Covid-19: How the healthcare market is responding

First and foremost, to all the members of the healthcare community – we see you.  A heartfelt thank you for your extraordinary efforts and sacrifices.

As part of our commitment to serve those serving us during this time, we have aggregated examples of how healthcare companies and providers are incentivizing those staff members serving on the front lines of the coronavirus. Many healthcare organizations are looking for answers on how to better retain and offer support to their staff, and my hope is this provides some ideas.

Below is a snapshot of what’s being done in healthcare today to support the talented – and selfless – individuals responding to the coronavirus.

Responding to the Crisis

Some healthcare companies and providers are offering additional benefits for the well-being of their employees. Others are offering financial incentives, including extra PTO, additional pay and bonus. And most are taking highly proactive measures to try to get more staff added – in an effort to hopefully limit the excess of overtime that will undoubtedly be needed over the coming weeks and months.

Here is a brief overview of the general actions the healthcare industry is taking:

  • Streamlining the hiring process and going virtual – targeted fairs and events, enhanced virtual processes, and expedited feedback loops. Healthcare organizations are recognizing it is a good time to do everything possible to quicken the recruiting process, while still maintaining a personalized and authentic approach.
  • Expanding the funnel of qualified candidates – stretching job requirements, providing training, relaxing licensure requirements (when appropriate), marketing to retired professionals and those functioning in training roles, as well as working with medical and nursing schools to pull in early graduates. Some requirements are not fungible, but the healthcare sector is appropriately reorganizing job responsibilities, requirements, and qualifications where possible.
  • Providing extra benefits to attract, hire, and retain critical talent – targeted bonus strategies, childcare and transportation support, grocery delivery, laundry services, and wellness support are a few of the classic or more commonly offered extra benefits the healthcare industry turns to in a tight talent market. As a result of the coronavirus, we have also seen organizations offering Netflix, Audible and Amazon vouchers. Giving anything substantive or as a token to show appreciation while differentiating from other offers and employers is key right now.

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It is worth noting that these strategies are still subjectively implemented; not all healthcare employers are rushing to make adjustments. Part of this is likely related to the pace of business right now and the other part is tied to means and capability. Smaller organizations, those in ‘hot-spots,’ and/or those with a less sophisticated TA infrastructure may not be able to carve out the time to identify opportunities and pivot strategies.

As everyone navigates the coronavirus day-by-day, we know the financial implications are yet to be seen – for the general population but also for healthcare organizations. As hospitals and clinics stop all elective surgeries and non-emergency procedures to respond solely to the coronavirus, the impact of the pandemic on healthcare’s bottom line is still to be determined. Offering these additional benefits and other financial perks may simply not be in the budget for some.

One quote that comes to mind during these times of uncertainty is this:

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt

We are all in this together.

This is part one of a two-part series on the measures healthcare is taking to attract, hire and retain critical talent during the coronavirus crisis. Look for part two next week.

Noelle Paras

Noelle Paras
Noelle Paras is vice president, client services at Sevenstep, leading its healthcare vertical. She can be reached at noelle.paras (at) sevensteprpo (dot) com.

Noelle Paras

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