DENVER, March 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Healthcare employment is on a roll, with hospitals and other healthcare providers adding 374,000 new jobs last year and healthcare unemployment at 2.6 percent — its lowest level in nearly nine years. And the trend promises to continue, with more than half of healthcare employers and recruiters planning to hire more professionals during the first six months of 2017 than they did during the last half of 2016.
That's the good news from the 2017 Healthcare Recruiting Trends Report, a survey of 352 healthcare recruiters and hiring managers released by Health eCareers, the online career hub for the healthcare industry. Health eCareers reported a vibrant 23 percent increase in healthcare job postings on its site last year, which bodes well for sustainability and security in the workplace, since the vast majority of survey respondents (79 percent) also say layoffs are unlikely within their organizations during the next six months.
So many new positions demand more qualified professionals to take those jobs, and employers and recruiters can't ignore the constant undercurrent of impending healthcare staffing shortages. At the same time, many are experiencing increased employee turnover and say it's taking longer than ever to hire qualified candidates.
Specifically, compared to 2015, 36 percent of survey respondents report that turnover at their organizations increased in 2016. And, unfortunately, desirable new hires weren't just waiting in the wings, causing an increase in the time it took to fill positions for 49 percent of respondents.
Bigger Budgets and Experienced Employees Wanted
"With hiring having reached a semi-fevered pitch, it's surprising that only a third of healthcare hiring managers and recruiters report higher budgets this year than last," said Bryan Bassett, Managing Director of Health eCareers.
"Healthcare-focused employers also say they're reluctant to use temporary or contract employees because of the high acquisition costs tied to working with temporary staffing agencies and difficulties sourcing qualified candidates. It's one of the reasons Health eCareers developed SHIFT, a product aimed at filling temporary positions," Bassett added.
Experience counts, and Health eCareers' research shows that among those healthcare employers and recruiters who plan to hire in 2017, 80 percent want new hires with 2 to 5 years' experience.
This includes physicians and nurses, two professions that are being hit hardest by staffing shortages. Survey respondents say the greatest physician shortages exist in family medicine, internal medicine and psychiatry. For nurses, the following specialties top employers "most-wanted" list: emergency medicine, surgery, nursing assistant/certified nursing assistant, operating room and LPN/LVN/ RVN.
As passive recruiting techniques simmer quietly — but nonetheless effectively — below the surface, 66 percent of employers and recruiters expect to put more muscle behind that strategy in 2017, with 30 percent substantially increasing efforts to reach passive candidates — typically though social media.
Pay More to Get More
It's a job seekers' market, and candidates are using that leverage to demand higher starting salaries. Employers and hiring managers — 64 percent of those reporting — say they're paying more for new hires than they did last year. These increased salary demands have prevented more than half of employers (52 percent) from filling positions, forcing them to keep them open or recruit within a wider geographic area.
In addition to higher starting salaries, employers say they're offering more perks and benefits to potential employees: 72 percent are offering signing bonuses and 60 percent say they'll pay for relocation. They're also sweetening the pot with free lunch or snacks and mobile phone or vehicle plans.
And it's not all about attracting new hires: 59 percent of employers report that they're paying existing staff slightly (56 percent) or significantly (3 percent) more than last year to encourage retention.
Make Sure They Find You
Niche marketing continues to resonate with both employers and job seekers. Healthcare industry websites — like Health eCareers — are the number one recruiting source for 75 percent of employers and recruiters surveyed, and they deliver the highest-quality candidates, according to the report. At the other end of the spectrum, employers report the lowest levels of satisfaction with general job boards and social media sites.
Although 92 percent say employer branding is the ticket to attracting talent, only 43 percent of employers address that with a dedicated budget and only 44 percent have someone specifically in charge of that function.
Gear up for the Future
The survey indicates that 75 percent of recruiters value having a strong bench of talent, but they may not know how to manage candidate data — their applicant tracking systems (ATS) don't appear to be doing the job. The key to mining the best applicants may be by communicating a "gotta-work-there" brand and reducing hiring barriers such as ATS that result in high levels of applicant drop-off.
For more information on this year's hottest healthcare recruiting trends, download the full 2017 Healthcare Recruiting Trends Report.
About the Survey
Responses for the joint Health eCareers and DHI (Dice Holdings, Inc.) Annual Recruiting Trends survey were collected in November 2016. A total of 352 healthcare employers, recruiters and hiring managers participated in the survey. Of respondents, 47 percent recruit for all clinical and nonclinical positions, while 53 percent recruit only physicians, surgeons, nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs).
About Health eCareers
Healthcare is all about connection, and Health eCareers is the healthcare industry's career hub for professionals, employers and associations. With a network of more than 2.4 million job seekers, thousands of healthcare employers and more than 100 exclusive association partners, Health eCareers is designed to match qualified healthcare professionals – from physicians and nurses to non-clinical staff – with medical providers looking for top talent. And with the addition of SHIFT, Health eCareers has also become the destination to find temporary healthcare work. But Health eCareers is more than just a place to look for your next job — it's a resource to help you advance your career at every stage. That's why Health eCareers also includes industry news and career advice targeted to your healthcare specialty. For employers, Health eCareers offers innovative recruiting tools and services and healthcare hiring data that you won't find anywhere else. To learn more, visit healthecareers.com or find us on Facebook and Twitter. Health eCareers is a DHI Group, Inc. service.
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SOURCE Health eCareers