Innovative Workforce Strategies from the System Director, Talent Acquisition at Fairview Health Services
- Article by: Heather Venkatesh
The Health Career Center recently interviewed Laura Beeth, system director of talent acquisition, Fairview Health Services in Minneapolis, Minnesota about healthcare workforce trends, talent gaps and emerging roles in healthcare. Our thought-provoking discussion brings to light many of the issues faced by healthcare HR professionals and recruiters. More information about workforce and recruitment trends is available in our 2015 Healthcare Talent Acquisition Environmental Scan.
HEALTH CAREER CENTER: What hiring trends are you seeing given the transformation in the healthcare delivery system and/or the demographic shifts?
LAURA BEETH: There’s a need for more providers, especially primary care providers. We’ve been hiring more advanced practice providers, NPs and PAs, to work with our physicians. There are opportunities for our advanced practice providers to have their own patient panels working in team-based clinics, they can work as hospitalists in our hospitals, or they can work as providers in our urgent care settings.
There will be a need for more clinicians in the future. We are devoting more time to clinical education through centralization of this important work. For advanced practice providers, we desire longitudinal placements, so the provider students can go through all their clinical rotations within our health system and they are able to transition to practice more quickly upon graduation.
To date, we have centralized clinical experiences for pre-licensure nursing, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives, CRNAs, clinical nurse specialists, physician assistants, medical assistants and medical students. There are many reasons to centralize this work including risk mitigation, expertise, efficiencies, ability to track and report GME/MERC, community benefit reporting, dashboard data, conversion to hire data, and workforce recruitment. We are moving to a One Stop System Clinical Coordination Model.
We are working hard to offer opportunities for our nurses to go back to school to obtain BSNs and graduate nursing degrees, in alignment with IOM Goals. This work includes partnerships with our accredited education partners, tuition reimbursement, tuition discounts, scholarship incentives, competitive scholarship awards, onsite/cohort student groups (if desired), onsite education fairs for nurses to gather necessary information, and comprehensive guides we’ve put together on all the approved education programs, costs and aligned incentives. Our clinicians even work as adjunct professors with some of our partner institutions.
There’s a need for our employees to mirror the populations we serve; therefore, another area of focus is our anchor organization work in key neighborhoods. We’ve linked and designed career pathways starting with youth programs, Scrubs camps, summer internships, community college programs at no cost for specific populations, community college fellows program (aligning students with entry level jobs in our organization while they obtain their education), and education partners that have articulations in place for seamless education.
These strategies strengthen our communities by providing education and jobs to diverse populations. Developing career pathway programs for our city residents allows opportunities to provide employment to diverse individuals who speak many languages and come from numerous cultures that mirror our patient population.
Another strategy we are implementing includes a partnership with our contingent workforce. With great planning, we’ve formed a partnership with a vendor management system that’s vendor neutral for our clinical, non-clinical, and temp/travelers, contingent workforce needs. We have 36 vendors in our program. We are compliant for all regulatory needs, have market-driven pricing, and are able to track all activity with robust reports. We have a streamlined temp-to-hire process which is aiding us with short- and long-term recruitment needs. It’s difficult to fill positions in a timely manner; we need a reliable contingent workforce.
We also work closely with our local government, non-profits, workforce centers, funders, secondary, and post-secondary institutions for pipeline recruitment.
HEALTH CAREER CENTER: What new roles are you seeing emerge in your organization?
LAURA BEETH: More physician assistants continue to be hired. More medical assistants are still in demand.
HEALTH CAREER CENTER: What talent gaps do you see in healthcare?
LAURA BEETH: As the number of degrees increase in certain fields like Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPTs), PharmD, and Rehab, there seems to be a large gap between the entry-level pharmacy tech and pharmacist, physical therapy assistant and physical therapist. There’s always a need for behavioral health providers, especially psychiatrists.
In addition, home care staff is another area where there’s a talent gap. It continues to be challenging to find enough qualified help (nurses, physical therapists) to meet home care needs. With the aging population, patient demand will continue to grow.
Are you interested in learning more about the state of healthcare recruitment? Download the 2015 Healthcare Talent Acquisition Environmental Scan now. This annual Health Career Center report serves as a snapshot of America’s healthcare employment landscape and offers insight on the challenges and opportunities impacting the field.