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Survey of Healthcare Leaders Reveals Tight Labor Market Implications

April 25, 2018

healthcare-tight-labor-marketIn our recent white paper for Becker’s Hospital Review, we covered the growing nursing shortage, and how nursing performance expectations are evolving, further complicating matters.

Whitepaper: The Nursing Shortage and Changing Responsibilities – Are You Prepared?

Recent survey results by management staffing firm Leaders for Today, confirms a growing, serious talent shortage and points out some important implications. The results from over 200 healthcare leaders that were surveyed revealed the following:

  • Nearly a third (31%) of respondents said their organization can’t find enough candidates, and nearly one-fourth (24%) reported that the qualifications of new hires are questionable.

  • Talent acquisition staff are at or beyond capacity. More than six in 10 hospital-based HR recruiters handle 10 or more searches at any given time, and 27% handle 20 or more.

  • The lack of qualified candidates and growing HR caseloads are contributing to delays in filling key positions.

  • It’s not just nurses and front-line staff. About three-fourths of searches for hospital leaders take more than four months and 35% take more than seven months.

  • The challenge of finding candidates and filling spots is made worse by growing turnover.

  • Further complicating the situation – while healthcare’s projected job growth remains high, there’s been a recent slowdown. Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2017 showed just 300,000 jobs added – 70,000 fewer than the previous year. This temporary slowdown is likely due to a host of financial pressures on healthcare organizations. They need to grow to meet the demand for care, but frequently look to labor costs when margins decline.

What does all of this mean? With the tight labor market, growing turnover, and workloads stretching healthcare HR personnel thin, organizations need to adopt more effective strategies to attract, select and retain top talent. Here are a few to consider:

  • Attract: Consider innovative ways to attract candidates including a solid branding strategy, improving the candidate experience, and passive recruiting.

  • Select: Even when the candidate pool is not deep, you need an efficient, effective selection system. How do you quickly vet candidates and understand their strengths and weaknesses? When it’s hard to replace an employee, making a bad hiring decision is twice the headache. You also need to effectively manage and develop each employee – starting on day one.

  • Retain: Do you have a structured, deliberate, multi-faceted retention strategy? It’s not just about the pay scale. It’s about culture. It’s about clear expectations. It’s about strong, motivating managers (do you have a manager selection system targeting the right skills and behaviors?).

To learn more about the nursing shortage and changing responsibilities, download our whitepaper below. You may also be interested in reading the following:

nursing shortage

Bryan Warren Bryan Warren is the President of J3 Personica, a consulting, assessment, training, and coaching firm, and a guest blogger for PSI. Bryan is an expert in progressive talent strategies, with a particular focus on leader and physician selection and development.