Personnel shortages have long been an issue in the community hospital market with surveys from ACHE and Deloitte confirming a continued escalation in 2017 and 2018 to date. In a recent webinar panel discussion, HealthTechS3’s “permanent” interim executive leaders confirm this talent crisis stretches across not only registered nurses and primary care providers, but also pharmacists, respiratory therapists, and X-ray technicians.
The clinical arena is faced with a number of increasing challenges some of which are the reluctance of nurses to work shifts, the age of nurses continuing to climb for a decade now, baby boomers retiring at record numbers, and fewer nurses coming on board. Pharmacists are not only tough to find, but are tough to manage, with them working a number of part-time jobs just to cover their community. This is especially the case in remote areas where they juggle their time between retail, hospital and in certain cases even the local prison.
While we acknowledge a shortage of general primary care specialists, the challenge to fill physician roles is further exacerbated for subspecialties like pulmonologists or rheumatologists that are not full time; yet still necessary. In remote outlying rural areas with only a critical access hospital, physicians must have a link to a larger hospital network to provide the appropriate resources and telehealth must be a consideration as well.
To counteract this Interim Healthcare Talent Sourcing crisis, we received a number of tips from one of our valued Physician Practice Administrators.
- Irrespective of whether you are recruiting for nurses or X-ray technicians, your interviewing process is where you need to put your best foot forward. Ensure you have the best interviewers who do an exceptional job as brand ambassadors and who have a clear understanding of your organization’s value proposition.
- Applicants base their decision more on the people with whom they work and not as much on the reputation of the hospital. Ensure the organization carries favorable employee reviews that you are able to source and do your homework in highlighting these for your prospective new recruit. Better yet, create an introduction to employees with long-term service and satisfaction.
- The key to finding the right interim is to shift from what the candidate is able to do for the organization to that of their requirements. Ask questions like “What do you need from us?” or “What can we do for you?” What tailored value proposition can you provide your applicant? Especially when you are recruiting for remote organizations, hone in on their hobbies and interests, e.g. hunting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking. If they have an understanding of the needs and benefits of serving a rural community then they are more likely to make a longer term commitment.
- Provide your interim with autonomy – don’t take this away from them because they may have a contract with an end date e.g. in the case of a revenue cycle manager, make them feel confident in their ability as “a lean mean billing machine” who can do timely billing and collection regardless of a defined period.
- Your commitment to promoting education is one thing that sells an organization. If you are unable to find the level of expertise you are seeking, then you need to invest in training. Don’t overlook the softer skills and keep them top of mind during your hiring process. Employees who have the ability to continually gain, process, and assimilate new knowledge and skills with a view to nurturing their career growth is what you should be looking for. Additionally, if you want to retain your employees, demonstrate your commitment to them through providing them with ongoing training and education (in this way future-proofing themselves and your organization). One of our interim leader’s philosophy is: “Train your employees to the level that they are able to leave and are recruitable, but treat them well so that they stay in your organization.”
- Within nursing, nursing leaders need to be supportive in facilitating additional learning notwithstanding their busy schedules of balancing family, work and shift schedules.
VIEW some of our longstanding clients that have benefited from the undeniable success of our seasoned HTS3 Executive Recruiters who have successfully placed top-notch Interim Leaders.
Are you finding difficulty in sourcing the right Interim or Permanent Executive? Look no further by contacting Hudson Shelton on firstname.lastname@example.org for your next quality Interim Leader and Peter Goodspeed on email@example.com for your Permanent Executive Leader.