Survey data reveals key healthcare talent management objectives and challenges

Woburn, MA – August 26, 2014 – HealthcareSource(R), the leading provider of talent management solutions for the healthcare industry, and The American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA), a personal membership group of the American Hospital Association (AHA), today announced key results from their fifth annual joint Healthcare HR Initiatives Survey.

The survey objective is to understand how healthcare talent management professionals are addressing three strategic goals: reducing costs, improving patient satisfaction, and improving patient safety. The nationwide survey conducted online from May 15 to June 30, 2014, garnered responses from over 500 healthcare professionals.

The results were first released during a live webinar event featuring expert insight and commentary from a panel of industry thought leaders including:
– Donna Wright, MS, RN, Consultant, Creative Health Care Management
– Ursula Pawlowski, MSHR, HR Concierge & Membership Specialist, ASHHRA
– Frederick Morgeson, Ph.D., Eli Broad Professor of Management, Michigan State University and Scientific Advisor, HealthcareSource

Top Initiatives to Reduce Costs
Tight budgets and increased workloads are the norm for healthcare professionals today. When it comes to cutting costs, most organizations are pursuing HR initiatives related to more efficient processes and employee retention:
– Streamline HR processes (74% of responses)
– Improve employee retention (69%)

“Turnover is costly for organizations. When a person leaves, it costs the organization one to two times an employee’s first year’s salary. One of the reasons retention is such a chronic problem in healthcare is because the work can be highly stressful and skills utilized are often easily transferred from one organization to another. It’s beneficial to use behavioral-based assessments during the hiring process because this can help you identify and select those who are more likely to stay,” said Dr. Frederick Morgeson.

Top Initiatives to Improve Patient Satisfaction
Improving employee satisfaction and improving organizational culture are top priorities related to patient satisfaction.
– Improve employee satisfaction (79%)
– Foster a culture of employee accountability (68%)
– Create a service-oriented culture (67%)

“Senior leaders must make accountability and service excellence a strategic priority. Implementing goals focused on these elements can help, particularly if they are supported and reinforced from the top of the organization. Without these things, organizations will have a hard time changing their culture,” said Morgeson.

Top Initiatives to Improve Patient Safety
To improve patient safety, healthcare organizations are focused on driving behavioral change among employees. To encourage behaviors, organizations are investing in employee education and professional development.
– Focus on employee education and development (69%)
– Improve employee satisfaction (59%)
– Hire for cultural fit (54%)

“People go into healthcare careers because they want to make things better–that’s what drives employee engagement. The key is to ensure employee education stays focused on the outcome, not just the process,” said Donna Wright, MS, RN.

Top Responses for Challenges in Achieving Initiatives
Survey respondents are challenged by competing initiatives, insufficient budgets and inadequate technology.
– Too many competing initiatives (67%)
– No budget to implement programs (49%)
– Insufficient systems and inadequate technology (43%)

“HR needs to be in the right meetings at the right time when budgets are put together. They must be a part of those conversations, rather than someone handing HR a budget and saying ‘make this work’,” said Ursula Pawlowski, MSHR.

Top Responses for New Technology Adoption
Healthcare HR professionals recognize that technologies can help as they try to meet their organizational goals while simultaneously streamlining important processes and reducing costs.
– Performance management (30%)
– eLearning content (25%)

“HR and education see each other through a glass wall, but their activities often aren’t integrated. Technology is a way for these functional areas to connect, identify the organization’s true needs, and evaluate the return on investment of different activities. Too often systems are siloed–we need one integrated systems and processes,” said Wright.

Despite the fact that the healthcare industry is subject to continual change due to the evolution of regulations and policies, care delivery and payment models, and the rising demand for health services–based on the past five years of data, it can be assumed that healthcare talent management professionals will always be expected to do more with less. Year over year, results have shown that the main objectives are to deliver their services as efficiently and as cost effectively as possible. This translates into the ever-increasing interest in the adoption of technology solutions to ease the burden of manual work by automating processes. When talent management teams succeed in recruiting and retaining the right employees, healthcare organizations are in stronger position to deliver high quality care–translating into high levels of patient safety, satisfaction and overall organizational excellence.

Visit the HealthcareSource website for a full report of the survey results and insights.

About HealthcareSource
With more than 2,300 healthcare clients, HealthcareSource is the leading provider of talent management solutions for the healthcare industry. The HealthcareSource Quality Talent SuiteSM helps healthcare organizations recruit, develop, and retain the best workforce possible in order to improve the patient and resident experience. The company’s cloud-based talent management solutions include applicant tracking, behavioral assessments, reference checking, employee performance, compensation, competency and learning management, and eLearning courseware. A private company focused exclusively on the healthcare industry, HealthcareSource consistently earns high marks for client satisfaction and retention. KLAS Research recently named HealthcareSource a category leader for Talent Management for the third consecutive year, in addition to recognition in Healthcare Informatics 100, Modern Healthcare’s “Healthcare’s Hottest,” Inc. 500|5000, Deloitte Technology Fast 500, and Becker’s “150 Great Places to Work in Healthcare” list. To learn more about HealthcareSource visit:

Founded in 1964, the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA) is a personal membership group of the American Hospital Association (AHA) and has more than 3400 members nationwide. It leads the way for members to become more effective, valued, and credible leaders in health care human resources. As the foremost authority in health care human resources, it provides timely and critical support through research, learning and knowledge sharing, professional development, products and resources, and provides opportunities for networking and collaboration. For more information about ASHHRA, visit