Health care hiring looks up in 2013

By BenefitsPro

By Amanda McGrory-Dixon

Twenty-two percent of health care hiring managers anticipate bringing in full-time permanent employees in 2013 while 23 percent of health care hiring managers report having open positions lacking qualified talent, according to a new CareerBuilder survey.

From 2010 to 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the job market will add 5.6 million health care jobs, which is the greatest expected increase of all industries.

"The recession had very little impact on the hiring momentum of the health care industry, and to meet further demand, CareerBuilder has pooled a group of proficient experts into a new division that will focus solely on assisting health care clients' hiring needs efficiently and effectively," says Jason Lovelace, president of the Health Care Group at CareerBuilder. "Our research suggests that heath care hiring will accelerate in 2013 with heightened competition for high skill labor and improved compensation trends. As a result, it is essential that we arm our health care clients with the data and tools needed to recruit qualified talent and ultimately, positively impact patient care."

The survey also finds that 36 percent of respondents expect to hire temporary and contract employees this year, marking a slight gain from 34 percent in 2012. Of these respondents, 37 percent intend to move some temporary workers into full-time, permanent positions in the next year.

Twenty percent of health care workers say other employers have recruited them in the past year even though they did not apply for positions within those organizations. To attract and retain skilled talent, 66 percent of respondents plan on offering higher compensation for current employees as well as prospective employees. Specifically, 76 percent of respondents anticipate increasing compensation among current employees, a jump from 65 percent in 2012, while 53 percent of respondents expect to provide higher compensation for new employees, an uptick from 34 percent last year. Of these salary gains, most will be 3 percent or less.

In an effort to reskill employees, two-thirds of respondents have plans to train those lacking health care experience and hire them for positions within their organizations, representing a gain from 33 percent last year. Another 37 percent of respondents report that they lost top performers in 2012. Although most health care workers feel satisfied with their positions, 39 percent say they consider themselves underemployed. Twenty percent of health care workers expect to find new jobs in 2012, and to prevent this, 45 percent of respondents are improving retention tactics by offering more employee recognition, flexible schedules and surveying employees to see what they value most.

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