Vacancy activity is increasing in response to the NDIS. Although it is still being rolled out, organisations in the disabilities sector are starting to recruit additional staff in order to be ready.
We are also seeing growth resulting from new CDC changes to home care within the aged care sector, most notably in for-profit organisations.
The federal government has lifted its permanent hiring freeze, which has added to vacancy activity.
Meanwhile radiographers and sonographers are in continuous demand in metropolitan areas. In Western Australia’s South West and Pilbarra regions, physiotherapists and speech pathologists are sought. There’s also a need for Facility Managers and Care Coordinators in regional Western Australia.
The Northern Territory continues to face ongoing and extreme skill shortages. Employers want candidates who are based in Darwin and have local experience since candidates who relocate from interstate often do not remain in the Territory for long. Experienced Psychologists, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists are in greatest demand.
Across Australia, companies are looking for strong clinical skills coupled with commercial skills. For example, nurses who can balance the need to provide superior patient or resident care with the commercial and financial obligations of the organisation, or physiotherapists with strong business development and commercial skills to help a business grow.
Australia’s healthcare sector remains candidate driven and staff retention is an issue, especially in the aged care sector. For aged care providers, attracting quality candidates is a challenge, but keeping them can be even more so. The salaries on offer are a big factor in this.
Skills in demand
In terms of skills in demand for the October to December 2015 quarter, we’re seeing high demand for aged care Case Managers and Coordinators. Growth in the market is fuelling this demand, since CDC changes offer more choice.
Also in the aged care sector there is a shortage of skilled Clinical Care Coordinators. Due to the high level of clinical responsibilities and the on-call component, Clinical Care Coordinator positions often experience high turnover and therefore there is constant demand to replace departing staff.
Endorsed Enrolled Nurses are also sought in aged care as candidates often move for better conditions in other organisations.
Clinical Managers are needed in the aged care sector too. Candidates need to be a strong Registered Nurse who can step into the Clinical Manager role and balance both commercial and clinical/care demands. Given the requirement to balance these two factors, a great Nurse does not always make a great Clinical Manager.
Restructures and growth in the disabilities market and therefore changes to the scope of the role has increased demand for more highly specialised Service Coordinators, Home Care Assessors, Case Managers and Client Services Facilitators.
In other areas of demand, experienced Child Protection Workers are sought. This area has a high burnout rate, and therefore there is constant demand for these professionals.
Social Workers are needed too. With the continued investment into mental health, Social Workers with mental health accreditation (an additional course/assessment and a Medicare provider number) with clinical and counselling experience are in demand.
General Practitioners are sought. In regional areas population growth is fuelling high demand. In metropolitan areas there is also competition for good GPs and large financial incentives are being offered to attract and retain them.
Directors of Nursing are another area of demand. Again due to the high level of responsibility and the on-call component, DONs often move to new positions and new challenges after a few years.
Clinical Psychologists are also sought. The increased demand for mental health support services and an increasing number of people seeking support has led to rising demand for highly qualified clinical psychologists.
Physiotherapists are in short supply in private practice. Candidates are often attracted to larger organisations where they receive mentoring and development.
Radiographers are in high demand. Many people who are already in these roles are not looking to leave their existing employer as they are happy where they are. In addition, there are few new entrants to the market.
For similar reasons, Sonographers are needed.
Speech Pathologists are another area of demand.
Finally, Indigenous Registered Nurses, Social Workers and Case Workers are sought in the Northern Territory for niche and specialised roles. However there is an extreme candidate shortage in this area.
While restructures are leading to senior level redundancies, they are also leading to more specialised mid-level roles, which is providing the opportunity for candidates at lower levels to take on bigger roles.
When healthcare professionals look for their next role they prefer to maximise their relationships with people who can make them aware of an opportunity, the hiring organisation and the workplace culture. They rarely respond to advertising and prefer instead to talk to someone who can inform them in more detail about a role.