Oh where oh where have all the jobs gone?













If you’re in the healthcare staffing industry I’m sure you’ve noticed something missing lately.  All those job orders you had last year.  Yes, it appears that our industry is not immune to the affects of the economy.

During economic downturns people lose jobs and losing jobs leads to no insurance.  No insurance = Not going to the hospital. Not going to the hospital = lower patient census.  Lower patient census = lower need for staff.

Of course there are other factors affecting the business of healthcare staffing – budget cuts, tighter credit markets increasing hospital borrowing costs, lack of hospital expansions, contingent workers looking for the security of full time work and benefits, etc.

I recently conducted a survey of 35 staffing suppliers across the nation, the results of which show these companies are seeing a 15-40% decline in hospital job requisitions from last year.  These results led me to look further into the reasons for such a dramatic decrease.

So I went to the source and participated in a survey of 26 medium to large health systems across the nation that asked that very question.  Here are the results of that survey:

What does this data suggest a company should do to survive this current storm?
2 things:

  1. Focus on retention
  2. Connect to all available job sources

Focus on retention.  Right now, with so many people looking for jobs recruiting should be easy.  Make the best of that and streamline your recruitment efforts as much as possible.  However, don’t make that your main focus.  In regard to your existing staff, your primary objective should be to retain your top employees.

  • Identify those people and do whatever you can to keep them happy and working for you.
  • Make them top priority in job placements so they stay content with the work they are getting.
  • Make sure their pay and benefits stay competitive and do something extra so they feel valued, and stick with you during this time.

Connect to all available job sources.  During an up economy jobs are plentiful and recruiting staff is a challenge.  Now, however, the opposite is true.

  • Nearly every job out there has increased in value so increasing your access to every job you can is key.
  • Be sure to focus on your clients and ensure you are meeting their needs.  Maintaining clients is more valuable than getting new ones.
  • Think different.  Are you checking multiple job boards?  Client job posting pages?  Are you connected to all the VMS providers in your industry?  Are you plugged in to social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter?

Like all storms, this one too shall pass.  In the meantime, keep your focus, think different and hang in there.  For a ray of sunshine check out this article on the new government healthcare plan being a boon for hospitals.


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2 thoughts on “Oh where oh where have all the jobs gone?

  1. Tighter budgets seems to sometime cause employers and heavy users of contract staff to overcompensate and reduce their spending too far. When this happens, the people they do employ have to take up the slack. This leads to lots of spending on overtime and eventually burns out the staff. The inevitable loss in work quality is particularly scary in a healthcare setting.

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