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Talking Talent Trends with the SVP and CHRO of Lakeland Regional Health


The Health Career Center recently interviewed Amy Barry, senior vice president and chief human resources officer, Lakeland Regional Health in Lakeland, Florida about healthcare workforce trends, talent gaps and emerging roles in healthcare. Our thought-provoking discussion brings to light many of the issues faced by healthcare HR professionals and recruiters. More information about workforce and recruitment trends is available in our 2015 Healthcare Talent Acquisition Environmental Scan.

HEALTH CAREER CENTER: What hiring trends are you seeing given the transformation in the healthcare delivery system and/or the demographic shifts?

AMY BARRY: Overall, a new skill level and focus in healthcare is needed due to these trends:

  • Professional/clinical turnover is on the rise. There is a lack of experienced team members with the increase in baby boomers retiring. In specialty areas like lab, information technology and others, it is very difficult to find replacement staffing as well.
  • Management turnover is an issue. There is a need in the healthcare field to find and attract out of industry and non-traditional leaders with strong analytical and critical thinking skills. Healthcare needs a new, innovative attraction strategy to achieve that mix of new talent.
  • Plug-and-play team members are needed. Versatile skills to move around organizations to help with performance improvement efforts and internal interactive integrators to help shift thinking and advance performance are in demand.
  • Service support is increasingly important. There is a tremendous need for high customer service skills: think hospitality-minded members. We are trying to work with workforce boards and schools to prepare for a better fit for health care for our future.


HEALTH CAREER CENTER: What new roles are you seeing emerge in your organization?

AMY BARRY: Performance improvement, innovation, data scientist, communications analyst and business partner roles for all segments are emerging. These roles aim to advance the horizontal management structure and collapse silos into neighborhoods of health teams and analysts (an internal consulting practice model) to help shape a new way of doing work: transparent, collaborative, measurable and inspirational.


HEALTH CAREER CENTER: What talent gaps do you see in healthcare?

AMY BARRY: In general in our field, there is a lack of change management skills and a lack of ability to think from the customer perspective – retail and hospitality-minded individuals are few and far between. Specifically, many healthcare professionals are:

  • Still focused on expertise.
  • Used to systems thinking. They’re still very people-centric without strong standard work-systems of discipline skills.
  • Local minded versus global minded.
  • Fearful of the mobile world. They see mobile/tech as removing value versus its ability to add value (for example, working paperless is a new way for shared virtual decision making).
  • Still sick minded versus health and well-being minded. The model of investing in healthy enterprise opens up new opportunities for talent, but healthcare still looks at talent too traditionally.

Are you interested in learning more about the state of healthcare recruitment? Download the 2015 Healthcare Talent Acquisition Environmental Scan now. This annual Health Career Center report serves as a snapshot of America’s healthcare employment landscape and offers insight on the challenges and opportunities impacting the field.