Preparing For The Upcoming Staffing Shortages In Healthcare

Updated on February 11, 2023

If the past is any indicator, there will be a significant demand for experienced, talented nurses in healthcare. In fact, the industry could see a sizable gap between staffing needs and available talent. 

There are plenty of reasons for an anticipated exodus of nurses and healthcare professionals, from an older workforce aging into retirement to the difficult strain the healthcare profession has been under since 2020 and beyond. 

A recent survey of active nurses shows that almost 30% of active nurses claim they will leave the profession in the near future, which is up by over 11% from previous years. 

While there are a variety of factors involved, respondents time and again came back to three primary drivers for this trend; 

  • Demands and stress of the job
  • Issues with management
  • Higher pay

The one common thread between all respondents was culture and job burnout. 

Add to those people leaving the profession, and you have a shortage of people entering schools and training programs at the rate of over 80,000 fewer new students year over year since 2020. 

So knowing that there is a looming shortfall of experienced nurses in the field, what are healthcare providers and facilities to do to provide adequate care in the face of the coming labor shortage? 

It becomes incumbent to hire and staff the best-qualified individuals through recruitment efforts or streamlining operations at facilities to make the job roles more attractive and retain current staff. 

How To Staff For Upcoming Shortages

Creating a desirable work environment for new employees and fostering better job satisfaction with existing ones is a tool that can yield results on multiple fronts; recruiting and attracting new talent and retaining the talent you already employ. 

Establishing guidelines for staffing retention and recruitment is crucial moving into the future for the healthcare industry. You need a dedicated Human Relations department prepared and equipped for employment and recruitment efforts that make sense for your company culture. 

Well Written Job Postings And Expectations: Having specific, clear-cut job details and expectations, including compensation packages, are crucial to attracting, recruiting, and retaining top talent. Have job postings detail the what, when, and how the job expectations are, and provide details about significant benefits exclusive to your outfit.   

Guidelines For Interviewers: Establish interview lines of questioning that are compliant and match your company’s philosophy

Job Performance And Incentives: For retention strategies, create job performance reviews that provide detailed strengths and ways to improve current staffing. Add incentives and advancement opportunities by recognizing superior performance.

Background Checks: Conduct appropriate and detailed background checks. Working with personal and sensitive information requires a level of discretion that requires you’re hiring the most ethical in the business. 

Often, HR departments are overrun with tasks, and outsourcing for specific job duties may be needed. From payroll to legal and more, outsourcing is routine. 

If you need to outsource your screening process, various options are available. Companies Presearch background checks are from a company that makes conducting an employee background screening simple and straightforward by offering easy online signup and detailed reports for federally compliant employers. First Advantage or Goodhire are other options.

Keep The Applicant Up-To-Date: Another key is to keep your interviewees informed and educated about the process. You don’t want to lose a prospect to another organization simply due to the prospect’s lack of understanding of their standing. 

Create An Employment Recruitment Program

Finding talent can be challenging, especially as employment becomes more competitive due to staffing shortages across the board. However, to find, recruit, and retain top talent, there are some creative ways you can go about searching and employing the best and brightest in your specific healthcare field. 

Utilize Social Media: Leverage social media’s power and reach creatively. For example, you can post about activities, benefits, and areas of interest within your industry on multiple channels to stay top of mind with potential recruits. 

Creating interactive and engaging content before posting about a job fair or hiring event will get you better results. 

These results may range from having more qualified candidates and prospects that are better informed on your culture and work environment and better equipped for the role in which they are applying. 

Email Campaigns: Similar to leveraging the reach of social media, creating email marketing campaigns that establish a culture and showcase the benefits of being employed at your facility makes the pitch for a hiring event and job openings better received by potential applicants. 

Job Postings On Multiple Channels: Posting your job openings on multiple channels such as social media, paid advertising in traditional media, at nursing schools and programs, as well as industry magazines and resources will increase your potential pool of prospects. 

Employee Referral Programs: Encourage current employees to become brand ambassadors for your facility by incentivizing a referral program. 

Being proactive, clear, and creating an attractive work environment is crucial to head off the upcoming staffing shortages, and it’s incumbent on all administrations to prepare sooner than later. 

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