The Growing Demand for Healthcare Professionals: Exploring Employment Trends

No doubt about it: these are tough times for HR professionals in the healthcare industry. Chronic recruiting and retention challenges have many organizations wondering what lies ahead.

Will things change for the better any time soon? What’s the long-term outlook?



To bring you some answers, we rounded up some industry employment statistics and projections. And because (spoiler alert!) the data may not reveal what you hope, we’re including some trend-busting strategies, too.


Healthcare Employment: By the Numbers           

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are 21.7 million workers in the healthcare industry, making up 14% of all U.S. workers. Those are big numbers, and they’re expected to grow.

The BLS projects that healthcare employment will grow much faster than the all-industry average between now and 2032, creating 1.8 million job openings per year. Some is due to industry growth; some to replace departing workers.

In fact, the healthcare sector is projected to account for 45% of all newly created jobs. Specifically:

  • The U.S. will face a shortage of up to 139,000 physicians by 2034, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).
  • By 2032, employment for registered nurses is expected to grow by 6%, generating 193,000 annual openings for the next decade.
  • While job growth is projected across most industry segments, home healthcare will likely grow the fastest—by 34% from 2019 to 2029.
  • Competition for young physicians is fierce, with 50% of final-year medical students receiving over 100 job offers. It’s even more competitive for female and minority graduates, as organizations prioritize DEI hiring.
  • Although healthcare quit rates have come down since 2021 (the all-time high), they remain 29% higher than they were pre-pandemic.      


In other words, things won’t turn around short-term. That’s why you need a plan!


5 Ways to Outsmart the Healthcare Employment Outlook

So, how do healthcare employers attract and keep talent? By adopting recruiting and retention strategies that work in the short term—and then get stronger over time. These may include:  


1. Instill More Purpose in Your Culture

Many care providers are drawn to this industry because of their desire to improve people’s lives but lose their passion over time to everyday stressors and frustrations. To help your people rekindle their sense of purpose, get back to the basics of promoting your organization’s mission and values—not just to the public, but internally. Set clear goals…celebrate every win as a team…and streamline the paperwork to give providers more quality time with patients.


2. Stay Ahead of Employee Burnout

Since COVID, employee burnout has run rampant in healthcare—which is why smart employers keep finding fresh ways to promote workforce well-being. Combat burnout by offering support programs, downsizing workloads, and through stress-reduction initiatives that put your people’s happiness first.


3. Show Appreciation Every Day

According to American Hospital Association research, lack of appreciation is a leading cause of job dissatisfaction. Regularly engage with your employees to understand their needs through pulse surveys, meetings, and check-ins. Regularly recognize employees at every level for helping your organization deliver on its goals in service to your community.


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4. Wow Your Candidates in Every Interaction

Keep in mind: when you’re evaluating applicants, they’re evaluating you, too. Each step of your application process is an opportunity to impress them—or blow it. In addition to highlighting your unique selling points—career growth opportunities, work-life balance, etc.—give them an exceptional candidate experience. It’s all in the details!  


5. Ramp up Your Appeal to Gen Z 

As the next generation of healthcare professionals, Gen Z physicians and nurses have unique expectations and preferences. Tailor your recruitment strategies to appeal to their values, such as technological advancements, work flexibility, and opportunities to personalize their benefits. Learn what makes Gen Z tick now, because before you know it, they’ll be running the show.


Yes, it does look like healthcare employment will be challenging for the foreseeable future. But there are steps you can take to stay ahead of the curve—and at UrbanBound, we can help. We specialize in helping healthcare organizations impress job candidates, new hires, and transferees. while simplifying relocation (and even lowering costs).

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. But you don’t need to go it alone!


Human Resources Today