With aging population, increased chronic illnesses and retiring workforce, the demand for mid-level providers continues to grow. Competition for the best nurse practitioners and physicians assistants is high. So what are some must haves for healthcare organizations to attract and retain the best of the healthcare providers? From my personal experience, talking to my colleagues and my nursing students (who are about to graduate and seek employment), here are 9 must have qualities for a healthcare organization to attract and retain the best talent.
- Enthusiastic recruiter. Attracting the best employee starts with an enthusiastic, respectful and engaging recruiter. Who does not love talking to someone positive, friendly and helpful? It is a win-win for both nurse practitioner and recruiter if the interaction for potential workplace is personal rather a business operation. Recruiters who I have talked with in the past frequently contact me keeping me posted about great opportunities available. While as an NP you might be very satisfied with your current workplace, you never know when you might seek a change due to life circumstances. That is why having a good relationship with a recruiter is important.
- Get the word out. To find the best talent, companies need to advertise on websites such as Indeed.com, which is a great place because of the high volume of job postings. This is why nurses and nurse practitioners come to this site as they seek new jobs. To get the best talent, your organization has to reach out to potential candidates, and the best way is via a website that has a lot of listings and is also free for job seekers.
- Streamlined on-boarding process. There is nothing worse than protracted, cumbersome, unorganized and difficult pre-employment paper work. Best companies have the easiest and smoothest on-boarding operations.
- Start from the heart of your organization. Does your facility have a respectful work-environment that strives for the highest standards of care? Does everyone feel included and that they matter? Does your organization have a clear structure and guidelines? Everyone wants to work for organization that has an atmosphere of professionalism and accountability. People tend to give the best version of themselves when they work in such environment.
- Sense of control. While guidelines and boundaries are important, don’t micro-manage your best talent. Your best talent got to where they are because they have the discipline to manage themselves.
- Acknowledgement. Being acknowledged and recognized for what you do is probably even more important then getting raises and bonuses. I have stayed in organizations because I felt valued, respected and had flexibility despite less than average pay.
- Performance bonuses. Research shows that combination of both verbal positive reinforcement and monetary reward are the best at stimulating productivity.
- Loan repayment. This one is always attractive. As the cost of college and graduate school continues to be on the rise, most of us end up with some loans to repay. Therefore, the organization that offers loan repayment is an attractive place to work.
- Good managers. You want to work with bosses that you like. A likable boss is one that listens and demonstrates empathy. It is someone who makes you feel that they look out for your interest. A good manager is one who wants to help you do the best work. I would rather work in a challenging environment with less pay and have a manager that is supportive and is understanding than be in an easy job with great pay but a manager who is a tyrant.