When it comes to filling critical job vacancies, hospital human resources managers know that time isn’t just money. It’s quality care and the life of the patient. That’s why dependability and responsiveness rank at the top of their list of expectations from workforce staffing partners, according to a recent survey by Qualivis.
We recently conducted an online survey and several focus groups to learn how we could improve service to help hospitals meet workforce needs. More than 130 employers participated, including human resources (HR) directors, nursing leaders, recruiters and hospital executives. The top five qualities they value most are having a workforce provider that is:
- Dependable (meaning staff are available when needed)
- Ethical and trustworthy
- Able to provide high-quality, credentialed staff quickly.
The focus on dependability and responsiveness isn’t surprising considering the challenges facing healthcare employers. Leading the list is job growth that makes competition for highly qualified job candidates intense. Qualivis President Sherry Kolb addressed workforce shortages at a recent executive leadership summit, noting that the gap between job openings and hires is substantial and growing, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Kolb said nursing jobs are increasing at an accelerated rate. The number of nursing jobs in the U.S. grew 6 percent from 2012 to 2016 to 3.5 million, and is expected to grow another 7 percent from 3.6 million in 2017 to 3.9 million in 2021. At the same time, employers are struggling to find qualified people to fill job vacancies, leaving nurses currently on staff with larger workloads and longer hours.
The trend isn’t going to change anytime soon. By 2020, jobs in healthcare are projected to grow by 30 percent, more than twice as fast as the general economy.
A second critical issue is turnover. According to an analysis conducted by Compdata Surveys, turnover among healthcare jobs in 2016 averaged 19.9 percent, up from 17.7 percent in 2014 and 15.6 percent in 2010. Healthcare now ranks second only to the hospitality industry in turnover.
It’s a costly trend. Recent studies of the costs of nurse turnover have reported results ranging from about $22,000 to over $64,000 (U.S.) per nurse turnover, according to an article in the “Online Journal of Issues in Nursing,” a publication of the American Nurses Association. According to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, a conservative estimate is that it costs hospitals $10,000 in direct recruitment costs each time an RN position turns over. “Hidden” costs, such as lost productivity and training time, can add thousands more to the financial impact.
Finally, Baby Boomers in the job market are rapidly moving toward retirement. This combination is making it harder and harder to fill vacancies, as HR directors know well. The average time spent recruiting an experienced RN ranges from 55 to 119 days, depending on the specialty.
Qualivis understands these trends and is committed to helping hospitals find solutions. We’re using results from the survey and focus groups to strategically expand our scope of services, invest in new technology and improve customer service to better serve current and future hospital clients.
Providers who work with Qualivis rated the company highly, according to the research. More than 80 percent rated the company as excellent or good on such factors as being ethical and trustworthy, providing rigorously screened and highly credentialed staff, working and functioning with hospitals as a partner and being customer-focused.
Qualivis is a managed workforce service provider that was created by hospitals for hospitals more than 15 years ago. A division of the South Carolina Hospital Associations Solutions group, it currently has preferred vendor arrangements with 13 state hospital associations, helping nearly 400 partner hospitals fill vacancies quickly with minimal administrative bureaucracy. Visit www.Qualivis.com
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