The healthcare ecosystem is rapidly shifting towards innovative care delivery models such as virtual, remote, and alternate care. The deployment of artificial intelligence (AI), advanced data analytics, Internet of Things (IoT) as well as other emerging technologies and data-driven tools, is changing the nature of healthcare solutions and delivery systems. As a result, there is a significant shift in skill requirements for health tech jobs of the future.
Let’s take a look at eight key hiring trends that will impact health-tech companies in 2020:
- High demand for full-stack technologists and skills in AI, ML, big data and analytics, cloud, blockchain, and robotics: A 2014 HIMSS Analytics survey shows that over 84 percent of healthcare organizations are using cloud technology. The Gartner Hype Cycle already highlights advanced AI and analytics, one of the emerging technologies with a significant impact on business, society, and people over the next five to 10 years. As advances in technology herald changes in business models, the demand for full-stack developers and proficient, diverse coding skills is increasing in health-tech. This places professionals with a background in data analytics, such as data scientists and analysts, in high demand. Specialists who can derive meaningful insights from data and weave them into the mainstream strategy will naturally be sought after.
- Niche hiring: While conventional industries are experiencing a downturn in their hiring plans, health-tech companies are also focusing on right-sizing themselves. This means that niche hiring will continue to witness an upward trend. However, there are several technology skills for which it is challenging to find the right talent. Recruiter studies show that 20 percent of their current requisitions are for roles with which they are unfamiliar – and it takes 38 percent longer to fill such roles. This also applies to positions in allied sectors such as nursing staff, therapists, and pharmacists, who now find technology playing a more significant role in their day-to-day work.
- Upskilling/reskilling in emerging technologies: This is perhaps the first era in technology to face issues around the irrelevance of a workforce that has not reskilled or upskilled themselves. As per a report, by 2022, nine percent percent of the workforce in the IT-BPM sector would be performing new roles that do not exist today, and 60-65 percent would be deployed in jobs with radically altered skill sets. Therefore, micro as well as classroom learning is becoming big and will be a major trend in 2020. Employees and employers are investing more in training on emerging technologies to be able to meet the work demands of the future. The advantage is two-fold; a skilled and relevant workforce and talent that is less likely to leave.
- Hiring candidates with the potential to handle ambiguity and adapt: A key quality being pursued by employers to meet the demands of ever-changing technology and business landscape is the ability to handle ambiguity – which refers to the resilience, grit, willingness to experiment, risk-taking capability and learning agility required to navigate uncharted waters. This means that employers are evaluating candidates not only for intelligence quotient, emotional and social quotient, but also adversity quotient.
- Hiring the best of talent via campus recruitment: Due to the constantly evolving skill requirements and technology landscape, health-tech companies are directly hiring from campuses and then coaching their hires and skilling them as per the need of the organization. However, there is a catch-22 here, as this investment in talent makes the organization an attractive poaching ground for competition. Thus, investing in creating growth opportunities within the organization and devising talent retention programs is now more critical than ever before.
- Hiring through the digital and social route is picking up: As roles in the health-tech space continue to evolve, companies are taking to non-conventional routes to reach their target employees. As per recent studies, more than 50 percent of millennials in India use smartphones to search for a job While LinkedIn is an obvious platform, there are many other social tools and apps that are being used to identify opportunities and explore possibilities before making employment decisions.
- Competition from a hiring perspective is changing: It’s not just health-tech, but other surrogate sectors are also emerging as competitors when it comes to hiring in the technology space. Numerous organizations are setting up or planning to set up their Global In-house Centers (GICs) in India to support their technology needs. Therefore, health-tech companies will have to be quick in capitalizing opportunities in the market. This will further push the envelope for skill-based hiring.
- Focus on building an inclusive and diverse workforce: In the technology space, especially in health tech, there is a lot of focus on diversity initiatives. According to Glassdoor, 67 percent of job seekers use diversity as a critical factor when considering job offers. It is believed that workplace diversity is crucial for promoting innovation and creativity within an organization. Given the rampant competition around acquiring the right talent, initiatives such as return to work programs, flexible work timing, work-from-home opportunities, are on the rise. These target to bring talented women, veterans, and any other skilled professionals back into the workforce and give recruiters a chance to look beyond traditional talent acquisition practices.
These eight trends show that hiring perspectives and mechanisms in the health-tech space must continue to evolve in alignment with the breakneck speed at which this industry is advancing. There is increased competition for those skilled in new-age technologies; hence, companies will have to demonstrate great agility to secure the digital expertise needed to stay ahead of the curve.