Applying for Pharmacy Jobs: Why Recruits Have the Edge


Applying for Pharmacy Jobs: Why Recruits Have the Edge

The job market is a lot like the real estate market. Sometimes it favors sellers, other times it favors buyers. The sellers in the job market are candidates being actively recruited by employers. And right now, they have the edge nearly everywhere in the labor market, particularly in pharmacy jobs.

Pharmacy can sometimes seem like the forgotten stepchild among healthcare careers. But pharmacy is as important to our health and well-being as primary care, urgent care, and so on. People do not realize just how important pharmacists and pharmacy techs are until they are in short supply. And right now, such is the case.

Shortages and High Turnover Rates

Even before the start of the COVID crisis, pharmacy jobs were plentiful. Pharmacy chains and hospitals alike could not hire pharmacists and technicians fast enough. Unfortunately, the COVID crisis has exacerbated the problem. According to recent survey data, turnover in the pharmacy industry in 2021 is estimated to be at least 21%. That number could go higher as more data comes in.

Industry shortages are not limited just to licensed pharmacists. The same survey data also suggests that U.S. pharmacies lost upwards of 41% of their pharmacy tech staff in 2021. These are all pharmacy jobs that are as hard to fill as pharmacist positions.

It has been said that there is a silver lining in everything. Right now, staff shortages and high turnover rates are bad news for pharmacy employers. But there is a silver lining for recruits. They are in the driver’s seat, so to speak. Just the fact that they are being recruited gives them leverage.

Recruiting vs. Hiring

The leverage pharmacy recruits have is easily observed in the differences between recruiting and hiring. When a pharmacy hires, it posts a job listing and waits for applicants to submit their resumes. But when recruiting is the strategy, HR personnel actively go out and look for job candidates. They do not limit themselves to submitted applications. They recruit even among people who are currently employed.

A gainfully employed pharmacist or pharmacy tech who finds themself being recruited for a job elsewhere knows that their skills, knowledge, and experience are in demand. Recruiters would not be contacting them otherwise. Their active recruiting gives them the opportunity to negotiate a better deal for themself.

This is the way things work in the labor market. When the market is tight, recruits and job candidates have the edge. The opposite is also true. When there are not enough jobs to satisfy every job seeker, employers have the edge. It is just the labor market’s version of supply and demand.

Negotiating Is Not Demanding

It is clear from active recruiting efforts that candidates for pharmacy jobs have the edge right now. That edge gives them more negotiating power. However, the one thing all job candidates should remember is that negotiating does not equal demanding. Going into a job interview ready to make hard-nosed demands doesn’t help anyone.

Recruiters are generally open to negotiations. So are HR departments. When hiring managers and candidates are able to negotiate a mutually beneficial deal, things get done. When one side demands but doesn’t give, deals are often scuttled. That is no way to hire or be hired.

As things currently stand, the market for pharmacy jobs is pretty hot. Pharmacy chains and corner pharmacies alike are in desperate need of licensed pharmacists and pharmacy techs. If something doesn’t change within the next 6 to 12 months, the industry may have to undergo further consolidation to stay afloat. We’ll have to wait to see how it all pans out.

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

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