HR in Healthcare:
Tackling the 3 Major Challenges of 2023
An HR professional must take on the daunting task of managing the high turnover rate, attracting clinical talents, and balancing the budget in the healthcare industry, all while ensuring employee satisfaction in 2023.
Here's what I cover:
- What are the three major challenges for HR in the healthcare industry in 2023?
- How does the healthcare industry's high turnover rate manifest itself in underlying issues?
- What strategies can HR professionals employ to attract qualified and experienced clinical talent and balance the budget?
- Are you stretched too thin, putting all your time into the practice that you built, with little time left to enjoy your reward? If so, download this PDF so you can handoff 20 tasks right now to save your sanity: SabrinaRunbeck.com/Handoff
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Other episodes you'll enjoy:
- Ep 7 https://sabrinarunbeck.com/7-which-strategy-is-more-valuable-time-management-or-energy-management/
- Ep 11 https://sabrinarunbeck.com/11-5-ways-to-be-happy-while-building-your-practice-with-sabrina-runbeck/
- Ep 29 https://sabrinarunbeck.com/4-ultimate-tips-to-grow-your-practice-through-the-power-of-networking-with-dr-jane-ep-29/
Listen anywhere you get your podcastin' on.
Taking care of all the healthcare hiring and other responsibilities successfully—especially in a field known for its high-stress environment—is a major challenge in itself. But HR in the healthcare industry also face numerous external challenges that make their job much more demanding. Here’s a look at the 3 major challenges in [Year] for HR in the healthcare industry, along with factors that compound the problem.
1. Managing the High Turnover Rate
The Healthcare Industry ranks amongst the top few industries with the highest turnover rates. This major problem is a manifestation of other underlying issues or symptoms that plague the healthcare field, resulting in medical employees quitting their jobs at such high rates.
- An acute shortage of qualified and experienced healthcare professionals, especially specialists in niche roles, is the leading cause of high attrition. The supply vs. demand gap makes it easy for medical practitioners to job-hop, leading to inflated pay scales and poaching issues.
- The abundance of jobs to choose from also makes medicos picky and any issue making them uncomfortable at work, like problems with their higher-ups, or HR Managers, can result in an easy switch over to another job. Maintaining an employee-friendly workspace has become imperative to improve employee retention.
- Due to its high-stress environment, career burnout is a growing concern in healthcare. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) is quite prevalent among medical professionals, while mental health challenges also compound the issue of retaining experienced staff members. Mental health issues amongst those working in the profession are rising rapidly.
- Safety-related challenges, like exposure to infectious diseases, harmful radiation, toxic chemicals, and other issues that put a healthcare professional's physical safety at risk also add to the problem.
Making a medical role sustainable for long-term growth, providing clinical staff with timely support to ease the pressure they’re handling, ensuring their mental well-being and physical safety, and dealing with the lasting fallouts of the COVID-19 pandemic remain enormous challenges for the HR management system. With the recent cultural focus placed on work-life balance, it’s more important than ever for organizations to ensure that their clinical and non-clinical staff are adequately cared for if they want to avoid mass resignations.
2. Attracting Clinical Talent - Handling Staffing Shortages Due to Lack of Supply
Even as attrition continues to plague the medical industry, hiring qualified and experienced staff is becoming another challenge for HR in this sector. Although many qualified physicians, registered nurses, and diverse healthcare workers are necessary for a healthcare organization's smooth operation, their number pales compared to the population that needs to be served.
- In the absence of an adequate number of clinical staff required to serve a sizable chunk of the populace, HR must rely on the limited pool of talent to fill in all the proper positions they need to hire for. This creates a supply vs. demand gap where the supply is scarce, and the demand is always on the rise.
- HR has to resort to investing in branding and marketing overtures geared toward attracting the right kind of talent at the beginning of the talent hunt, adding to overall hiring costs.
- Once they have a candidate in sight, offering competent pay packages that exceed their competitors' best price becomes another contentious issue.
- Finally, HR must also strive to create and maintain a good work environment to entice suitable candidates to join their organization, a difficult assignment even under the most favorable circumstances, let alone in a fast-paced and high-stakes industry like healthcare.
One way of tackling this challenge is to pioneer new ways of utilizing a clinician's time, using technology to do away with repetitive tasks that do not require human oversight, and relying on clinician-adjacent professionals to pick up the slack. Constantly refining processes and procedures to ensure clinical talents’ time and roles are optimized for maximum efficiency is something Healthcare HR professionals must invest time and resources in.
3. Balancing the Budget - Keeping Costs Down
The high attrition rate and the talent shortage give rise to the third major challenge that HR in the healthcare industry has to contend with in 202X, keeping the rising costs of hiring, training, and retaining staff.
- There’s a critical cost attached to the exercise of hiring a medical candidate, time and resources spent on onboarding them, providing them the necessary training for workplace acclimatization and skills development, and spending on perks and bonuses to keep them satisfied with their position in the long-term. Due to the first two major problems—attrition and scarcity of talent, the cost of hiring and retaining medical employees keeps rising exponentially, with HR struggling to justify the overall expenditure on a single candidate who tends to quit within months of being hired.
- This cost of hiring eats into the budget allocated for other equally necessary functions such as training and performance monitoring, counseling, claims handling, amenities management, and so on. The end result is a steep rise in the budget, pay scales, benefits packages, and other factors that impact the smooth operation (and bottom line) of the organization.
- The advent of telemedicine, medical concierge, and home health services has also aggravated the problem of rising costs, as clinicians are opting for less stressful positions to strike a better work-life balance as they work remotely. Competing with international pay packages is one of the latest challenges that’s come up due to this situation.
Strategic budget planning and allocation programs, standardized hiring guidelines, and investing in research and resources to combat rising costs of hiring are the need of the hour.
Staying Ahead of HR Healthcare Challenges in 2023
To conclude, HR Leadership needs to continuously educate itself and evolve with the times to stay ahead of the various challenges they face in the coming years in the rapidly evolving healthcare sector. The aforementioned issues and steps we have identified are a sure way of doing this. Whether it's improving employee engagement, dealing with telemedicine trends, or creating competitive pricing packages, HR leaders need to stay on their toes to overcome the hiring challenges facing the healthcare industry.
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