How Do Allied Health Professionals Construe the Role of the Remote Workforce? New Insight into Their Recruitment and Retention
Eley, D S
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Purpose Allied health workforce recruitment and retention in remote areas is a global problem. Using case studies from the Australian allied health workforce, this paper adds new information by combining personality trait information with a detailed understanding of how the cases construe the demands of remote work, which may be useful in addressing this problem. Methods Four cases (two urban, two remote) are presented from a mixed methods study (n = 562), which used (1) the Temperament and Character Inventory to investigate personality traits of allied health professionals; and (2) repertory grid interviews to reveal quantitatively and qualitatively how the cases construed their Ideal work role compared with their Current and a Remote role. Cases also self-assessed their fit (‘suited’ or ‘not suited’) with remote. Findings Differences in the way cases construed their fit with remote work was related to prior experience. However all were satisfied with their work, perceiving their Current role as similar to their Ideal. All saw remote work as requiring generalist expertise and a reliance on relationships. Personality traits, especially Novelty Seeking and Harm Avoidance, fit with how allied health professionals perceived their role. Conclusions The combination of two distinct lines of investigation, illustrates what more can be revealed about allied health professional’s career choices by taking into account the fit or lack of fit between their personality tendencies, their construing of remote work and their life circumstances. Understanding the combined influence of perceptions and traits on an individual toward or away from remote work may enhance recruitment and retention internationally.