Healthcare Becomes The U.S.’s Largest Employer—What That Means For Healthcare Professionals

According to a new report from The Atlantic, healthcare has surpassed all other industries to become the U.S.’s largest employer. While this trend was anticipated, few expected it to happen so quickly. However, as America’s aging population continues getting older, and as competition continues to tighten among facilities, jobs have exploded in the healthcare industry to outnumber previous leading industries like manufacturing that were once the bread and butter of the American economy.

“As a healthcare professional, this is great news for you,” explains David Yoo, a Managing Director within The Execu|Search Group’s Healthcare division. “The opportunities are seemingly endless, especially for administrative or nonclinical roles.” As facilities develop new initiatives to continue improving patient services, they need to hire high quality healthcare professionals to deliver the best all-around care. According to David, two roles that have seen higher demand include Medical Assistants and Customer Service Representatives:

  • Medical Assistants: Just as Physician Assistants (PAs) and Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are being hired in lieu of Physicians, facilities are hiring fewer RNs in favor of Medical Assistants. “Urgent care facilities in particular are looking for more Medical Assistants who can perform most of the same functions as nurses,” says David. “By doing so, these facilities can stay fully staffed and have lower patient wait times.”
  • Customer Service Representatives/Patient Service Representatives/Patient Navigators/Medical Secretaries: Because competition is fierce, healthcare facilities have ramped up their initiatives to improve the patient experience. As a result, high quality service representatives are in high demand. “A facility’s ultimate goal is to turn a one-time patient into a lifelong visitor,” notes David. “This means that providing top quality service at every point of interaction is crucial to the success of a facility. After all, healthcare is a service industry at its core.” Because the industry is more competitive than ever before, professionals who can provide the best service will find many opportunities available to them.

For healthcare professionals looking to take advantage of the vast opportunities in the healthcare industry, David recommends staying open to new paths in your career and highlighting key experience that facilities are looking for:

Highlight Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Experience

As EMR programs become more and more commonplace, having this experience is essential to landing your next role. “Many employers require a candidate to have EMR experience, and they will not see a candidate who lacks this critical skill,” explains David. “And many professionals fail to highlight their experience with EMRs on their resume.” As a result, if you are knowledgeable with one of these programs, be sure that it is easily found on your resume, and take the time to discuss your abilities with EMRs during interviews.

Highlight Customer Service Experience

While job seekers often use their resume to highlight more technical skills, emphasizing your ability to provide a high-quality patient experience is imperative to eventually receiving a job offer. “If you can give any indication on your resume that you’ve exhibited excellent customer service skills with patients in the past, employers will jump at the chance to add you to their team,” says David. “As a result, if you’ve received positive reviews by patients or if you’ve had exemplary customer service ratings, be sure to highlight this on your resume.” Additionally, during your interview, you may want to bring up specific examples where you went above and beyond in a service role to give a patient the best experience possible. These examples are proof that you understand the demands of the role.

Be Open To What A Facility Can Teach You

For healthcare professionals looking for their next opportunity, it can feel much easier to stay within your comfort zone. And many professionals will feel uncomfortable at the idea of needing to learn new skills on the job. However, if a job offer comes along where you must learn a new EMR system, for example, David recommends embracing these opportunities to build upon your existing skillset. “Keeping up with ever-changing technology and the skills to go along with it can be challenging, and many employers do not offer the opportunity to pick up these new skills on the job,” notes David. “If you are offered an opportunity where you can expand your knowledge, don’t hesitate—get excited to learn! You never know what kind of doors it could open for you later in your career.”