Covid-19: Examples of Steps Being Taken to Hire and Retain Critical Staff

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

From hazard pay, to compensating those who get sick with the virus, healthcare organizations around the country are coming up with creative ways to hire and retain during this critical period of time.

Below is a real-time snapshot of specific examples the healthcare community is taking in an effort to staff in response to the coronavirus.

  • Accelerating the hiring process – candidates go from application to being fully hired in one business day. (Sevenstep healthcare client)
  • Current employees interacting with patients are getting $150-$500 bonuses. (Sevenstep healthcare client)
  • Offering childcare benefits to new employees. (Sevenstep healthcare client)
  • Working with large travel companies (Marriott, Hilton, etc.) to find adjacent administrative healthcare positions for furloughed employees. (Sevenstep healthcare client)
  • Nurses are being driven to and from work in private cars whose drivers are certified healthy; they are being delivered sealed lunches to their hospitals; and, childcare and grocery deliveries are being provided to their families at home.
  • Southern California Hospitals, a hospital headquartered in Culver City, CA, has increased their signing bonus for RN Telemetry positions to $10,000.

PREMIUM RESEARCH: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center

  • University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has issued a one-time lump sum bonus of $300 to all employees.
  • Due to the state of the public health disaster emergency, Iowa hospitals and clinics are now allowed to temporarily hire nurses with lapsed or inactive licenses.
  • New York City Hospitals: Students at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai are being trained and deployed to do nonpatient-facing tasks, including pharmacy support, helping with blood donations and telehealth services.
    • To accelerate the hiring process, New York City Hospitals are letting their recruiting partners extend offers without the traditional offer approval process for certain roles.
  • At NYU Langone Heath System, in an effort to unburden emergency departments, virtual urgent care has increased from 50 patients daily to 1,000 patients, which is easing pressure on those working within the hospital.
  • SavaSeniorCare Administrative Services is marketing to newly laid off service, hospitality, and restaurant industry workers who align with housekeeping and dietary staff roles. They are also offering to train anyone in a service role to become certified nursing assistants; and, they are paying them while they learn on site.
  • San Francisco General Hospital recently held a “hiring fair,” where candidates who previously applied for a job — but likely had been waiting months to hear back due to the old hiring protocols — were invited to complete the onboarding process. The “fair” was invitation-only and was held in accordance with the city’s social distancing mandates.
  • New York University is offering early graduation to senior medical students, allowing them to begin practicing as doctors 3 months early to combat COVID-19.
  • Midwestern University has organized a google form med student volunteer sign-up program in Chicago and its suburbs. Volunteers are fielding calls from patients at several clinics that have been completely inundated, as well as taking basic medical histories from patients over the phone.
  • Nursing leadership is conducting “boomerang campaigns,” and personally reaching out to former associates, including those who have retired, as a way to recruit qualified nurses back into hospitals. (Sevenstep healthcare client)
  • House Bill 1459 in Illinois would approve the enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact, or eNLC, allowing nurses from 34 other states to practice immediately in Illinois.
    • States from Hawaii to New Hampshire are loosening their licensing rules to give those with clinical skill the ability to pitch in, such as allowing out-of-state physicians to practice right away, asking retired physicians to volunteer, and more.

As healthcare providers lead the charge in caring for those who fall ill and we all do our part to slow the spread of the virus, many others are stepping up to the plate to ease the process, pave the way forward, or just lend a helping hand. To the healthcare professionals themselves, again, our heartfelt thank you. To everyone: stay safe.

MORE: Covid-19: How the healthcare market is responding

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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