Healthcare Employers Plan to Increase Headcount Through the Second Half of 2008, According to Midyear Employment Forecast

Wednesday, July 16, 2008 General News
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CHICAGO, July 15 The hiring outlook for healthcareemployees remains positive for the second half of 2008, as 26 percent of largehealthcare employers (50 or more employees) are planning to increase thenumber of full-time, permanent employees from July to December. This isaccording to the Midyear Employment Forecast conducted fromMay 22 through June 13, 2008.

Recognizing the rising demand for qualified workers in an industry thatadds north of 300,000 jobs annually, healthcare employees are keeping theiroptions open. While 16 percent of employees reported they were activelylooking for a new job, 86 percent of those who aren't say they would be opento a switching to a new position if they came across the right opportunity.

"Attracting and retaining skilled workers in the healthcare industrycontinues to pose serious challenges as an aging population fuels continuedjob growth in key areas," said Jason Ferrara, vice president of CorporateMarketing for "Sixty percent of healthcare employers, thehighest among all industries surveyed, report that they have open positionsfor which they cannot find qualified talent."

Due to this shortage of qualified healthcare workers, some employers arehanging on to employees that may not be performing at optimal levels in orderto keep jobs occupied. In fact, 40 percent of healthcare employers said theyare retaining employees whom they normally wouldn't.

In contrast, some healthcare employers are using the hiring slowdown toenhance their workforce. Thirty-four percent of healthcare employers aretaking advantage of the tightened economy as an opportunity to replacelower-performing employees with new top tier talent.

One of the ways healthcare employers are appealing to in-demand workers isby increasing employee salaries, as 63 percent of healthcare employers saythey plan on raising salaries in the second half of 2008 compared to the firsthalf.

While increases in salaries by healthcare employers is a step in the rightdirection (47 percent of healthcare workers say they are satisfied or verysatisfied with their pay), there are other areas that are of concern tohealthcare workers. They include:

-- 55 percent of healthcare workers describe the workload as heavy or tooheavy

-- 18 percent of healthcare workers are dissatisfied with their careerprogress

-- 22 percent of healthcare workers are dissatisfied with their work/lifebalance garners more than 12 million healthcare job searches permonth.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive onbehalf of among 257 healthcare hiring managers and humanresource professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed; with at leastsignificant involvement in hiring decisions; at companies with 50 or moreemployees); and 794 U.S. healthcare employees (employed full-time; notself-employed; at companies with 50 or more employees); ages 18 and overbetween May 22 and June 13, 2008, respectively (percentages for some questionsare based on a subset US Employers or Employees, based on their responses tocertain questions). With a pure probability sample of 257 and 794 one couldsay with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a samplingerror of +/- 6.11 percentage points and +/- 3.48 percentage points,respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About is the nation's largest online job site with more than23 million unique visitors and over 1.6 million jobs. Owned by Gannett Co.,Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) andMicrosoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), the company offers a vast online and printnetwork to help job seekers connect with employers. powersthe

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