HFO Radius: Issue 2, November 2009: HFOJobs

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HFO Radius logoThe Research

HFOJobs is a free online jobs portal that provides physicians and nurses with health care employment opportunities available in Ontario. Communities, health care organizations and any other employers can post job opportunities for nurses and physicians free of charge.

With some interpretative caution, the number of active job postings can be used as a potential indicator of current organizational (comprised of communities, employers etc.) demand for additional physicians and nurses across Ontario. It is potentially one more indicator, among other quantitative and qualitative pieces of evidence, that planners can use to gauge where and what physician and nurse services are demanded. To examine the number of job postings, HFOJobs data on the number of active job postings by profession was pulled based on a point-in-time snapshot.

Key Findings

Based on active postings as of June 30, 2009, family physicians have the greatest number of postings on the HFOJobs website. Registered Nurses have the highest number of postings on the HFOJobs website when compared with other nursing position types.HFO Jobs Permanent postings

As of June 30, 2009, there were a total of 836 permanent postings for physicians while, for nurses there were 1,329 total postings.

  • For both registered practical nurses and registered nurses the number of part-time postings was greater than the number of full-time postings.
  • Mississauga Halton was the LHIN that has the most postings for nurses but the least number of postings for physicians. The North East LHIN was found to have the most physician postings and Erie St. Clair has the least number of postings for nurses.

The Limitations

  • Communities and organizations are responsible for posting positions on HFOJobs, a voluntary and free service. Therefore, it does not necessarily capture all postings in Ontario since an organization may not post a job for numerous reasons.
  • In some instances multiple positions can be advertised within one posting, making it challenging to determine the exact number of individuals being recruited.

Questions to Consider

Theoretically, job postings should represent the specific organization’s additional requirements for workers beyond what they currently have, making it an indicator of labour demand. However, can job postings be used as an
indicator of organizational demand for health care professionals?

Health professionals can work for an organization or be self-employed. For this reason, some job postings may not reflect an assessment of specific organizational demand. At the same time, communities or organizations are signalling to health professionals that their skills and service are required. Job postings may also be attempts to signal future growth, a desire to develop a centre of specialized skills or develop the community. This complexity in interpreting job postings poses many questions:

  1. Should HFOJobs postings be used as an additional piece of evidence, in combination with other evidence, to reflect on-the-ground organizational demand for health care professionals? Does this indicator add value to HHR Planning?
  2. How does one reconcile the different types of job postings e.g. full-time vs. part-time or permanent vs. temporary?

Source: HFO Radius