Hospitals scale back HR investments amid worker turnover

Even though voluntary turnover is increasing, especially for nurses, hospitals are not investing as much as they used to toward human resources (HR), according to a recent report by PwC Saratoga Hospital Consortium.

Researchers looked at more than 50 hospital systems and found that hospitals are continuing to prioritize cost containment as the economy recovers. Although other industries spent an average of $1,495 in HR costs per employee, hospitals spent an average of $701 per employee in 2010, down from an average of $867 in 2009.

In 2008, one in three hospital employees left within their first year of service, but that number has since dropped. In both 2009 and 2010, only one in four left their first year. However, hospitals still struggle with first-year retention when compared to other industries.

Nurses, in particular, represent an area of the workforce that calls for attention, according to the report. "Nurses represent a pivotal employee segment of focus for many hospitals. Losing this critical talent translates into greater agency, hiring, onboarding, and training costs--in addition to productivity loss and potential negative impact on patient satisfaction," the report states.

The good news is that the quality of hire is improving, a trend that PwC attributes to the economy rather than talent acquisition efforts. Quality of hire will continue to be a key goal as more organizations evaluate hiring, onboarding, and integration approaches toward long-term retention.

For more information:
- check out the executive summary report (.pdf)

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