2019 Healthcare Talent Acquisition and Retention Strategies

by | Jan 15, 2019 | Healthcare Industry, How To, Leadership, Management

The beauty of a brand new year is that we have an opportunity for a fresh start. Take a minute to evaluate the previous year and think about what can and should be optimized in the coming one. What goals are you looking forward to achieving in 2019? Are you looking to improve your hiring and retention strategies? If you are looking for a place to start, you’ve come to the right place.

Health system boards and human resource professionals face tough hurdles related to healthcare leadership recruitment and retention. Although it can be time consuming and frustrating, it is possible to overcome these challenges by analyzing and changing certain processes and practices.

A strong talent management strategy is essential to achieving your organization’s mission. When you hire, promote, develop, and compensate in a way that complements your mission, you’ll create symmetry throughout departments and hierarchies. It’s possible to manage these factors gradually, but without an understanding of your organization’s culture and mission, the different pieces won’t fit together seamlessly.

Start by ensuring your culture is strong. Is everyone clear on mission and values? Do organizational leaders uphold them? Most healthcare systems have the same mission: take care of the patient. But other factors (healthcare reform, talent shortages, increased demand for care from an aging population, changes in reimbursement, etc.) make it difficult for organizations to put that mission first. Work with other leaders to reaffirm your mission and values as an entity and recognize that the personalities and skills you hired for previously may not be what the organization needs in the future.

Define the behaviors that will drive your culture. Based on your values and mission statement, what exactly are the qualities you are looking for in the person who fills an opening? Create a list of those qualities and use it diligently throughout the interview process. You can also use it to evaluate your current hires and determine if another candidate would be a better fit. It all starts from the core. How do you want to be represented?

How will your organization change in the coming years? Are there plans to grow quickly? Is the organization expecting to move into new specialties? Are there financial concerns or a construction initiative coming up? These factors and others will affect your talent management strategy and HR leaders need to be ready for them.

Work with other departments and leaders to get a picture of where more or different staff will be needed. Pay close attention to the types of managers you will need to hit your goals. Be realistic about projected growth and the staffing needs to meet it. If you are relying on retention to hit your goals, make sure you have a plan to boost or maintain those rates. Sometimes the best person for an opening is right under your nose.

Don’t be afraid to look internally for candidates because it can potentially save you time and money. For example, hospital CEO turnover has been a problem in year’s past. CEO departures can be costly and highly disruptive. Internal hiring is beneficial because the person already knows the lay of the land, has built relationships, and is familiar with the goals, values, and mission of the organization. This particular strategy leads to another important one…

Foster advancement potential. Career development and advancement (or lack thereof) are great contributors to turnover. They are particularly important for healthcare executives who must leave their current organization in order to advance. To retain executives, HR staff should work to cultivate advancement potential by creating programs to identify and develop emerging leaders. The utilization of interim executives who can maintain momentum and bring fresh perspective to not only their roles, but also to coaching and mentoring future leaders is important.

Healthcare moves quickly, and your talent management strategy will need adjustments as technology, staffing needs, values, leaders and other factors change. Set your strategy and use it as a guide, but don’t be afraid to change it when it’s clear it doesn’t serve you anymore.

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