Filling in-demand healthcare jobs

We’re seeing an unprecedented labor demand for certain occupations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. No other industry feels this pressure more than healthcare. Health systems are becoming inundated, prompting rapid hiring for essential roles to help process and treat patients with COVID-19. 

This increased demand has strained healthcare organizations that are already working at capacity. To help meet the demand, we’re helping organizations on the frontlines connect with qualified candidates and volunteers. We can also identify certain in-demand healthcare roles that have fewer licensing and credentialing requirements. We’ve tapped into LinkedIn’s Economic Graph to take a closer look at these three specific roles -- medical assistant, medical office assistant and patient care technician -- and how health care organizations can fill them as quickly as possible. 

This starts by understanding skills. First, we looked at the skill profiles for these in-demand healthcare occupations and identified other roles that had highly similar skills. Then, we looked at the transitions our members are making into and out of those roles. 

The most frequent transitions can reveal which talents pools recruiters should target. At the other end of the spectrum, looking at where fewer transitions are made but the skills makeup is similarly high helps us understand untapped, or otherwise hidden, talent pools that can fill these in-demand roles. 

Here’s a closer look at those roles: 

Medical Assistant

Medical assistants, who support physicians and nurses through patient examinations and basic treatments, need strong skills in basic life support, vital signs, and medical terminology. But our data show they also need to build skills in working with medical records and patient education, which are often found outside of the healthcare industry in administrative roles.

We see that most medical assistants transition from roles as certified nursing assistants, medical technicians, medical scribes, and phlebotomists. But our data also show that there are medical assistants who have transitioned from other roles within the healthcare ecosystem that have similar skills: patient care coordinators, patient care assistants, clinical assistant and medical coordinators. 

Medical Office Assistant

Medical office assistants support operations in hospitals and healthcare systems by performing administrative tasks and ensuring high-quality customer service to patients. They typically need strong skills in medical records, medical billing, and medical coding. But our data show they also need skills in data entry and appointment scheduling, which are often found outside of the healthcare industry in administrative roles.

We see the most medical office assistants transition from roles as medical assistants, medical receptionists, and patient access representatives. Potentially untapped resources within the healthcare ecosystem with high skills similarity to medical office assistants include: medical billers, patient service representatives, billing specialists. Outside of healthcare specifically, we see high skills similarity with administrative assistants and secretarial roles -- who could be rapidly trained on medical billing, terminology and data. 

Patient Care Technician

Patient care technicians work under the supervision of nursing staff and larger care teams to provide direct support to patients. Becoming a patient care technician does require a high school diploma and the completion of a state-approved training program, which can last from 20–27 weeks. Our data show they typically need strong skills in direct patient care, CPR, and basic life support -- but we also know that they need skills in electronic medical records and patient education.

Most patient care technicians transition from traditional healthcare roles: nursing assistants, patient care assistants and certified medication aides. Our data shows high skills similarity with Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), home health aides, healthcare specialists, phlebotomists and patient access representatives -- which could provide an adjacent talent pool to pull from for the more care-oriented role of patient care technician. 

Understanding the skills profiles of these essential, in-demand roles and the career paths into them reveals potentially untapped talent pools for employers struggling to keep up with demand. It can also help workers in roles most impacted by the pandemic’s economic effects find new opportunities where they can leverage the skills they’ve built already. 

In our next post, we’ll look at our Economic Graph data from this lens, and uncover jobs that are ripe for workers coming from the retail industries.  

Methodology Notes:

At LinkedIn, we leverage the wealth of skills and employment information provided by LinkedIn’s Economic Graph to provide in-depth, granular insight into the labor market. 

First, we looked at job postings data to identify healthcare roles where demand has surged recently in the U.S. Once these key in-demand roles were defined, we mined LinkedIn’s granular data on skills to generate a unique skills profile for each of the tens of thousands of occupations held by U.S. members, based on their most representative skills.

To determine common transitions into these roles, we looked at members who listed a position in one of these roles (e.g. Medical Assistant) and counted members based on their most recent prior position.

Finally, we calculate a skill similarity score for each set of occupations where we observe a minimum number of transitions, which measures the percent overlap of skills between two occupations.