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4 Strategies for Improving Recruitment and Retention in Healthcare

recruitment and retention strategies in healthcare

The healthcare field is expected to grow 13% over the next decade. In fact, enrollments in medical school are higher than ever. While being a doctor is only one healthcare profession, it’s safe to say that thousands, if not millions, of new healthcare workers will need to be trained, monitored, and entrusted with countless lives. But how do you recruit the best ones? What’s the best way to ensure the resources spent integrating them into your organization are well used? And, equally important, how do you retain quality employees once you have them?

Here’s exactly what you need to know about recruitment and retention strategies in healthcare.

Why Are Recruitment and Retention Important in Healthcare?

On average, healthcare organizations have a turnover rate of 57%. Reasons for that turnover range from burnout to environment and, in some cases, violence against healthcare workers. That’s just one reason that continuously recruiting qualified candidates is essential. And why streamlining the process is crucial. 

Regardless of industry, preventing attrition and maintaining headcount will be paramount for building efficient teams and keeping business costs low. It can take months for a candidate to be fully trained and integrated. In 2017, the cost of training an employee was $1200. Adjusted for inflation, it’s a little over $1,500 today. And the only way to recoup those resources is through retention.

Why There are Recruitment and Retention Challenges in Healthcare

Here are a few of the challenges in healthcare recruitment and retention. 

Shortage of workers: While new healthcare workers are on the rise, there aren’t enough workers currently to meet the demands of patients. The height of the pandemic resulted in major burnout among healthcare professionals, with many seeking employment in a different industry. Even before the pandemic, the healthcare field faced an exodus of nurses and other healthcare workers.

The result? It became much more difficult for hiring managers to find and retain their ideal candidate. Adding to this complexity is the fact that healthcare is a highly specialized field. Which leads to the next point –

Qualifications: Because of the time required to earn a degree or advanced healthcare licenses, candidates must undergo lengthy schooling and on-the-job training–meaning the time between deciding to work in healthcare and starting a healthcare career can be years. For example, one of the most popular jobs in healthcare is nurse practitioner. However, becoming a nurse practitioner can take up to nine years

Candidates have the power: Highly qualified candidates know they are among the most sought-after employees in any industry. This means they can spend as much time as they want to leverage offers and wait for their ideal position. This also means that recruiters are facing an uphill battle in attracting workers. Plus, hospital environments are often unionized, so pay negotiations for new hires are strict. As such, high-earning, qualified candidates may only apply to a select group of unionized environments. 

Poor Company Reputation: Company culture plays a major factor in job enjoyment. Job satisfaction remains essential to retention, performance, and business growth. Poor company reputations can happen due to less-than-stellar hiring processes, abusive management, pay issues, etc. These factors cause quality candidates to apply to other organizations. Plus, teamwork is more crucial than ever, considering the rise of a holistic diagnostic team approach to Western medicine. Companies with great company cultures understand and nurture collaborative efforts. The result is a happier, healthier working environment.

How to Recruit and Retain Health Care Professionals

Want the best recruitment and retention strategies in healthcare? Follow these quick tips.

1. Streamline the Recruiting Process

A huge factor in the recruiting process is the interview itself. Effective interview teams decide who’s going to ask which question and when. Small changes like that present a unified front. And act as an example of the collaborative nature you want in your candidates while also showing the level of professionalism required of any healthcare company. 

It’s worth mentioning that finding the right background check provider speeds up your hiring times. Healthcare candidates undergo arrest record checks, references, drug tests, and more—a streamlined organization partners with reliable background check companies to quickly get the needed data. 

Streamlining the recruiting process shortens the time between application and onboarding. That means there’s less staffing shortage, higher productivity, and frees up resources for other parts of your organization. Additionally, streamlining the recruiting process improves your candidate experience

Remember, every second a candidate spends waiting to hear back for your final decision is a second they can field offers from competitors. Don’t lose out on your perfect employee due to clunky and lengthy hiring turnarounds.

2. Implement Better Schedules

Healthcare workers are all but guaranteed to work extended hours. Studies show they work a minimum of seven hours more than professionals. Plus, the on-call nature of many healthcare professions means they don’t get weekends and holidays: long hours and inconsistent time off lead to burnout. Implementing better schedules and balancing employee and client needs lets organizations retain staff longer. Studies show employees who like their schedule have over 20% less work-related stress.

3. Prevent Burnout

The causes of burnout vary, and there’s no one-size-fits-all to prevent it. However, creating a plan to reduce burnout among employees is a good place to start. This can include implementing a maximum amount of working hours, providing extended vacation time and mandating usage of it, and creating a fostering work environment that drives collaboration.

4. Ask Employees What They Need

Healthcare professionals work for the client. However, healthcare organizations should work for their employees. The best way to find out what your employees need is by asking them. Opting for an anonymous survey is one of the best ways to collect the information you need in a short amount of time. However, consider meeting one-on-one or with small groups whenever possible.  

A critical factor in healthcare is collaboration between departments. From managers to reception to medical providers, your entire organization must be on the same page to thrive. That’s one reason why hiring the right person to join your team is important. Let us help. At KarmaCheck, we provide accurate background check data. Rest assured that the information you’re making a final hiring decision with is sound. Reach out to us today to take the first step to streamline your hiring process.


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