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May 2017

Survey shows Hospitals must address Staff Attrition, Hiring Practice

Every modern business faces the difficult challenge of holding onto their workforce talent. According to a recent survey study from Leaders for Today (“LFT”), a hospital management staffing firm, modern providers find themselves at the front of the line when it comes to high turnover and growing attrition rates. The defections and retirements are hitting all hospital positions, from the upper floor C-suite to the ground floor admission’s front desk.

The LFT’s survey data revealed hospitals will need to replace nearly 50 percent of their staff every five years. Making this challenge more mountainous is the shrinking, experienced talent pool as more Baby Boomer hospital employees retire.

“This study confirmed what is the worst-case scenario for many hospitals – they are losing critical employees faster than they can replace them,” LFT CEO Bill Haylon told HealthLeaders Media. “The average hospital has hundreds of open positions at any one time. How confident would you be in going to one of these facilities for care knowing they are so short-staffed at important positions?”

The LFT survey had responses from 852 participants, including various executives, clinical and non-clinical administration, staff doctors and nurses. The survey was administered in April 2017 to hospital workers across the United States.

According to LFT, there are four main survey takeaways.

  1. Continuity and loyalty in hospital employment is sorely lacking. Nearly 43 percent of respondents reported they have been with their current hospital for fewer than two (2) years and 65.7 percent said they have been with their hospital for fewer than five (5) years.

More than one-third (37 percent) of respondents plan to leave their current organization within the next two (2) years, and 68.6 percent plan to leave within five (5) years. The rapid pace at which all hospital employees are switching jobs is widening the knowledge gap.

  1. Today’s modern hospital environment promotes high employee turnover. More than a quarter (27.4 percent) of respondents left their provider job for a promotion or a better opportunity for advancement. Another 14.4 percent left for better compensation. The largest proportion (58.2 percent) left for other reasons, such as long work hours, frustration and burnout. Nearly 60 percent were parachuting out of the hospital gig for work environment reasons.
  2. The growing proportion of retiring hospital employees is a high hurdle. As today’s Baby Boomer/Generation X workforce ages, hospitals are looking at a significantly smaller pool of experienced talent to fill retirees’ positions. The LFT survey discovered that 47.7 percent of respondents indicated they plan to retire within the next 10 years, while 22.1 percent expect to retire within five years. That is nearly 70 percent of today’s workforce planning to exit by 2027.
  3. The hospital hiring process needs a complete makeover. According to LFT, it appears that hospitals frequently lose candidates who land job opportunities more quickly elsewhere. Survey respondents cited speed and transparency as the two main frustrations with the hospital’s hiring process. LFT is recommending hospitals to be far more competitive in attracting top talent by optimizing the hiring process and move quickly with the growing millennial pool.

Which leads this conversation to another old business adage that hospitals may need to address when battling these departing talent issues. Sometimes to make money, you have to spend money.

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