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May 2021

The Changing Face of the Allied Health Industry.

By: Anthony Aoun

The events of the past 12 months have brought upon a monumental shift within the Allied Health industry. This time has arguably been one of the most challenging, yet significantly developmental periods the sector has experienced in recent history. As a result, the vast majority of employers and health professionals have been forced to adjust to the changing face of the job market.

As the Covid-19 related restrictions have continued to ease across NSW in recent times, the increasing positivity and morale within society have been considerably evident amongst employers within the Allied Health job market. The industry has displayed progressive signs of recovery and it is safe to say that the number of current job vacancies is well and truly back to pre-covid numbers, if not higher.

Covid affected salaries are a thing of the past, Zoom, and Telehealth therapy sessions are the new norm, and a resilient and adaptable workforce now navigates the job market with a re-engineered perspective on what they want from their employer and their job.

Similarly, employers are feeling the pressures of a market that is increasingly short of available talent and are beginning to reassess the ways in which they recruit and determine job seekers' suitability for their positions. Gone are the days in which an employer judges a candidate’s suitability purely on their clinical skills and experience. Employers are now becoming flexible with their position descriptions in order to create a role that ensures that they can utilise the candidate for their business.

Job seekers are now prioritising the opportunity for increased work/life balance and flexible working arrangements after becoming accustomed to managing their regular duties from home. Allied Health practitioners who are employed are more reluctant to risk the existing security and stability they have in their current positions. Practitioners have become more resilient and are now less likely to consider the idea of taking a gamble by seeking a new opportunity for any minor concerns they are experiencing in their current positions.

According to Seek Analytics from 2020, Speech Pathologists were the hardest to fill positions in Australia with Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, and Exercise Physiologists sitting in equal 4th most difficult to fill. In a market that is clearly short of skilled active job seekers, employers are having to stretch their parameters and be more open-minded on how to make an active job seeker potentially suitable for them.

Employers are investing in more training and support to ensure that they can still consider candidates who do not necessarily have the required clinical skills for the position but instead upskill them for the position.

Overall, Covid has brought on a lot of changes within the market for employers and health practitioners – both good and bad.

In order for both employers and job seekers to successfully move forward and strengthen their place within the industry, it is imperative thay they remain open-minded and understand the perspectives and preferences of the respective individual or organisation on the other side of the equation. Your continued success and growth will depend on your ability to be adaptable to an ever-changing and evolving employment landscape.

If you are interested in exploring new work opportunities or are looking to grow your team, please feel free to reach out to me on (02) 9231 4999 or