Vacancies hurt healthcare organizations


The time it takes to hire key healthcare functions is having a negative effect on most healthcare organizations, according to hiring managers surveyed in a new CareerBuilder study.

Forty-eight per cent of nursing jobs and 39 per cent of allied health jobs go unfilled for six weeks or longer, on average, according to a nationwide survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder. Nursing jobs go unfilled for 12 weeks or longer at 20 per cent of healthcare organizations.

The duration of vacancies raises two important questions for the industry, the report said. First, how do vacancies affect the organization? Secondly, why are positions taking so long to fill?

The survey was conducted online from May 14 to June 5, 2013 with a representative sample of more than 200 full-time, private sector hiring managers and HR professionals for healthcare employers, found that extended vacancies are negatively affecting healthcare organizations in a variety of ways, including patient care.

A majority of employers cited at least one negative effect of vacancies (59 per cent), with the top effects being: employee morale is lower because staff are overworked (36 per cent); patients get less attention (20 per cent); higher voluntary turnover (11 per cent); more mistakes in administration of patient care (10 per cent); and increased lawsuits (4 per cent).

"The job market for healthcare positions continues to grow quickly in the rebounding economy, but filling key positions is far from easy. It takes proactive recruitment strategies focused on building pipelines and observing relevant workforce analytics," said Jason Lovelace, president of CareerBuilder Healthcare.

"Organizations are struggling to find a balance between bringing in new talent and hiring experienced industry veterans capable of stepping into stressful environments with little ramp-up time. It's important, however, that healthcare leaders develop pathways for new graduates."

staff vacancies, healthcare, hospitals, CareerBuilder