Extended vacancies taking toll on majority of health care organizations, according to CareerBuilder survey
- Forty-eight percent of nursing jobs and 39 percent of allied health jobs take six weeks or longer to fill
- Forty-one percent of employers hiring nurses only looking for experienced candidates
PR Newswire

CHICAGO, Aug. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The time it takes to hire key health care functions is having a negative effect on most health care organizations, according to hiring managers surveyed in a new CareerBuilder study. Forty-eight percent of nursing jobs and 39 percent of allied health jobs go unfilled for six weeks or longer, on average. Nursing jobs go unfilled for 12 weeks or longer at 20 percent of health care organizations.

The duration of vacancies raises two important questions for the industry. First, how do vacancies affect the organization? Secondly, why are positions taking so long to fill?  

The nationwide survey—conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of CareerBuilder from May 14 to June 5, 20l3, among a representative sample of more than 200 full-time, private sector hiring managers and HR professionals for health care employers—found that extended vacancies are negatively affecting health care organizations in a variety of ways, including patient care.

Negative Effects of Extended Vacancies
A majority of employers cited at least one negative effect of vacancies (59 percent), with the top effects being:

  • Employee morale is lower because staff is overworked – 36 percent
  • Patients get less attention – 20 percent
  • Higher voluntary turnover – 11 percent
  • More mistakes in administration of patient care – 10 percent
  • Increased lawsuits – 4 percent

Forty-one percent say extended vacancies have not negatively impacted their health care organization.

"The job market for health care positions continues to grow quickly in the rebounding economy, but filling key positions is far from easy. It takes proactive recruitment strategies focused on building pipelines and observing relevant workforce analytics," said Jason Lovelace, president of CareerBuilder Healthcare. "Organizations are struggling to find a balance between bringing in new talent and hiring experienced industry veterans capable of stepping into stressful environments with little ramp-up time. It's important, however, that health care leaders develop pathways for new graduates."

Barriers to Filling Health Care Positions
A separate 2013 CareerBuilder Healthcare survey* of 503 employers asked hiring managers about their biggest barriers to filling a health care position. A lack of experience led the most common responses:

  • Applicants do not have any relevant experience – 47 percent
  • Applicants have salary requirements that are too high – 42 percent
  • Applicants have less than 3 years relevant experience – 40 percent
  • Applicants don't have the proper education or training – 39 percent
  • Applicants have poor communication skills – 38 percent
  • Work schedule/hours are not desirable – 38 percent

Hiring managers citing lack of experience as a leading barrier said they shy away from hiring these professionals because it negatively impacts patient care and is major factor in risk management. Three in ten employers noted that they lack the training resources to get inexperienced workers up to speed.

Why is Recruiting Nurses a Challenge?
Despite a surge in graduation rates from nursing schools nationwide, a majority (65 percent) of health care employers in the CareerBuilder/Harris survey stated that recruiting nurses is difficult. A lack of new graduates with nursing degrees was the least common answer:

  • I need to hire experienced nurses, not new graduates – 24 percent
  • I need nurses trained in a specialized area – 22 percent
  • My organization isn't able to offer competitive pay – 19 percent
  • Lack of graduates with nursing degrees – 11 percent

Sixty-two percent of employers say they plan to hire healthcare workers and provide additional training.  Of those employers currently hiring nurses, 41 percent say they're only looking for experienced nurses.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 216 health care hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time, not self-employed, non-government) between May 14 and June 5, 2013 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 216, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 6.67 percentage points.  Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

*The secondary study was conducted online within the U.S. by ORC International© on behalf of CareerBuilder.  ORC surveyed 556 healthcare employers working in acute care hospitals, a home healthcare environment or in a skilled nursing facility between March 25 and April 10, 2013. With a pure probability sample of 1,059, ORC estimates a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a percentage sampling error of +/- 4.4 for employers and +/- 4.2 for employees. 

About CareerBuilder®
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract great talent. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 24 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 50 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world's top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and talent and compensation intelligence to recruitment solutions. More than 10,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder's proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company and The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com

Media Contact
Ryan Hunt

SOURCE CareerBuilder