What is the true cost of turnover at healthcare facilities?

Published on: Aug 23, 2018


Employee turnover costs healthcare organizations millions of dollars each year. All too often, efforts to appease disengaged employees are too late to improve retention rates. By building engagement into the recruiting process, organizations may be able to decrease first-year attrition rates.

Healthcare's turnover problem

According to Compdata Surveys' study of 11,000 healthcare employers representing more than 11 million employees, the average turnover rate in 2017 was 20.6 percent, a five percent increase from 2010. The healthcare industry is only second to the hospitality industry for highest turnover rate. For context, the average company in the professional and business services industry had a turnover rate of 5.2 percent in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Such a high rate of employee churn is costly to healthcare organizations. Healthcare Finance News reported that the average cost of an employee in the industry is $60,000. Considering half of all employees would fall below that average, the cost of turnover is still high. The source reported that if an organization loses 20 percent of its 3,000 employees with an average salary of $45,000, the total cost is roughly $27 million.

Furthermore, organizations with empty specialist positions lose out on millions in potential revenue annually. For example, an empty invasive cardiologist position can reduce hospital revenue by as much as $1,052,055 annually.

Many voices within the industry have proposed strategic measures to reduce the escalating turnover rates among healthcare employers, but nothing has emerged as a clear winner. One thing is certain: the battle against turnover begins with recruiters.

two nursesEmployee engagement begins before a job offer is extended.

How recruiters can lower first-year attrition rates

To combat turnover within the first year of employment, many healthcare organizations have put increasing focus on their engagement efforts. The theory is, if employees are more engaged with their work, they will experience greater levels of satisfaction. Of course, engagement is only one factor that contributes to employee satisfaction. A report from the Society for Human Resource Management revealed that most working adults consider compensation and benefits to be the most important factors that contribute to job satisfaction.

Engagement remains a viable option because engaged employees are less likely to spend time looking for other job opportunities. However, if engagement efforts only start when the employee begins his or her first day on the job, it isn't enough. Engagement begins in the recruitment pipeline.

Healthcare recruiters should check in regularly with candidates to make them feel valued. When a candidate doesn't hear anything from a potential employer, they lose hope and turn their sights elsewhere. Regular communication ensures that no one feels abandoned during what can often be a prolonged hiring process.

For more insights into how recruiting strategy impacts your organization's bottom line, visit our resource center. Employee turnover costs healthcare organizations millions of dollars each year.