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Attracting and Retaining Talent in Healthcare Sector

In current time, almost every industry is facing challenges in attracting and retaining employees for various job roles. Employee attraction and retention is the critical element of the general approach to the talent management of the organization. Attracting and retaining motivated and positive staff is important for the success of an organization in every industry. In the organizations, high employee turnover rates enhance expenses and have negative impact on the morale of the organizations. It is important for the organizations to implement effective employee retention program in order to make the employees productive and committed towards organizational goals. Attraction and retention strategies are important o manage employee turnover and attract quality employees in the organizations. Benefits, competitive pay, employee assistance program and employee recognition are the examples of employee retention programs. When an employee leaves the organization, it takes proper time to attract and recruit a new employee and till then, productivity of the organization suffers. So, the retention should begin with the recruitment process also (Lutans, 2011).

According to Bureau of Labor Statistic Report, there are various job openings in the healthcare sector but with the more opportunities, employees have more ways to switch the jobs. In the hospitals, the turnover rates are increasing. This means, there is the need of effective retention strategies in the healthcare organizations. According to Porkodi and Haque (2012), human resource is an effective way for the hospitals that can provide competitive advantage to the organizations. In order to attract and retain the valuable workforce in the healthcare organizations, managers must adopt various strategies like incentives, compensations and various motivational strategies (Ongori, 2007). This essay focuses on the challenges faced by healthcare sector while attracting and retaining talent for various job roles. Along with this, use of human resource strategies is also elaborated in the essay.

Attracting talent:
This is one of the most important tasks for the organizations to hire and attract various candidates for suitable job roles in the healthcare sector. In order to recruit skilled and adequate employees, it is important for the healthcare organizations to attract them by various activities. This includes giving advertisements to various platforms and resolving queries of candidates regarding the work and job role. In order to fulfill this objective, organization need to post various advertisements related to vacant positions on various job portals. Currently, healthcare organizations are developing brand websites in order to attract the talent so that they can register on them with their qualifications and skills. In order to provide effective healthcare services to the patients, it is crucial for the healthcare organizations to select the candidates having proper knowledge and effective skills of healthcare sector (Cocca, 2015).

Retaining workforce
For the success of the organizations, it is crucial to retain the employees within the organizations. It is a vital task for the managers to make the employees stay in the organizations for the long period of time. For this, organizations focus on various practices, policies and other methods so that employees’ issues can be addressed and they can be retained effectively. Currently, high level of attrition rate is a big challenge for the organizations as employees switch to other jobs whenever they get more opportunities in their career. So, retention is an important task for the organizations to make employees committed for the job roles. In order to retain the employees, various methods and measures are required to be used within the organization (Staffing Industry Analyst, 2018).

Challenges in attracting talent
In the healthcare sector, it can be seen that there is the shortage of workforce. There are various challenges faced by the organizations while attracting right candidates for the vacant job positions. It is not easy for the healthcare organizations to attract the talent from various sources. There are various positions in the healthcare sector, for instance, skilled nurses and highly qualified doctors and physicians having specific knowledge and abilities. Along with this, the industry is not so much competitive for filling the workforce. There are number of unqualified candidates that do not fit in the job roles of healthcare organizations. So, attracting suitable candidates for the organizations is a challenge now (Martic, 2017). In the healthcare organizations, key challenges in attracting the candidates are as follows:

Lack of adequate knowledge - In the healthcare industry, managers have to face challenges in attracting employees due lack of proper knowledge. There is always need of proper knowledge about patient care, medicines, and healthcare equipments. Managers have to deal with the challenges related to finding people having all these knowledge. There is high shortage of professional, skilled and qualified employees and it results of a big challenge for managers in attracting potential candidates for daily operations in the healthcare organizations (Kramers, 2018).

Insufficient information- If any organization is attracting the talent, it is important to provide proper information to the candidates regarding, work expectations, job roles and salary packages with additional benefits. If candidates are not aware about their responsibilities in the job role, then they will not be able to give their best to achieve the organizational goals. It is important for the managers to provide proper knowledge to the candidates during the interview process. Without having proper knowledge about positions, roles, and responsibilities, candidates will not apply for the job.

Delay in decision making- Sometimes delay in decision making in the selection of candidates can lead to the loss of right candidate in the organization. With effective decision making, organizations are not able to select the candidates fit for the job roles. Sometimes, managers hold unrealistic expectations with the candidates and this are the cause of a big challenge for the managers to attract suitable candidates for business operations. Ineffective decision making is can also affect in the identification of potential candidates for the organizations (Bashir & Jehanzeb, 2013).

High level competition - Because of availability of various platforms like online portals and websites, candidates have various choices now in the job market. They always prefer those jobs that are able to meet their expectations. Due to delay in the decision making process of selecting candidates, it leads to the loss of potential candidates for the organizations. Along with this, in the competitive environment, various organizations are providing attractive salaries with additional incentives and benefits to attract the candidates. In such condition, it becomes challenging for the managers in healthcare organization to attract the candidates for various job roles.

Retention challenges
In the healthcare industry, there are various challenges faced by human resource managers while retaining employees in their job role. Employee retention and high attrition rate is the topmost challenge in the healthcare industry as HR managers are struggling in retaining highly qualified professionals in the industry on daily basis. There are many healthcare organizations that have realized this problem. In order to improve hiring in healthcare system, there is the need of innovative solutions (Ramachandran & Bhattacharya, 2015). There are various factors that create challenges in retaining employees in healthcare industry and those are discussed below:

Lack of advanced opportunities- Around 51% of healthcare employees revealed that there is the lack of opportunities in the healthcare sector that create a significant challenge to retain the employees. Along with this, there is the need of development programs like in-house skills training, technology training, education reimbursement and opportunity for innovation. Lack of these programs creates challenges in retaining employees in the healthcare industry (Kramer & Schmalenberg, 2008) .

Overload of work - Due to heavy workload, employees in the healthcare sector quit their job and switch towards other sectors. When it comes to nurses, they have do continuous job in the healthcare organizations. Employees in the healthcare organizations feel various challenges due to workload in their job roles. Due to lack of comfort level and various additional responsibilities create employee turnover issues in the healthcare sector. It creates challenges for HR managers to retain the employees in the healthcare organization (Baruah & Das, 2013).

Poor salary- Low salary is another factor that creates challenge for managers to retain employees in healthcare industry. Employees are facing the issues of poor salary in their job. Along with this, poor culture of the organization is also the factor that impact on retention strategies of managers. Employees always want effective work environment to achieve the goals. Along with this, they also need competitive pay but due to lower pay, employees have to switch to that job where they are getting more pay (Moseley, Jeffers & Patterson, 2008).

Lack of training and access of technology - Inadequate training can make the employees frustrated and confused for their job role. Effective training is essential for growth and development of the employees. In healthcare sector, employees face the issue of in-house skills training. Cross-training is also limited in the organizations which create low morale among the employees (Jeung, 2011). Along with this, healthcare organization is struggling to implement technologies and maintaining effective operations so the employees are suffering. Employees have insufficient access of technology and that is the reason, they want to switch to other companies. These factors create challenges in retraining employees in healthcare sector.

Strategies
In order to deal with the challenges of attracting and retaining the talent in healthcare sector, it is important to adopt proper human resource strategies by managers. Proper human resource strategies will be helpful in reducing the attrition rate in the industry and enhance the employee commitment towards their job role. Effective strategies will also be helpful in motivating the employees and retaining them for the long period of time. There are some strategies that must be adopted by managers in healthcare industries.

Proper HR planning- To attract the talent from various industries, it is crucial for the managers to have effective human resource plan in the organization. HR managers in the organization must focus on proper recruitment process so that the expectations and needs of the candidates can be identified effectively. In order to attract talent for various job roles, it is important to use various promotions and advertisements like seminars, job fairs and online portals etc.

Work life balance- It is observed that employees in the healthcare organizations have high level of workload which is the cause of dissatisfaction among them. For the employees, work-life balance is the key requirement which need to be implemented to retain them in the organizations. Managers should provide higher level of work-life balance to the employees so that they can be able to manage their personal lives also. By providing effective work-life balance, organizations would be able to retain the employees in their job role. In order to implement this, managers can focus on various factors like reducing work pressure, compensations, proper vacations and flexible schedules for work etc. Work-life balance will be helpful for the organizations in improving motivation and job satisfaction among the employees and they will be able to give their best in the job role (Kulkarni, 2013).

Performance management - Managing performance of employees is key factor to retain them in the organization. By evaluating and managing performance of the employees effectively is helpful in reducing attrition rate in the organization. Appreciation or feedback is important to motivate the employees for their efforts. Regular appreciation and feedbacks are helpful for the employees to improve their performance whenever required in their job role. Performance measures are required in the healthcare organizations in order to reduce attrition rate of the employees (Sundaray, 2011).

Rewards and compensation- In order to improve the work and give the best in the job role, employees always need rewards and compensation either in monetary or in non-monetary terms. There is the need of effective reward system in the healthcare organizations in order to appreciate the employees for their work. Employees always want that their efforts are valued and appreciated by the organization. Proper reward system in the organization will be helpful in motivating them to achieve the organizational goals and that will lead to employee retention effectively. Employees can be rewarded for their efforts and innovative ideas for achieving the organizational goals (Kumar & Mathimaran, 2017).

Learning and development- In the healthcare organizations, it is observed that there is the lack of effective training among the employees. In the organizations, employees do not have proper access of technologies and they do not have proper training for newer technologies. Personal growth and advancement is the important factor that can be helpful in retaining the employees in the organization. So, it is important for the managers in healthcare organizations to focus on growth and development of the employees at personal and professional level. In order to provide various opportunities for growth, managers must conduct various training sessions for the employees. If the organizations are implementing new technologies, then employees must have proper knowledge of those technologies. Along with this, employees in the organizations should have short team as well as long team goals and objectives properly. There should be proper mentoring, coaching and training sessions so they can have effective development at professional and personal level. Learning and development sessions will be helpful in employee retention within the healthcare organizations (Kramar & Syed, 2012).

Based on above discussion, it is observed that there is the need of effective retention strategies in the healthcare organizations. Attracting and retaining motivated and positive staff is important for the success of an organization in every industry. It is important for the managers in healthcare organizations to focus on growth and development of the employees at personal and professional level. In order to recruit skilled and adequate employees, it is important for the healthcare organizations to attract them by various activities. Along with this, organizations need to focus on various practices, policies and other methods so that employees’ issues can be addressed and they can be retained effectively. Further, it is analyzed that it is not easy for the healthcare organizations to attract the talent from various sources. Lack of adequate knowledge, insufficient information, delay in decision making and high level of competition are the factors that create challenges for managers in attracting talent. Apart from this, lack of advanced opportunities, overload of work, poor salary and lack of training and access of technology are the challenges in retaining employees. So, HR managers in the organization must focus on proper recruitment process so that the expectations and needs of the candidates can be identified effectively. Managers should provide higher level of work life balance to the employees so that they can be able to manage their personal lives also. By evaluating and managing performance of the employees effectively is helpful in reducing attrition rate in the organization.

References
Baruah, M. & Das, B. L. (2013). Employee Retention: A Review of Literature. Journal of Business and Management. 14(2). 08-16

Bashir, N. A. & Jehanzeb, K. (2013). Training and Development Program and its Benefits to Employee and Organization: A Conceptual Study. European Journal of Business and Management, 5(2)

Cocca, N. (2015). Healthcare Recruitment: Curing Today’s Talent Challenges. Retrieved from https://recruitingdaily.com/healthcare-recruitment-curing-todays-talent-challenges/

Jeung, C. W. (2011). The concept of employee engagement: a comprehensive review from a positive organizational behavior perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly. 24(2). 49-69.

Kramar, R. & Syed, J. (2012). Human Resource Management in a Global Context: A Critical Approach. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 1-8

Kramer, M., & Schmalenberg, C. (2008).Confirmation of a healthy work environment. Critical Care Nurse, 28(2), 56-63.

Kramers, E. (2018). The five biggest talent management challenges in 2018. Retrieved from https://www.randstad.com/workforce-insights/workforce360/archives/the-five-biggest-talent-management-challenges-in-2018_253/

Kulkarni, P. P. (2013). A Literature review on training & development and quality of work life. Journal of Arts, Science & Commerce. 4(2), 136

Kumar, A. & Mathimaran, K. B. (2017). Employee Retention Strategies – An Empirical Research. Global Journal of Management and Business Research: E Marketing. 17(1)

Lutans, F. (2011). Organizational Behavior. (12th), Tata McGraw Hill

Martic, K. (2017). Recruiting and Hiring in Healthcare Industry: Challenges and How-to's. Retrieved from https://www.talentlyft.com/en/blog/article/52/recruiting-and-hiring-in-healthcare-industry-challenges-and-how-tos

Moseley, A. Jeffers, L., & Patterson, J. (2008).The retention of the older nursing workforce: A Literature review exploring factors which influence the retention and turnover of older nurses. Contemporary Nurse. 30 (1). 46-56.

Ongori, H. (2007). A review of the literature on employee turnover. African Journal of Business Management. 049-054

Ramachandran, A. & Bhattacharya, I. (2015). A path analysis study of retention of healthcare professionals in urban India using health information technology. Human Resource Health. 13. 65.

Staffing Industry Analyst, (2018). Employee retention remains top workforce challenge, shrm survey finds. Retrieved from https://www2.staffingindustry.com/site/Editorial/Daily-News/Employee-retention-remains-top-workforce-challenge-SHRM-survey-finds-44838

Sundaray, B. K. (2011). Employee Engagement: A Driver of Organizational Effectiveness. European Journal of Business and Management. 3(8). pp53-59

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