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4 ways to improve recruitment and retention

in Labor Quality

iStock_000017495518XSmallA recent article at HealthLeaders Media argues that while employee confidence in current employers remains high, healthcare workers are increasingly aware of their value and are more willing to look around. The article cites a Randstad quarterly healthcare employment trends report, stating that “30% of healthcare workers in Q2 intend to search for new jobs this year.”

Even without a workforce full of wandering eyes, recruiters are already struggling to find and retain physicians, physician assistants,  advanced practice RNs and IT contractors (just to name a few). It all adds up to one big employment dilemma that you can’t just shrug at.

No one’s going to say, “Ok, I understand,” when staffing levels are blamed for a failed benchmark in this value-based care era of healthcare. It’s not ok to shelve or delay a critical IT infrastructure project simply because no one could find enough contractors.

You have to have answers. Here are 4 tips to consider in the recruitment and retention of healthcare employees.

Tips for a best-in-class staffing operation

  • Do more with less. No, I’m not suggesting to understaff care delivery. I’m suggesting to remove bloated, inefficient methods that have no place in a modern staffing operation. You have to be more precise and calculated. Technology has a way of returning exponential results. While this can’t be done overnight, some solutions can be up and running in a matter of weeks.
  • Allow for autonomy and flexibility. Today’s worker wants options. Schedules are busy and employees demand ways to balance family and work. A robust float pool can be a recruiter’s dream, but it has to be done right. The float pools I’ve seen that are successful are systematic and technology-based. They are ultimately able to fill openings with fewer overall resources because of the efficiency in which they are scheduled.
  • Partner for success. The reality of healthcare’s shift toward value-based care is that it’s nearly impossible to achieve success in a vacuum. There are many niche experts helping to solve problems in every corner of healthcare. Finding these partners is crucial to long-term success. A technology partner can cut cost and improve efficiency, a staffing partner can provide reliable resources and a consultant can offer expert advice, all to drive toward utilizing proven best practices. The American Hospital Association is a great place to look. They have about 40 endorsed partners, all solving unique aspects of healthcare.
  • Try before you buy. Don’t be afraid to use agency workers. If you’re efficiently tracking activity (have I mentioned technology is great?), you can monitor performance and learn about which workers are best suited to work at your facility. Maybe you decide to hire that person full time. Perhaps you arrange to use the best workers exclusively. Either way, the fact that you have this insight empowers your organization to make smart, long-lasting hiring decisions.

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