Throughout the past year, COVID-19 pandemic created upheaval—personal and professional—in all areas of healthcare. Employment was no exception.

Thanks to the incredible work of the many healthcare workers, researchers, public health, and policy professionals, we have seen progress and stabilization on all fronts but there are changes between the past and future.

Here are three main insights into the "new normal" from HealthSearch Group’s recruiting team:

FOCUS ON THE FUTURE:  Between the “all hands-on deck” effort that was required from front-line workers and the concentrated shift of other people and processes into the virtual environment, last year’s focus was on the “here and now.”

We are now seeing signs pointing to a focus on the future.

There are still plenty of need to fill openings for the front-line team, especially in certain specialties such as long-term care; however, now clients are also recruiting for new positions that signal growth, such as strategic planning, digital health, building renovation and business development.

COMPETITION FOR TALENT:  The competition for talent is fiercer than even in recent years. Experienced job candidates are being courted by multiple employers. We see more senior levels of people within client organizations involved earlier in the interviewing process.

To ensure your organization does not miss out on the talent you are seeking, human resources and hiring managers want to be prepared to thoroughly answer questions that candidates have during the interview and enthusiastically promote the opportunity and your organization to them.

MIXED REACTIONS:  Like other time periods of wider scale public uncertainty and challenge, the past year has created polarized responses in openness to change.

Some healthcare workers tell us they have found renewed meaning and appreciation in their work, and loyalty from and to their coworkers and institution.

Other professionals who are reluctant to change voice a different reason. They say they are ready for something new but feel unable to make a move, describing sort of a psychic immobilization in response to the overall societal stress.

Yet others say this period has been a catalyst for them to reflect on many facets of their life, including their career. Where they may have been hesitant to make active changes or choices in the past, the reexamination has been a call to action to see - and even embrace - change as an opportunity.

As we continue to where this “new normal” leads us, it is useful to recall the wisdom of Viktor Frankl, Viennese psychiatrist, concentration camp survivor, and author of “Man’s Search for Meaning,” who wrote:

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space.

In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response.

In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”