3 Steps to Build Your Emergency Management Team during Tight Labor Market
September 16, 2021
Talent and Focus
Emergency Management (EM), just as other professional jobs in the U.S., is experiencing resource and talent shortages. The confluence of the COVID-19 response, increased emergency events, and larger economic themes have put an unprecedented amount of pressure on the EM profession. Facilities with dedicated EM personnel often are finding those staff members overtaxed with responsibility, and facilities without dedicated EM resources may be even more challenged. The perceived value of emergency management has never been higher, which may be adding to the potential resource shortage as is the fact that many facilities are looking to build new or augment existing capabilities.
During 2020, the health care industry had slightly more than 10,000 employees in EM. A search on a well-known job posting site for EM-related roles in health care yielded a whopping 2,000 job postings in just the last seven days. In a field where experience means everything, the emergency in emergency management isn’t that there are so many open jobs. The emergency is the shortage in the pipeline of education, training, and mentorship needed for roles in this space.
Creating a solution for this unique problem is something that Joe Tibbs, president of HAPevolve, has discussed with health care executives for some time.
“In our ongoing work with hospitals and other health care providers, we knew that COVID put an incredible amount of stress on the already stressed emergency management capabilities of facilities. Facilities with dedicated emergency management resources were experiencing high levels of burnout, and facilities without dedicated resources had to navigate increased emergency management work while fulfilling various other duties.
“We recognized that HAPevolve was in a position to aid in this urgent need to support the talent pipeline and augmenting existing emergency management efforts through leveraging our team of seasoned emergency managers, and if required, assemble a program to help facilities prepare, manage, and recover from emergencies.”
In a recent address to EM leaders, Tibbs shared three steps you can take to build your EM talent pipeline and make hires for critical positions.
Partner, partner, and partner again
Getting through this time with the fewest scrapes and bumps will require you to partner in every part of the talent pipeline. The focus, rightfully so, is on hiring right now.
As you monitor this tight labor market, use these strategies to help build your team:
- Consider identifying an educational partner where you and your organization can support an already interested student in internships or co-op experiences. Doing this will increase your “out of college hires” and get you the talent early in their educational experience. Additionally, you will be gaining a graduate with some experience within your organization, thus ramping them up quicker
- If you don’t have one, explore the development of an internal apprenticeship program. Matching the experienced member of your team with someone who has expressed an interest in emergency management will aid your organization with the development of a talent pipeline and increase the job satisfaction of all participants. It will contribute to a lower level of turnover
- Utilizing external organizations to augment your current team is one way to mitigate everyday staffing situations. Things such as authoring or reviewing emergency plans, performing hazard vulnerability assessments, performing facility walkthroughs, facilitating committee meetings, designing and deploying both tabletop and live exercises are all regularly outsourced
In addition to these, HAPevolve’s EM Program provides prolonged event support and training for your organization. In times such as these, it is vital that the organization you partner with for services also provides you with the talent development you will need to strengthen your team.
For more ideas on potential partners and the different ways to partner, please get in touch with me.