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12 Strategies for Improving Recruitment and Retention in Healthcare

Written by , Recruitment and Retention Tips
August 30, 2023

It’s no secret – recruiting and retaining today’s healthcare employees present challenges that can be difficult for healthcare facilities to tackle.

Demand for healthcare services is high and current staff members feel the strain that’s made worse every time an employee sends in their two-week notice. 

If you’re looking to learn how to retain healthcare employees, read on. In this article, we’ll share:

  • Why recruitment and retention strategies in healthcare are essential
  • 11 effective strategies for your organization to implement
  • How to simplify the healthcare staffing process so you can focus on implementing these strategies

 

recruitment and retention in healthcare

 

Table of Contents

 

Why Are Recruitment and Retention Important in Healthcare?

Today’s healthcare world is not exempt from The “Great Resignation,” and hospital turnover is on the rise.

The 2022 NSI National Health Care Retention & RN Staffing Report shares that during the past year, hospital turnover increased by 6.4% and currently stands at 25.9%.

With staffing shortages on the rise, recruitment and retention strategies in healthcare are more important than ever. But it’s a common struggle to balance retention and tackle recruitment.  

Without oversimplifying, recruitment and retention are two sides of the same coin. Not only is it in the best interest of healthcare facilities to recruit excellent healthcare professionals, their focus is also to retain them, too, by aiming to reduce turnover by 5.9%.

That’s where managed service providers come in. Although it is not necessarily a recruitment and retention strategy, partnering with an MSP  can take the burden off of healthcare facilities finding temporary staff, and let your team solely focus on retaining current staff members.

 

hospital retention strategies

 

12 Effective Recruitment and Retention Strategies in Healthcare

Did you know the average hospital lost $7.1 million in 2021 to higher turnover rates? It’s no wonder retention and recruitment are top of mind for healthcare facilities today. 

The right recruitment and retention strategies in healthcare can successfully attract and retain current staff while keeping them motivated to deliver the best possible experience to patients. Read on to learn 11 recruitment and retention strategies your healthcare facility could focus on, all of which are made easier with the help of an MSP.

 

#1: Hire an MSP

With an MSP like Trusted Managed Services, healthcare facilities gain access to staffing partners throughout the industry and the full recruitment resources of Trusted Nurse Staffing.

These resources can help facilities reduce vacancy rates, drive standardization, and improve the overall quality of their workforce.

Trusted Managed Services technology also works to consolidate billing and payroll among other workflow efficiencies. 

When it comes to recruitment and retention strategies in healthcare, an MSP allows facilities to utilize VMS services at no cost, since bill rate fees are charged directly to the vendors participating in the VMS service. 

Since cost on average recruitment can cost up to $5,699 for senior-level talent, using an MSP can significantly help offload recruiting costs.

 

#2: Improve Recruiting

As with most professions, the key components healthcare candidates are typically looking for include:

  • Good pay
  • Solid benefits; and 
  • A positive work environment 

So, what recruitment strategies are most effective in healthcare?

Because turnover is at such a high, it’s essential to recruit with retention in mind. Looking beyond filling immediate open positions not only bodes well for the healthcare facility, but it can also speak volumes to potential candidates about the existing workplace culture. 

This means understanding what your workers want and offering them benefits that make them want to stay. 

 

Understand What Your Workers Want

Before we dive into more strategies for improving recruitment and retention, it’s essential to understand why these are such common issues in the first place.

Voluntary terminations accounted for 95.5% of all hospital separations in 2022, and respondents cited that the top reasons included: 

  • Personal reasons
  • Career advancement 
  • Retirement

Others mentioned relocation, salary, education, scheduling, commute, and workload/staffing ratios.

Healthcare facilities can combat those reasons by directly presenting prospective hires with:

  • Continuing education opportunities
  • Desirable benefits
  • Higher salaries
  • Sign-on bonuses  

Of course, the reasons for separating will vary, so it’s vital to get to know your staff’s unique “whys.” Consider exit surveys or anonymous responses to share feedback and implement your findings into your facility’s retention strategy. 

 

how to retain healthcare employees

 

#3: Consider Your Brand and Culture

When potential healthcare workers are job searching and weeding out where they will and won’t apply, there are a few factors that come into play, one of them being company culture and reputation. 

Evaluate the following for your healthcare facility and think about how your brand might present to prospective employees:

  1. Social media and website presence — Do you get a good feel for what’s important to your facility?
  2. Career listings — Any misspellings? Are all details included (ie. benefits, pay rate, the potential for career advancement)?
  3. Patient reviews — Are they overall positive? What kind of impression do they give off? 
  4. Mission statement — Job searchers will look to this to get a feel for how goals are set and measured. An unclear mission can also likely prove to be a breeding ground for a lack of collaboration in the workplace. 
  5. Core values — Setting and communicating core values is extremely effective in creating and building a company culture. Shared goals and benchmarks give employees guidance and direction that can lead to departmental and team efficiency and foster a more cohesive and collaborative environment. 

To sum up, look at your facility through the eyes of someone who knows nothing about it, and be objective. 

What kinds of conclusions can you make about your facility based on the above? If you need to fill in the blanks with what you know firsthand as a current employee, chances are your prospective employees will be left wondering. 

 

#4: Focus on Onboarding

Onboarding is the first experience new employees have as part of your facility’s workforce, so you want it to be positive. A successful onboarding process should leave the healthcare professional feeling confident in their decision and comfortable in their new workplace. 

Well-organized onboarding should include:

  • Technical training about the specific role and subsequent responsibilities.
  • Hands-on training for relevant admin tasks and specific facility technology, like using Trusted Managed Services. 
  • Education about your health facility’s history, mission, and core values.
  • Continuous support and feedback throughout and after onboarding.

In addition, providing new healthcare hires with ongoing training and development can lead to excellent patient experiences and help establish strong relationships that can lead to retention. 

Remember, the ultimate goal — and the way to ultimately measure if onboarding is successful or not — is to have the new hire feel confident stepping into their new role. 

Healthcare facilities that use MSPs can offload the work of tracking and managing documents and making sure: 

  • Employee data 
  • Paperwork
  • Policies; and
  • Other onboarding necessities

… are up to date. Instead, directors and managers are free to spend their time actually managing their workforce.

 

Offer a Warm Welcome to New Employees

Onboarding is all about first impressions, so think of the ways your facility can go above and beyond to make a new hire feel welcome and part of the team.

This may include …

  • A branded mug or water bottle for them to keep in the break room
  • A new pair of scrubs
  • A lunch box 
  • A facility-branded jacket 
  • A gift card to a local coffee shop or popular lunch spot

These examples are an easy lift for those who develop the onboarding process but can make a big difference in showing new hires that they are valued and that your facility is excited to have them.

 

Provide Effective Training

Effective training is of the utmost importance if you want the team to be as productive as possible. 

The last thing you want to do is add more to the plates of current staff because new hires can’t do their jobs effectively. 

Similarly, new hires want to feel competent and confident in their new workplace, which is why providing proper training is the best way to set the team up for success. 

 

hospital retention strategies

 

#5: Recognize and Celebrate Employees

Nothing says “You’re valued here” more than being acknowledged for your hard work in front of your peers. 

That’s the goal of recognition programs — to help motivate healthcare staff and show that they’re valued for their work and contributions to the facility. 

More than that, these programs often increase morale, motivation, and engagement among leaders and staff.

A Gallup report from 2016 shared:

“Recognition not only boosts individual employee engagement, but it also has been found to increase productivity and loyalty to the company, leading to higher retention.”

 

#6: Optimize Scheduling Practices

Understandably, not every healthcare facility will have the technology solutions to allow staff to plan their schedules. 

However, to keep current staff engaged and recruit new hires, offering employees a voice in their preferred schedule and providing them with predictable and recurring schedules when available is essential. 

 

#7: Improve and Simplify Paid Time Off

27% of turnover in the healthcare world is due to work-related burnout, according to a 2022 American Medical Association-led study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Evaluate your facility’s paid time off policy and the rate at which current staff is using their PTO. After all, what good would it do to add more PTO if staff members are struggling to take their earned time?

You might consider adding mandatory PTO days or encouraging paid time off often, so staff won’t feel guilty or judged for taking it. 

An MSP like Trusted Managed Services can help increase retention in your facility by providing a fully-managed, reliable source of temporary workers, which reduces the workload for your full-time staff and helps mitigate burnout.

 

#8: Offer Flexible Scheduling Options

Trying to have a work-life balance can often feel like an oxymoron for healthcare providers. But offering a flexible schedule can work wonders in helping to prevent employee burnout. 

This might include:

  • Staggered start times
  • Overlapping shifts
  • Job sharing 
  • Offering employees the option to request which days they work (and which they don’t) over a scheduled period

Implementing a set rotation for weekends and holidays based on submitted preferences can help disperse the workload and allow for your employees to:

  • Plan ahead 
  • Maintain some autonomy over their schedules 
  • Enjoy a work-life balance 

 

recruitment and retention strategies in healthcare

 

#9: Empower Employees Toward Good Health

Considering that this industry cares for people’s health and wellness, offering perks for employees’ well-being is also important. You want to empower staff to maintain great health since the field is physically demanding. Health perks can alleviate stress which just goes back to our point about needing to reduce burnout. 

Some options you can offer include:

  • Gym membership/wellness equipment reimbursements
  • Access to mental health apps
  • Free telehealth therapy sessions
  • Health grocery store and restaurant gift cards

These perks will boost their commitment to taking care of their mental and physical health so they have the energy to continue working in such a demanding industry. 

We’ve already touched on the importance of offering great benefits for staff, and health and wellness benefits are a big part of that.

Health perks you might consider offering include:

  • A stipend for a gym membership or workout equipment 
  • Reimbursement for telehealth therapy or mental health apps  
  • PTO for volunteering
  • Mandatory mental health days
  • An enrichment stipend

 

#10: Offer Tuition Assistance or Reimbursement

For current students, facilities that offer tuition assistance or reimbursement can be exceptionally attractive. 

It’s an incentive to commit to the profession (and your facility) knowing their financial pressure will be lessened. 

 

#11: Offer Coaching and Mentorship Programs

Coaching and mentorship programs can reinforce the sentiment that your staff, both current and onboarding, are encouraged and supported in their career goals. 

While coaching programs are targeted at more immediate or short-term goals, mentorship is geared toward fostering a long-term relationship and creating a plan to get there. 

 

#12: Modernize Your Work Environment 

To keep up with the times, facilities need to change and modernize as advancements come along. 

Maintaining an up-to-date work environment can not only help with the recruitment of new talent but retention as well.

With Trusted Managed Services … 

  • Communicating with multiple vendors a day
  • Tracking down invoices
  • Finding nurses and setting up job orders; and
  • Creating spend reports 

… doesn’t have to be a big part of your healthcare professional’s day so they’re able to give their undivided attention to patients.

 

Trusted Managed Services Helps You Reclaim Time So You Can Focus on Effective Hospital Retention Strategies 

Trusted Managed Services understands the challenges healthcare facilities face when it comes to recruiting and retaining staff members. We are on your side and focused on helping you keep your team from being overworked and overburdened by filling the temporary staffing positions with qualified candidates.

Trusted Managed Services offers a comprehensive solution to your facility’s recruitment challenges and allows staff members to get back to doing what they’re meant to do — providing quality healthcare to the patients you serve. Request a demo today. 

 

hospital retention strategies

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