappy and Unsatisfied
For their report, McKinsey surveyed more than 12,000 workers located in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, India, and Singapore to determine why they are resigning and what factors would sway them to remain in their positions.
Their findings suggest that 40% of the people in the workforce are unhappy and unsatisfied in their current jobs and are seeking better, more fulfilling employment opportunities. Among those workers who have recently resigned from a job, 41% said lack of opportunity for upward mobility and no pay or benefits was the top reason they quit.
The McKinsey analysts noted certain repetitive occurrences during the past year they attributed to the Great Resignation, which McKinsey calls the Great Attrition:
Reshuffling: Workers are resigning and taking positions in other industries, which is causing some industries to disproportionately lose talent.
Reinventing: Workers are vacating traditional employment and choosing nontraditional roles, such as temporary, gig, part-time work, or they are opting to start their own businesses.
Reassessing: Workers are leaving the workforce entirely to focus on other priorities, such as taking care of children or relatives, concentrating on self-care, or pursuing other interests.
Recruiters Should Focus on Five Unique Personas
As of June 30, there were 10.7 million job openings in the US, according to US Bureau of Labor statistics. And some industries, such as healthcare, are losing talent to other industries.
Among surveyed individuals who quit their jobs between April 2020 and April 2022 in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, 54% accepted a position within another industry or did not return to the workforce, according to McKinsey analysts.
The McKinsey report urges hiring managers to focus on five unique personas in their efforts to target and hire desired talent, and retain them as employees:
Traditionalists: Career-oriented individuals who are the mainstay of the classic labor pool. They are easier to find through common recruitment strategies, according to McKinsey, and are motivated by compensation, benefits, job titles, status, and opportunities for career advancement.
Do-it-yourselfers: These workers are typically 25 to 45 years old and value flexibility above all else when choosing jobs. They want autonomy to establish their own hours and the type of duties they will perform. This includes gig, part-time, and self-employed workers as well as full-time employees in nontraditional roles.
Caregivers: Workers who are at home due to other priorities, but who may be looking for an opportunity to re-enter the workforce. People in this group desire companies that are willing to work around their personal schedules. They could be coaxed back into the labor force with part-time options, four-day work weeks, flexible hours, and work-at-home positions.
Idealists: These workers tend to be in the 18- to 24-year-old age range, may be working part-time, or may still be students. These individuals value being part of a community and are most easily swayed by companies that have a strong organizational culture with an emphasis on meaning and purpose.
Relaxers: People who are not looking for work, but who could be convinced to return to the labor force under ideal circumstances. This group is mostly comprised of early- and natural-age retirees who still have productive years left. They represent the largest percentage of the latent workforce, McKinsey noted. Companies should consider seeking out these seasoned workers who may be more interested in meaningful work than a big paycheck.
“More employers have opened up their aperture in order to meet the yawning talent gap that they’re facing,” said Bonnie Dowling, Associate Partner at McKinsey and one of the authors of the report in an interview with CNBC. “They’re prioritizing skills over educational background or previous job experience, which is creating more opportunities across sectors for job-seekers.”
Four Strategies for Retaining Workers
Finally, the McKinsey report offered four strategies that companies can focus on to retain their existing talent and avoid resignations:
Sharpen traditional employee value status through compensation, benefits, career advancement potential, reputable job titles, and the overall prestige of the organization.
Build creative, nontraditional, value propositions revolving around flexibility, a strong company culture, and more personalized methods of career progression.
Expand and tailor talent-seeking approaches to woo nontraditional workers.
Invest in more meaning and belonging in the company’s culture to build stronger teams and relationships among workers.
“It’s everything from embedding flexibility in our credo to reassessing how we value our employees and provide them with the resources they need to do their job. All employers have the capacity to make these meaningful changes,” Dowling said. “But we have to start taking action, as opposed to sitting back and hoping that things are going to return to a ‘pre-pandemic norm’ because all signs point to the fact that they won’t.”
The ongoing labor shortage is affecting many industries, but it has been especially hard on healthcare and clinical laboratories.
Clinical laboratory recruiters may want to begin looking at the shifting economic scene in the US as an opportunity to restructure workplaces and create a better model to avoid resignations and retain workers.