How to hire and retain top nurses during COVID-19 and beyond
Summary & key takeaways from the 2020 Fall Virtual Think Tank Series with top healthcare HR & Nursing leaders and Iman Abuzeid, Cofounder & CEO of Incredible Health.
The Nurse Staffing Problem At Hand
- Healthcare is #1 employment sector in the US.
- Our demand for healthcare is rising, but we do not have enough healthcare workers
- National data:
- Annual permanent nurse turnover: 17%
- 1 million nurses short by 2024
- 82 days average time to hire a permanent, specialized nurse
- Labor costs as a percentage of revenue is rising to 50%+
- Impact of nurse shortage:
- Increase in operating costs (overtime, travel nurses)
- Burnout of existing staff and the costs associated with increased turnover
- Quality of Care (Medication errors, readmissions)
- Patient & Physician Satisfaction
- Intense competition for RN talent
What is Incredible Health?
- Hospitals use our custom-matching technology to hire high quality permanent nurses in less than 30 days. Our current average is 12 days to fill, and 1-year retention is 15% higher than other sources.
- A few unique reasons hospital clients love Incredible Health:
- Flip the script: Employers apply to nurse candidates who are actively looking, instead of the other way around.
- Matching and screening technology: Using a combination of technology and humans we only show you the best pre-screened candidates. It’s like the Match.com of hiring for full time, permanent nurses at scale.
- Data analytics and workflow software: From benchmarks with local competitors, to automated interview scheduling, our suite of features improves internal hiring processes.
- Used by over 200+ hospitals and health systems, including large health systems like HCA, Baylor Scott & White, academic medical centers like Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Stanford Health Care, and many community hospitals throughout the United States.
Interested in learning about how Incredible Health can help your hospital increase your hiring speed and reduce your costs? Schedule a free consultation with Incredible Health.
Q&A With the Hospital HR & Nursing Leaders
What are the top challenges with hiring permanent nurses?
- The national shortage of nurses
- Slow internal process, so candidates are lost to competitors in the process, and creates poor candidate experience
- Cost of living, particularly in urban areas dissuading candidates
- Highly customized requirements of nurse leaders, as nursing because more specialized and sub-specialized
- Competing with travel agencies who have higher rates
- Providing career mobility options
What are process changes your teams have implemented to make an impact (including during COVID)?
- Remote new employee onboarding.
- Increase frequency of new hire orientation so nurses can start faster
- Remote interviewing
- More frequent / strategic communication between recruiters and nurse leaders on latest talent market data, hiring process bottlenecks, understanding needs, anticipating demand
- Consistent, regularly scheduled, weekly hiring manager interviews
- Adding flexible schedule options
- Automation of low skill work, so recruiters can do more high skill, relationship-driven work. Diagram of new workflows:
What are the key programs you’ve implemented to drive nurse retention?
- Solutions for work life balance / burnout: Top reason for churn is burnout. Adequate permanent staffing is top solution. Another solution is to add more flexible scheduling, more part-time options. For example, reduce the rigidity of 3 days x 12 hour shift requirements.
- Career advancement opportunities: Invite nurses to leadership committees, cross-training opportunities, promotions to nurse leadership, stretch assignments, leadership training programs, map career mobility plan per nurse at 120-day mark, opportunities to shadow charge nurses or shadow different units
- Review Compensation: Review compensation with external benchmarks. Equally important is to address internal equity.
- “Stay” Interviews: Conduct interviews and surveys with nurses who stay, to determine the reasons they are staying.
- COVID-specific additions: onsite child care, child care assistance programs
Margin Expansion: What are top tactics for reducing traveler, overtime nurse costs?
- Ensure business requirements well understood by entire TA, HR, and Nursing teams. Teams are not just delivering quality care, they’re also operating in a business.
- COVID19: Do more with less, use automation for low skill hiring work
- Hire permanent nurses faster (update process, tools)
- Implement tactics to improve retention