Hiring is a tough task in the best of circumstances, but especially now. You’d be forgiven for thinking America may have enjoyed a “fish in a barrel” hiring scenario in recent months. Job openings were up, but so were layoffs at the same time hiring was down. What’s more, a growing number of people are resigning from their current jobs driven either by vaccine-related issues or confidence that they can find work elsewhere.

Hiring new workers is always a demanding task no matter which market you’re operating in. Advertising open positions, interviewing, and training new employees takes time and money; two valuable quantities that a short-staffed practice may be lacking. These are trials that every chiropractor faces when seeking new team members coupled with the added stressors of some sector-specific factors.

The Declining Number of Available Workers

Statistically speaking, the hiring situation for chiropractors is looking strong up until 2030. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 11 percent growth in sector employment this decade which beats the average for all other occupations. Down at ground level it can be a bit difficult to share that optimism given the universal worker shortage and the increasing demands on professionals in our sector.

For example, recent global events have seen medical practitioners of all kinds burning out in unprecedented degrees. Large numbers of chiropractors are effectively being drafted into hospitals and clinics to provide healthcare for doctors, nurses, and other frontline staff.

Increased need for the chiropractic sector is a good thing as we canhelp more people heal and lead more comfortable lives. However, it also reduces the number of skilled personnel available for dedicated chiro centers to hire and, with a 3-to-4-year average time to qualify, new candidates can’t exactly be produced on demand.

Add to this the fact that qualifying as a chiropractor can cost between $70,000 and $105,000 and it’s easy to understand why even the most eager person faces a significant financial hurdle if they want to join the profession.

Clashing Generational Priorities

A clinic can have many roles available and more than a few generations to fill them. Age can present hiring difficulties both at the interview stage and when integrating a new hire into an existing team.

The trick here is to have a working knowledge of what each generation is likely to be looking for from the outset. There are plenty of shared wants and needs that run through each group, but here’s how they’re typically prioritized:

  • Generation Z (born 2001 to 2020) – The youngest hires want competitive wages, pay equity, career mobility, and employers with transparent practices and ethical values.
  • Millennials (born 1981 to 2000) – More mature hires means more experience and the expectation of higher pay to match. The likelihood of a family life also means Millennials expect flexibility and work/life balance from their employers.
  • Generation X (born 1965 to 1980) – This is the hiring group most likely to have the highest experience levels and demands on their personal lives. They expect higher pay and increased flexibility to reflect that.

The inherent challenge here is for chiropractors to stop and think whether they can provide what each generation is looking for and, if they can, how well they can balance diverse needs and priorities if their staff starts spanning generations. To learn more about facing this challenge head on you can watch the webinar recording with Aaron Reynolds on The Future of Our Workforce.

Dr. Ray Foxworth, DC, MCSP

Dr. Ray Foxworth is a certified Medical Compliance Spe­cialist and President of ChiroHealthUSA. A practicing Chiropractor, he remains “in the trenches” facing challenges with billing, coding, documentation and compliance. He has served as president of the Mis­sissippi Chiropractic Association, former Staff Chiro­practor at the G.V. Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center and is a Fellow of the International College of Chiropractic. You can contact Dr. Foxworth at 1-888-719-9990, info@chirohealthusa.com or visit the ChiroHealthUSA website at www.chirohealthusa.com. Join us for a free webinar that will give you all the details about how a DMPO can help you practice with more peace of mind. Go to www.chirohealthusa.com to register today.