Health Care HR a Tough Place to Be

April 20, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.COM) - Just over a third of health-care employers say it has been harder to hang onto qualified workers this year than last, according to a recent survey.

At the same time, more than three-fourths of health care employers say they plan to hire new employees in 2007, according to a CareerBuilder news release. Strong job growth in the health care industry may be driving workers to look for better opportunities and motivating employers to take competitive measures in their recruitment and retention efforts, the announcement said.

Broken down by size, 94% of large health care organizations (more than 50 employees) expect to hire in 2007 compared to 62% of small health care organizations (50 employees or less). Based on data, health care positions in strong demand are nurses, radiology technicians, respiratory and physical therapists, pharmacists, medical assistants and other health care support staff.

With 42% citing the inability to find qualified workers the biggest impediment to their organizations hiring more people, health care employers say they are increasing workplace flexibility (49%), salaries (38%), bonuses (28%) and benefits (18%) to retain current employees.

“Health care is a recession-proof industry that has experienced strong levels of job creation in recent years,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of Human Resources at, in the news release.

Current health workers don’t appear to be very happy. Nearly one-in-five health care workers (19%) surveyed feels they have been overlooked for a promotion at their current job. Thirty-three percent say they’re unsatisfied with their pay.

Sixty percent say their workload is either heavy or too heavy and nearly half (48%) say their workload is heavier compared to six months ago. In terms of career advancement, 31% are dissatisfied with their opportunities at their current position and 30% are dissatisfied with the training and learning opportunities.

This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of among 319 Health care employers (employed full-time; not self employed; with at least some involvement in hiring decisions), and 763 Health care employees (employed full-time; not self employed; with no involvement in hiring decisions) ages 18 and over within the United States between February 15 and March 6, 2007.