Securing top talent for healthcare providers

The crisis is most acute in nursing, with an estimated 1.2 million nurses needed to replace those leaving this year, in a field where the average age is significantly higher (50 years) than the average age workers (42 years old). Tyler said the first step to solving this problem is to understand what motivates nurses to choose the profession.

“Nurses, in particular, do it because they really care about people,” Tyler said. Making sure their working conditions help them as much as possible – through fair pay, meaningful benefits – gives them a way to focus on their patients and not on whether a move to an intercity hospital is what that they need.

Tim Glowa, director of human capital services at Grant Thornton, said hospitals also need to broaden the candidate pool, which means considering international talent. Tyler said one of the few ways the government can help health care is by making it easier to accredit workers who cross international borders for jobs.

Fortunately, people drawn to health care are naturally resilient and optimistic. And, more fortunately still, there are reasons for optimism.

Where does it hurt? Find and treat pain points

The key to winning as an employer is to think like a marketer. Best practice is to survey employees and hold focus groups to determine what matters to them, including benefits, and satisfaction levels. You can then estimate the likelihood that a given employee will leave your organization and take the appropriate steps to retain them.

Grant Thornton’s study found that among healthcare workers, the top three stressors are personal debt, medical issues and mental health. It’s a valuable starting point for thinking about which benefits make the most sense.

Consider, for example, financial coaching for young employees, extra payouts into retirement funds for older workers, meal services for busy parents, and student loan relief for new grads. While hospitals may not offer the option to work from home for all workers, you can offer longer shifts for fewer days. Given the importance of mental health, you can enhance your employee assistance programs and offer services beyond traditional employee supports.

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