Healthcare companies expand perks to recruit talent: report

The increase stands in contrast to other industries, which have cut back on extra offerings.

Article By: Susanna Vogel

Blog Source From : https://www.healthcaredive.com/

Dive Brief:

  • Healthcare and nursing employers are offering perks ranging from signing bonuses to fertility benefits in an attempt to lure workers onto payroll, according to an analysis from job search engine Adzuna.
  • Tuition reimbursement, signing bonuses and expanded maternity and paternity leave were the most common perks offered in healthcare job ads posted in February.
  • Healthcare companies are pumping up their perks at a time when employers in other industries are pulling back. Across industries, the percent of employers offering tuition reimbursement, signing bonuses and expanded parental leave dropped by 24%, 37% and 24% year over year, respectfully.

Dive Insight:

Four years after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the healthcare industry is still laser-focused on recruitment and retention. Credit agencies, such as Fitch Ratings, have called recruitment the single largest issue facing health systems today. 

That’s in part because healthcare companies — especially providers — bore the brunt of financial and operational strain after losing hundreds of thousands of workers industry-wide. Burnt-out employees, additionally strained by the pandemic, left for opportunities in other fields or retired early.  

Adzuna’s data suggests employers are investing in a broad suite of perks and benefits to attract talent even as some companies, like health systems, are operating with narrow margins

So-called “good” benefits — or benefits that employees actually understand and use — can pay dividends with employee retention, according to a recent study from human resource platform Workhuman.

“The era of flashy and gimmicky work perks like Free Netflix is fading fast, while niche perks that serve a certain workforce segment are steadily growing,” James Neave, head of data science at Adzuna, said in a statement. “In particular, companies have been placing a heavier focus on female-centric perks like fertility benefits and menopause support in recent years.”

In healthcare, Adzuna found 27,141 February job postings that offered enhanced parental leave and 3,579 offering fertility benefits. However, onsite daycare benefits or adoption benefits were less common, appearing in less than 500 job postings each. 

HCA Healthcare and Mayo Clinic are examples of two health systems that are investing in their human resources packages, even while attempting to cut costs elsewhere.

Sam Hazen, CEO of HCA, told investors on the company’s January earnings call that a “comprehensive” human resources plan was key to keeping turnover rates stable. The for-profit giant increased spending on salaries and benefits by 6.5% in 2023 compared to 2022.

Mayo Clinic’s salaries and benefits spend represented 57.3% of the nonprofit’s total expenses last year. In a release accompanying the earnings, the health system said the increases in salaries and benefits were intended to boost workforce retention.

Healthcare employers successfully attracted talent last year. The industry grew at its fastest rate in more than three decades, outpacing other industries more than two-fold, according to a report from nonprofit research consultancy Altarum.

In February, the sector added 67,000 jobs, above the 12 month average gain of 58,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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