Healthcare Employers Plan to Increase Headcount Through the Second Half of 2008, According to Midyear Employment Forecast
- Industry Continues to Boast High Demand for Qualified Workers -

The hiring outlook for healthcare employees remains positive for the second half of 2008, as 26 percent of large healthcare employers (50 or more employees) are planning to increase the number of full-time, permanent employees from July to December. This is according to the Midyear Employment Forecast conducted from May 22 through June 13, 2008.

Recognizing the rising demand for qualified workers in an industry that adds north of 300,000 jobs annually, healthcare employees are keeping their options open. While 16 percent of employees reported they were actively looking for a new job, 86 percent of those who aren't say they would be open to a switching to a new position if they came across the right opportunity.

"Attracting and retaining skilled workers in the healthcare industry continues to pose serious challenges as an aging population fuels continued job growth in key areas," said Jason Ferrara, vice president of Corporate Marketing for "Sixty percent of healthcare employers, the highest among all industries surveyed, report that they have open positions for which they cannot find qualified talent."

Due to this shortage of qualified healthcare workers, some employers are hanging on to employees that may not be performing at optimal levels in order to keep jobs occupied. In fact, 40 percent of healthcare employers said they are retaining employees whom they normally wouldn't.

In contrast, some healthcare employers are using the hiring slowdown to enhance their workforce. Thirty-four percent of healthcare employers are taking advantage of the tightened economy as an opportunity to replace lower-performing employees with new top tier talent.

One of the ways healthcare employers are appealing to in-demand workers is by increasing employee salaries, as 63 percent of healthcare employers say they plan on raising salaries in the second half of 2008 compared to the first half.

While increases in salaries by healthcare employers is a step in the right direction (47 percent of healthcare workers say they are satisfied or very satisfied with their pay), there are other areas that are of concern to healthcare workers. They include:

-- 55 percent of healthcare workers describe the workload as heavy or too heavy

-- 18 percent of healthcare workers are dissatisfied with their career progress

-- 22 percent of healthcare workers are dissatisfied with their work/life balance garners more than 12 million healthcare job searches per month.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of among 257 healthcare hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed; with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions; at companies with 50 or more employees); and 794 U.S. healthcare employees (employed full-time; not self-employed; at companies with 50 or more employees); ages 18 and over between May 22 and June 13, 2008, respectively (percentages for some questions are based on a subset US Employers or Employees, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 257 and 794 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 6.11 percentage points and +/- 3.48 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

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