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As the nation’s overwhelming debt crisis looms, and as the immediacy of healthcare reform’s reimbursement reductions come into focus, healthcare human resource executives are zeroing in on strategies to acquire and retain the best talent ahead of their competitors.  As they begin this battle for the best people, most understand that they will have to do more with less, no small feat when you consider the organization that captures the top talent will be the market winner.

Meeting in a talent management summit this week in Houston sponsored by Talent Management Academy, participants from San Diego to New York and Boston listened to presentations on a wide range of issues — healthcare reform; the potential for a cataclysmic debt crisis that will force dramatic reductions in Medicare; recruiting; and  leadership development and the need for retaining the best talent. 

 Here are some important takeaways:

  • Healthcare reform and the potential for a debt crisis that could severely cripple Medicare reimbursement rates making hiring and retaining top talent – now more than ever — a strategic imperative
  • More non-executive hiring is moving to cloud recruiting
  • In-house recruitment databases that include features for automated candidate messaging and options that empower qualified candidates to schedule convenient interview times rather play telephone tag with a recruiter, are gaining traction
  • Tracking top performing employees who leave the organization through an “alumni” web portal in the hopes they will achieve “boomerang” status – return to the fold – is but one strategy that some leading healthcare systems are implementing to enhance their talent brand and to double down on their commitment to recruit and retain the best possible people.  Consulting firms and non health-care corporations have been doing these things like this for years.  For hospitals and other service delivery providers, this strategy will be a talent management imperative
  • Recruiting support firms are incorporating these types of connectivity features, integrating with comprehensive employee communications and onboarding programs

In a time when healthcare executives are fiercely scrutinizing costs in anticipation of severe reductions in payments from the government, this type of expensive investment seems counter-intuitive, but nothing could be further from the truth.  Many leaders in the field believe the longer that hospitals delay in developing best-in-class onboarding, recruiting and retention programs, the bigger disadvantage they will face in the area where it counts the most:  Finding and keeping the best, from the most highly skilled clinicians to the people who cook the food and clean the building.

© 2011 John Gregory Self