Elephant in the Waiting Room: A Healthcare Staffing Crisis Is Upon Us

As allied health salaries and job openings rise, the number of qualified candidates is falling. A Stride, Inc. survey reveals what employers are looking for in a perfect candidate.

Mirroring the reality of many industries, allied health employers are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain qualified staff for an increasing number of open positions. According to a survey conducted by Stride, Inc (NYSE: LRN), 75% of employers say it is more challenging to fill positions now than it was prior to the pandemic and 3 in 4 reported that it is taking more time to fill open positions.

The allied health professions include all health-related professions that are distinct from medicine and nursing, such as medical assistants, pharmacy technicians, physical therapy aides, and electronic health records and reimbursement specialists. The talent crisis in this essential industry is driven by two major forces pulling in opposite directions:

  1. The increased demand for skilled talent, as most employers expect to recruit for even more open positions in the next 12 months.
  2. Two-thirds of allied health employers are receiving fewer applications for their open roles than they were before the pandemic. This is happening even as 95% of employers maintain or increase employee salaries.

“The growing number of open, well-paying jobs in such a foundational economic sector presents a terrific opportunity for job-seekers,” said Dr. Shaun McAlmont, President of Career Learning Solutions at Stride, Inc. “As more hiring managers prefer candidates with recent, relevant certifications over those with two- or four-year college degrees, finding career success in a rewarding and high-growth industry has never been easier.”

The vast majority, 97%, of employers believe credentials will play an important role in the hiring process over the next two years. Candidates with recent or extensive certifications can more easily prove their ability to perform well in a potential role without extensive on-the-job training - and even without job experience of any kind.

The survey findings prove that employers want to hire and promote hard-working and well-trained professionals with strong critical thinking skills who can quickly deliver value. That’s good news for anyone who wants to accelerate their career.

Stride delivers comprehensive online training programs in high-growth industries, including healthcare, to learners of all ages. Immersive adult training programs and preparation for professional certifications in allied health fields are available through MedCerts. Similarly, Stride Career Prep provides career exploration and training in healthcare, as well as business, information technology, and other industries for high school students as they work towards their high school diploma.

Interviews for this research were conducted by Stride, Inc., in partnership with third-party research provider Qualtrics, and took place online between July 27 – August 7, 2021. Results are from a national sample of 524 U.S. professionals who take part in hiring allied health employees at their organization. Full survey results are available here.

About Stride, Inc.

At Stride, Inc. (NYSE: LRN) we are reimagining learning – where learning is lifelong, deeply personal, and prepares learners for tomorrow. The company has transformed the teaching and learning experience for millions of people by providing innovative, high-quality, tech-enabled education solutions, curriculum, and programs directly to students, schools, the military, and enterprises in primary, secondary, and post-secondary settings. Stride is a premier provider of K-12 education for students, schools, and districts, including career learning services through middle and high school curriculum. For adult learners, Stride delivers professional skills training in healthcare and technology, as well as staffing and talent development for Fortune 500 companies. Stride has delivered millions of courses over the past decade and serves learners in all 50 states and more than 100 countries. The company is a proud sponsor of the Future of School, a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the gap between the pace of technology and the pace of change in education. More information can be found at stridelearning.com, K12.com, galvanize.com, techelevator.com, and medcerts.com.

“The growing number of open, well-paying jobs in such a foundational economic sector presents a terrific opportunity for job-seekers,” said Dr. Shaun McAlmont, President of Career Learning Solutions at Stride, Inc.


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