Survey: Retaining healthcare employees getting tougher

Healthcare employers are struggling to retain existing talent and recruit new talent at their facilities. About one-third of healthcare employers (34 percent) claim it's harder to retain employees this year compared to last year, according to a survey. Also, over three-fourths of healthcare employers say they plan to hire new employees in 2007.  
A possible cause, according to CareerBuilder, is that the solid job growth in the healthcare industry could be provoking many workers to look for better opportunities. This is motivating employers to take competitive measures in their recruitment and retention efforts.
According to the survey, 94 percent of large healthcare organizations (more than 50 employees) expect to hire new employees in 2007 compared to 62 percent of small healthcare organizations (50 employees or less).  Positions in the strongest demand include nurses, radiology technicians, respiratory and physical therapists, pharmacists, medical assistants and other healthcare support staff.
Forty-two percent of facilities cite the inability to find qualified workers as the biggest impediment to hiring more people. Tactics to lure people in or to keep them include: increasing workplace flexibility (used by 49 percent); salaries (38 percent); bonuses (28 percent); and benefits (18 percent) to retain current employees.  
"Healthcare is a recession-proof industry that has experienced strong levels of job creation in recent years," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at "In order to remain a highly sought-after employer, companies need to evaluate their employee experience and how effectively key factors such as earning potential, career advancement and investment in professional development are conveyed."
Dissatisfaction is another cause of people looking for new employment. Nearly one-in-five healthcare workers feel they have been overlooked for a promotion at their current job. Thirty-three percent say they're unsatisfied with their pay. Sixty percent say their workload is either heavy or too heavy and nearly half claim their workload is heavier compared to six months ago. 

Also, many feel there are not satisfactory opportunities for advancement at their places of work.
The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of among 319 Healthcare employers, and 763 Healthcare employees between February 15 and March 6, 2007.