Talent management refers to the methods that employers use to recruit and develop a workforce that is productive, engaged, and likely to remain with the organization for as long as possible. Talent acquisition in healthcare plays an important role in overall talent management. Employees that ultimately are not interested in their work or at a severe disconnect from their employer will not respond to investment and will ultimately leave the employer regardless of development. In healthcare, poor employee engagement and retention are felt by the patient. Healthcare organizations that experience a lot of turnovers or do not treat their employees well struggle to keep quality staff, which results in poor patient care and a higher level of negative outcomes. It’s important to attract and recruit the best candidates from the very beginning in order to avoid turnover later down the line. However, that is easier said than done – especially in the healthcare industry.
Talent management in healthcare faces unique challenges that not many other industries come up against. The American Hospital Association reported job vacancies for “various types of nursing personnel increased by up to 30% and up to 31% for respiratory therapists.” between 2019 and 2020. The healthcare industry experienced an alarming rate of turnover before the COVID-19 pandemic began, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The AHA also reported that America will face a shortage of up to 124,000 physicians by 2033 and will need to hire at least 200,000 nurses per year to meet increased demand and replace nurses that are leaving the field.
The 2023 NSI National Healthcare Retention & RN Staffing Report found that the average cost of turnover for a bedside RN is $52,350 – a 13.5% increase from last year. This results in the average hospital losing between $6.6 million and $10.5 million per year from RN turnover. The healthcare workforce faces many additional challenges that illustrate why hiring the right professionals from the start is so important.
There are many challenges in healthcare talent management that require a unique approach as compared to other industries. Common healthcare staffing challenges include regulatory requirements, skill gaps, and staff retention.
According to the 2023 NSI Healthcare Retention & RN Staffing Report, the hospital turnover rate currently stands at 22.7%, which is a 3.2% decrease from last year. Comparatively, the average rate of turnover in the US between 2021 and 2022 was 24.7%. While updated turnover information is not yet available for 2023, research done by the Work Institute predicted that voluntary turnover would reach 35% this year.
Attracting and retaining healthcare staff can be difficult due to the number of stressors that healthcare workers regularly experience, such as handling ever-changing regulations and requirements and constantly needing to learn new skills – not to mention the human elements of their positions. The AHA called out a recent National Academy of Medicine report that suggests that between 35% and 54% of U.S. healthcare workers suffer from burnout, which is characterized by emotional exhaustion, feeling disconnected from their work, and a low sense of value in their jobs. Experiencing burnout is also another reason that healthcare workers are leaving their positions and contributing to turnover.
This could also be due in part to the administration being overwhelmed as well – after all, it is their responsibility to understand and communicate regulations and requirements to their employees, as well as provide them with upskilling opportunities. 74% of employers reported that their employees would need to learn new skills within the coming year to continue in their current positions.
Individuals in the talent management industry need to take a holistic approach to their recruitment and management process – identifying the candidates with the highest potential and evaluating how they can encourage those candidates to a) accept the job offer in the first place and b) remain with the employer for as long as possible.
Healthcare talent development must take a holistic approach. It must consider the employee experience from recruitment to retirement. This requires strategic planning and a deep understanding of your workforce. The following are only a few best practices and suggestions to implement in an employee-centric development plan.
The employee experience is the sum of every workplace interaction an employee can have. This extends beyond the time of employment – the employee experience can begin from their very first interaction with the recruiter. Candidates remember how long they waited to hear back, how many interviews they endured, and how they were treated. They bring those experiences with them into the workplace, informing their opinion on the workplace’s HR, policies, and more.
Employee engagement has reached a record low across the board in 2023. For healthcare workers, previously highly engaged employees moved into the “quiet quitters” category. Employee engagement can be a key indicator of turnover. Poor employee engagement can also be a comorbidity of burnout and low employee satisfaction. This leads to poor retention, which in turn can impact patient outcomes. It’s a snowball effect, which is why it’s best to get in front of it well before it starts rolling downhill. According to a survey conducted by WorkHuman, recognition is a key driver for healthcare worker engagement.
In the healthcare industry, it is vital that employees remain on top of their current skills and are always learning how to better serve their patients and uphold the standards of modern medicine. However, this can be difficult to achieve in a way that is practical and effective. Employers that don’t provide their employees with structured learning opportunities may find that their employees have fallen behind and created skill gaps that must be overcome. Creating a culture of continuous learning in combination with employee engagement and recognition efforts can motivate employees to always remain on top of their skills and have a positive impact on employee retention.
The University of Phoenix’s 2023 Career Optimism Index found that 46% of employers report that finding well-qualified applicants is one of their organization’s greatest challenges. The goal of healthcare recruitment technology is to greatly reduce that challenge. Talent management software such as Loxo can streamline the recruiting and hiring process, providing an improved experience for recruiters, employers, and candidates. Advisory Board, a healthcare research and media organization, noted that six of the eight ‘toughest jobs to fill’ in 2019 were healthcare positions such as home health aide, nursing assistant, and RN. It was reported that it was difficult to find candidates with the correct amount of education and experience to fill the position. The healthcare worker shortage is predicted to continue growing into the 2030s – potentially leaving healthcare recruiters scrambling to fill the gaps.
Talent management platforms can be engineered to automatically match and sort candidate applications into open positions – with the correct level of experience and education. This saves the recruiter hours of combing through resumes to find even just one suitable candidate for the position.
Utilizing technology in healthcare talent management can create a shorter lead-to-hire time, contributing to a faster onboarding process and decreasing the amount of time spent without a proper employee in a position. Another significant advantage to talent management software is reduced hiring costs – less money spent on advertising positions. G2 reported that 94% of recruiters and hiring professionals say that using talent management software has positively impacted their hiring process.
While utilizing software can help streamline the recruiting process and reduce inefficiencies, the healthcare industry is highly specialized and requires a talent platform that is highly specialized as well. A talent management platform that is customized for healthcare recruiters can help personnel find, attract, nurture, and manage candidates – all in the same platform.
Loxo’s free ATS (applicant tracking system) can reduce the time to hire by 85%. It can also result in a 74% reduction in costs across the entire talent lifecycle. Loxo’s Talent Intelligence Platform gives recruiters and HR managers a way to manage an employee’s entire recruiting lifecycle all in one platform.
Using software to empower healthcare talent acquisition means that recruiters will be able to spend more time developing relationships with quality candidates instead of sourcing more for other opportunities. Loxo provides a candidate relationship management system directly in the Talent Intelligence Platform. Recruiters are able to communicate through phone, email, and even SMS text. The Talent Intelligence Platform even enables recruiters to totally automate outbound recruiting outreach from start to finish, allowing them to develop their current talent pipeline and manage relationships more effectively.
Loxo gives recruiters the ability to manage candidates across every stage of the hiring process and in any position on the same page. Their intuitive and innovative workflows allow recruiters to make more placements, building quality talent pipelines faster and at a reduced cost.
Empowering healthcare recruiters can result in stronger candidate pools in a shorter time – giving them more opportunities to continue to source and screen candidates. As the healthcare worker shortage grows, it will only become more important to value efficiency and quality from recruiting processes and technology.