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Study: Health care job market to remain competitive
by Tribune Staff
Jan 19, 2012 | 632 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CHICAGO — The health care hiring market for 2012 will remain an in-demand sector, as many employers struggle to find the right candidates in their markets. More than a third (37 percent) of health care employers have jobs open for which they cannot find qualified candidates, according to a new study from, CareerBuilder’s job site for health care professionals, conducted Nov. 9 to Dec. 5 with more than 350 health care employers participating.

“As the American population continues to age, the need for skilled health care professionals isn’t likely to go anywhere but up,” said Rob Morris, director of “In the meantime, many employers are taking additional time to find the right candidate, making the health care job market as competitive as ever.”

One third (34 percent) of health care employers will offer higher starting salaries to new employees in 2012. Sixty-four percent of existing employees will also see salary increases this year. For jobs that are tough to fill — typically high-skilled or high-demand positions — wages traditionally go up.  

The following five job titles, according to CareerBuilder’s Supply & Demand Portal, have seen the greatest downward shift in labor pressure, meaning they have become increasingly more difficult to fill: critical care nurses, surgical technologists, radiological technologists, diagnostic medical sonographers and occcupational health and safety specialists.

 Retaining and attracting top talent remains an important priority for health care employers in 2012. More than one quarter (28 percent) said they saw an increase in voluntary turnover — employees leaving for other opportunities — in 2011. Forty-five percent are concerned top performers might leave their organization this year, and 41 percent say they’ll replace lower performing employees with higher performing employees.   

Thirty-seven percent of health care employers say they can’t find qualified candidates for open positions. To counter the persistent skills gap affecting recruitment in the health care industry, more employers are targeting young talent and are willing to train workers without experience. Fifty-one percent of health care employers will target recent college graduates this year, compared to 40 percent for 2011. One-third of health care employers plan to train and hire workers with no prior experience in the industry or field.

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