Hospitals and other healthcare institutions have failed to fill vacant positions for almost three decades. While previously The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted a growth of 14 per cent in the healthcare sector and the creation of 2.4 million new jobs by 2026, the healthcare industry is yet to absorb the shockwaves faced from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, at some point the global economy is bound to bounce back in a post pandemic world and employment is expected to grow again. A solid package is important and healthcare employers should consider standing out of the crowd in the healthcare professional marketplace, in view of an upcoming surge in demand.
4 Critical statistics about healthcare and employment
- From March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020, the American Hospital Association estimates a financial impact of $202.6 billion in losses for America’s hospitals and health systems over this four month period. This represents a monthly loss of $50.7 billion.
- The direct result of this negative financial performance led to more than 1.5 million healthcare jobs losses, between February through April 2020.
- In May 2020, the healthcare sector recovered over 300,000 jobs. These positions were mainly in the dental space.
- Unemployment rate among women working in the healthcare space increased from 1.4 percent to 3.7 percent, from May 2019 to May 2020.
3 strategies to attract healthcare talents
The best way to attract employees towards your healthcare organization is by creating an environment where they want to work. Below are 3 strategies, beyond the paycheck, to attract top healthcare talent.
- Offer better work-life balance
Throughout their personal lives, healthcare workers are facing the same struggles as staff in other sectors, struggling to balance childcare, school schedules and having to find some time away from work. Adding any flexibility to the regular work, weekly or monthly schedule of a worker is often seen as a great bonus, and can in any case be more valuable than monetary compensation. For instance, the coronavirus pandemic has greatly increased the adoption of remote work and the adoption rate of telehealth; 57 percent of healthcare providers view virtual health more favorably than before COVID-19. Providing a better work-life balance can give you a significant edge over organizations competing to recruit in the healthcare talent marketplace.
- Provide growth and development opportunities
Healthcare is by its nature a dynamic industry, and employees in the health space generally want to keep learning, growing and applying their acquired skills. Very often, employees leave an organization because they cannot see any prospects for progressing in their personal development. Your organization should be seen as both a workplace and a place of learning. Encourage working learners to complete externships, internships, and practicum programs. Additionally, you may reward your staff for attending industry events and offering incentives for those who receive special certifications.
- Partner up with specialized agencies
Considering that the future demand for healthcare workers may exceed the available number of healthcare professionals, it would be a wise move to partner up with agencies specialized with the recruitment of health talents. Many specialized agencies may also provide you with the opportunity to get some interns onboard. In the long run, this helps channel students directly into jobs from school, which not only improves the talent pipeline, but also enables you to hire the top upcoming talents.
How to retain healthcare employees
Employee retention is definitely one of the most critical factors for any healthcare organization looking for sustainability and stability. By improving employee retention, organizations are able to bypass the high cost often associated with replacing staff, while enhancing the quality of the end-service offering.
The foundation to effectively recruiting and retaining healthcare employees is through strong relationships. Building a positive relationship with your organization’s workers relies on robust communication throughout the team. Check in with your staff regularly to find out what is frustrating them and how you can support them to overcome obstacles that may be keeping them from fully performing to their best. Employees need to feel they are under leadership they can trust and turn to; if they believe that expressing their opinions would adversely affect their jobs, they will not do so. This situation can lead to workers wanting out, which is not something you want.
Along this line, implementing an employee recognition model will boost retention; a recent study found that 63% of employees say they are unlikely to look for another job if they feel their effort is recognized. Properly recognizing employees will encourage them to give the best out of themselves and boost their morale when faced with demanding situations. Interestingly, a LinkedIn survey found that employees who got a promotion within the first 3 years are 70% more likely to stay at the same company. Successfully implementing an employee recognition l program lowers drastically lowers turnover and improves productivity.
Moreso, improving the overall worker experience can be achieved with the current available technology. For example, using a scheduling app can enhance staff experience and potentially reduce administrative costs. Additionally, if your organization has embraced telehealth, this technology can do the heavy lifting for remote healthcare workers tracking. At the end of the day, having a positive impact on your staff contributes towards a more efficient and sustainable business.
Off you go
Last year, the U.S. unemployment rate hit a record all-time low. Yet competition for top-tier talent in specialized fields is increasingly growing around the world. Healthcare organizations should prioritize investment in attracting and retaining professionals if they are to stay in business.
Derek spearheads key initiatives at Deputy, a global workforce management platform for employee scheduling, timesheets and communication. With a focus on Healthcare, Derek helps business owners and workforce leaders simplify employment law compliance, keep labor cost in line and build award-winning workplaces. Derek has over 16 years’ experience in delivering data-driven sales and marketing strategies to SaaS companies like MarketSource and Griswold Home Care.