3 Key Healthcare Recruitment and Retention Challenges for 2023
The healthcare industry is facing considerable challenges in recruiting and retaining top talent. With an aging population and a growing demand for services, healthcare organizations are seeking qualified professionals to meet patient needs. At the same time, high turnover rates and burnout are causing financial and operational disruptions.
How can healthcare organizations overcome these talent-driven obstacles? Competitive compensation and benefits packages are important, but candidates are also considering the possibility of an upcoming recession. For many, this means weighing factors such as job security, professional development and growth opportunities.
To attract top-performing professionals, here are three areas your healthcare organization should consider.
1. Finding the Right Candidates
“We are likely to see healthcare organizations' revenues go down while wages take longer to deflate, if at all,” said Athena Kan, Co-Founder of healthcare training company Dreambound. “That is going to be a dire time for a lot of hospitals and nursing homes as they have to navigate already thin margins.”
Many organizations have turned to employment agencies and traveling temporary workers to maintain critical staffing levels. “Recruiters are going to feel the heat even more to find creative, low-cost solutions to recruitment,” Kan said.
Competition for talent is heating up, and this could continue as long-term unemployment returns to pre-pandemic levels. What should you do to stand out for candidates?
“Boost your recruiting efforts just like you would any other marketing strategy,” said Kristen Matthews, Senior Marketing Director at Overit, which owns healthcare marketing company Smith & Jones. “A lot of potential employees may not be actively looking for a new job even though they are open to it. Define your ideal employee criteria, and do outreach campaigns to uncover new talent.”
2. Maintaining Critical Staffing Levels
Retaining employees can be challenging, but failing to do so means incurring the expenses associated with hiring and onboarding new employees. Retention is also important for organizations that have limited budgets for recruiting candidates with the right skills and qualifications.
The American Hospital Association sent a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee in March 2022, explaining that hospitals are experiencing a “national emergency” in the workforce. Many workers are suffering from higher levels of stress and burnout, which creates additional turnover, increases expenses and potentially disrupts care.
Since the pandemic began, some hospitals have addressed workforce gaps by redeploying staff and creating teams of nurses and doctors led by intensive care unit clinicians. These and other creative solutions are helping healthcare organizations meet critical needs even with suboptimal staffing levels.
3. Adapting to Challenges
Opportunities for remote sessions and virtual care have given healthcare providers new ways to reach patients despite staffing limitations. While many evaluations and procedures must occur in person, healthcare providers realized that many consultations could be conducted through online discussion and video chats. Look to build on this capability in 2023 while prioritizing quality of care.
As you look to strengthen your talent pipeline, consider establishing partnerships with educational institutions to connect with students for internships. Examine your compensation and benefits packages to ensure you’re offering the best package to recruits and your existing staff. Make sure you're competitive not only with peers but also with other organizations and industries that are also recruiting your workforce.
Whether hiring or trying to keep your best people, healthcare companies in 2023 will have to continue optimizing their recruiting and retention strategies. Start by creating a positive work environment and offering opportunities for professional development and growth.
Be flexible in staffing arrangements so you can cover all critical needs. And be agile: Just as healthcare organizations were forced to adapt during the pandemic, they’ll need to keep doing so in the uncertain economy they’ll be facing in the coming year.