The Red Sox and a Tight Market

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in The LFT Blog | Comments Off on The Red Sox and a Tight Market

Last spring, I bought a couple of beds for my house.  The salesperson told me if the Red Sox won the World Series, the beds would be free.  I’m a big baseball fan, so I was an easy target.  Now that the Red Sox have finished in last place (again), I am wondering whether I’ll get a call telling me I owe more.

This little story actually has little to do with the topic of this blog.  I mostly wanted to see if everyone was paying attention.  The primary subject here is to discuss the state of the hospital hiring market.  It’s a question that is being asked with increasing frequency, so we thought it made sense to address it head on.  And it’s not unlike the situation the Red Sox currently find themselves facing – lots of needs and not a lot of affordable help available.

The bottom line is the market right now is exceptionally strong for hirees.  Despite a few notable hospital layoffs, there continues to be a large number of open positions for Managers, Directors and VPs (as mentioned in a previous blog).  The economy is stronger than it’s been in recent years, more people have health insurance, and leaders, who have worked more years than anticipated because of the sharp economic downturn in the last decade, are now retiring.  Position vacancy rates are increasing.

Our most challenging searches are as follows:

  • Periop (difficult job as it is the financial and quality center of any hospital),
  • Case Management (increasingly competing for talent with health plans),
  • ED (new competition from urgent care organizations with strong financial backing),
  • Behavioral Health (reimbursement changes have made this market financially attractive), and
  • Infection Control (also reimbursement driven – patient readmissions present a whole new financial challenge for hospitals).

What does all this mean from a hiring standpoint?  It surely does not mean that you should lower your standards.  That, of course, is how organizations get in trouble in the long run.  I think what it does mean, however, is that you have to be better than your competitors in executing any hiring plan.  From my experience here at LFT, the majority of issues run into during the hiring process can be alleviated by following a few simple guidelines:

  1. Start earlier (if you know someone is having performance issues or is going to be leaving, waiting only gives other hospitals more time to find the candidate you want)
  2. Expect the search to take longer than usual (so make contingency staffing plans)
  3. Schedule interviewing and offer rounds in tight sequence so that you don’t lose a candidate as a result of moving too slowly (which happens far more than you might guess)

It may sound like common sense, but sometimes we get too busy (in part because of the high vacancy rates) to put a plan in place a plan that will tremendously save us down the road.

As always, we’re here if you need us.

Bill Haylon