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Extended Vacancies Taking Toll On Majority Of Health Care Organizations, According To CareerBuilder Survey

CHICAGO, Aug. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The time it takes to hire key health care functions is having a negative effect on most health care organizations, according to hiring managers surveyed in a new CareerBuilder study. Forty-eight percent of nursing jobs and 39 percent of allied health jobs go unfilled for six weeks or longer, on average. Nursing jobs go unfilled for 12 weeks or longer at 20 percent of health care organizations.

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

The nationwide survey—conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder from May 14 to June 5, 20l3, among a representative sample of more than 200 full-time, private sector hiring managers and HR professionals for health care employers—found that extended vacancies are negatively affecting health care organizations in a variety of ways, including patient care.

Negative Effects of Extended VacanciesA majority of employers cited at least one negative effect of vacancies (59 percent), with the top effects being:

  • Employee morale is lower because staff is overworked – 36 percent
  • Patients get less attention – 20 percent
  • Higher voluntary turnover – 11 percent
  • More mistakes in administration of patient care – 10 percent
  • Increased lawsuits – 4 percent

Forty-one percent say extended vacancies have not negatively impacted their health care organization.

"The job market for health care 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 health care leaders develop pathways for new graduates."

Barriers to Filling Health Care PositionsA separate 2013 CareerBuilder Healthcare survey* of 503 employers asked hiring managers about their biggest barriers to filling a health care position. A lack of experience led the most common responses:

  • Applicants do not have any relevant experience – 47 percent
  • Applicants have salary requirements that are too high – 42 percent
  • Applicants have less than 3 years relevant experience – 40 percent
  • Applicants don't have the proper education or training – 39 percent
  • Applicants have poor communication skills – 38 percent
  • Work schedule/hours are not desirable – 38 percent

Hiring managers citing lack of experience as a leading barrier said they shy away from hiring these professionals because it negatively impacts patient care and is major factor in risk management. Three in ten employers noted that they lack the training resources to get inexperienced workers up to speed.

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