How to avoid health system staff turnover and employee poaching
Friday, May 01, 2015
Staffing shortages and turnover problems have become two of healthcare's biggest problems. Not only is finding quality talent a problem, keeping it is, causing concerns for hiring managers and recruiters in the current healthcare economy.
According to Health eCareers, turnover of hospital staff continues to be high, which results in big expenses for the organizations. According to the organization’s "2015 Healthcare Recruiting Trends" report, almost 30 percent of health systems expect to have more job openings in 2015 than last year, and 45 percent expect to have about the same as 2014. More than 40 percent of organization said this year that finding qualified healthcare talent as their No. 1 obstacle.
Experts with Health eCareers offer the following tips for retaining staff:
Hire people who are a good fit for the position, not the person who will work for the least amount of money. Also, healthcare employment leaders should push for impactful talent-management funding.
According to Health eCareers, nearly 80 percent of healthcare hiring experts say employer brand and culture are "important." More funding for quality hires likely means the organization will be better able to compete in the long term. Also, health system employers need to emphasize the organization’s reputation in the recruiting process.
"According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the healthcare unemployment rate is 3.5 percent. Many economists feel full healthcare employment is between two and three percent, so this means we are very close to full employment," said Bill Thomson, a healthcare staffing expert and account representative at Health eCareers.
Thomson raises the question: Where will healthcare get its new workers? He points out that most healthcare professionals are currently employed, so it's much more effective and efficient to invest in them and keep them than recruiting and training new employees. Many organizations have turned to poaching employees.
Thomson also warns that abrupt change can destroy a positive work culture.
Leadership and marketing teams identify the most important reasons why the facility is in business. "There are so many forces that change the focus within a hospital," he said in a statement, "if patient satisfaction surveys are down, focus shifts. If costs get out of hand, focus shifts. The focus for recruiters mirrors the changing focus of the organization as a whole, and that’s unsustainable."
Technology implementations can have major impacts on staff morale. Thomson says that changing goals frequently is confusing and unsettling. The decline in morale it induces trickles down from employees to patients. He adds that the more services a hospital can provide to employees, such as flexible work schedules, employee referral bonuses and free concierge services, the more retention, and positive morale become established in the culture.
Additionally, healthcare organizations can part with staffing experts, implementation consultants and project experts to help them fill holes in service, address immediate staffing or project leadership without dumping more on their already overworked and overly concerned workforce.
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