Hueman Blog

Hues & Perspectives: Improving Retention and Reducing Travelers in Healthcare

Posted by Derek Carpenter

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It’s no secret that the healthcare labor market has suffered since the start of the seemingly unending pandemic. Hues & Perspectives, a monthly virtual executive roundtable hosted by Hueman, provides a forum for leaders to discuss their day-to-day HR challenges.

Our sessions unite human resources and talent acquisition leaders from across the country to share best practices and ideate solutions.

During our latest healthcare-focused session, attendees posed and discussed the following questions:

  • How do we reduce travelers?
  • How do we retain employees who are offered high salaries and life-changing offers?
  • How do we retain recruiters?

Traveler Reduction

As the pandemic and labor shortages have exacerbated the need for staff, traveler fees have skyrocketed. This increased cost leaves healthcare leaders in a predicament: how to provide quality care while keeping the budget in check.

One attendee spoke about the implementation of a centralized float pool model as a solution to reduce dependency on traveling nurses. An established float pool model allows hospital leaders to focus on critical hires while general staffing levels remain unaffected.

If travelers are a necessity, consider establishing a department dedicated to traveler hiring. One attendee mentioned that this department helped maximize time for recruiters that hire full-time employees. The same attendee shared that local residents are excluded from traveler positions at their facilities to boost full-time staff.

Employee Retention

It is difficult to decide between making a counteroffer or having employees move on when they receive life-changing compensation offers. “This is why,” one attendee emphasized, “succession planning is so important.” When a raise isn’t possible, SHRM recommends getting creative and sharing that effective counteroffer incentives include a promotion, role transition, or a better schedule.

Attendees also addressed determining pay scales based on performance, such as a long-term incentive plan to improve employee engagement. An LTIP is “a form of a variable pay awarded for work carried out in the present but deferred to the future. It is based on performance and spread over a vesting period that runs for three to five years.” The LTIP will not devalue over time and is disbursed after a vesting period, thus improving employee retention.

Engagement initiatives and benefits were some other employee retention tactics that were addressed that continue to be invaluable to the workforce. In a survey conducted by SHRM: 61% of employees claimed benefits boosted their job satisfaction. When employees are provided benefits that enrich their personal lives, their workplace morale, engagement, and productivity are all enhanced.

Recruiter Retention

In a job market where finding recruiters is challenging, retention is a key priority. Job-seeking recruiters are looking for various components that define a good work environment. When equipped with the right tools, training opportunities, and a career trajectory for personal development, employee turnover is reduced.

Next to a great culture, employee incentives can be helpful for retaining top talent. “An incentive guide that provides defined hiring goals is another great tactic for recruiter retention,” shared one attendee. A highly incentivized employee referral program that offers a referral bonus can be an effective method for finding high-quality hires. Employees are not only rewarded for recruiting their peers, they are motivated to stay because they work with people they enjoy.

Interested in connecting with peers and joining our exclusive executive roundtable? Connect with us today! 

Topics: Healthcare, Recruitment Strategy, Talent Management