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Healthcare Compensation: Money Is Half the Battle

Healthcare Compensation: Money Is Half the Battle

In the employment race, the far and away leader is healthcare. The healthcare hiring outlook shows that the industry will add more jobs than any other group of occupations for the foreseeable future, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This steep demand for healthcare workers – fueled by the expansion of national health insurance and an aging population – is impacting healthcare compensation and competitive job offers as never before. 

For a more detailed picture of the current state of healthcare recruitment we checked in with on-the-ground staffing experts. Their perspectives shed light on the competitive stakes that are driving healthcare compensation trends in one of today’s hottest labor markets.

Abigail Tremble, President of Randstad Healthcare 
 “It’s incredibly important that hospital systems are cognizant of what’s competitive based on location. As we have this mass consolidation happening within the healthcare industry; what’s competitive for one specialty in one city could be different in a different city.”

“Before they take on a role at an organization, employees want to understand what their opportunities are. Healthcare employees are pretty savvy; they are very aware that their positions are in demand, and they’re aware of the challenges employers are facing regarding having to drive volume increases while cutting costs in the face of shifting payer mixes.”

“Watch the bucket -- not just what you’re putting in at the top, but also what you’re losing through holes in the bottom. It’s important to offer competitive pay packages as long as you’re paying your current employees similar packages and programs. Don’t think they’re not being presented with new job offers elsewhere.”

Kenneth Amicon, Managing Director, Taylor Strategy Partners 
“Organizations that are going out and finding new healthcare grads just before graduation to bring them in as the cream of the crop are offering a little bit higher pay than usual.”

“You’re going to want to pay for top talent, and top talent knows they’re top talent. They know there’s an issue with compensation and that they can command top salaries. We do a lot of work with vice president, director level, C-level employees -- it’s an issue throughout healthcare.”

Andy Barberio, Senior Account Executive, Fortus Healthcare Resources
“We often work with outpatient facilities and ambulatory surgery services. Compensation is half the battle and we need to be thorough about it.” 

“When you look at it from an outpatient healthcare organization perspective, if you have someone in an administrative position who is helping you make money, you should do everything you can to retain that person. It might be a bonus -- $10,000 to $20,000. Sometimes it’s a percentage -- 20 to 30 percent on top of your annual salary.” 

David Mancini, Senior Account Manager, Stat Staff Professionals 
“Our niche is primarily registered nurses and LPNs, although we do some allied health positions as well.”
 
“One of the biggest trends we see right now is going above and beyond the hourly rate with add-on benefits. Sometimes they are typical compensation bonuses, startup bonuses or referral bonuses. PTO is another big one, as well as tuition reimbursement.”

“Right now, nurses are calling the shots and whoever’s paying the highest is winning. But most nurses also take the total package into consideration -- not just the hourly rate, but also the tuition reimbursement or paid time off as well.”

Brett Good, Senior District Director, Robert Half 
 “Several factors are driving demand for healthcare professionals: stronger emphasis on revenue cycle improvement, growing adoption of value-based reimbursement and consolidations due to mergers and acquisitions.” 

“As a result of these trends, we are seeing many healthcare employers need to hire accounting and finance professionals, revenue cycle specialists, administrative support and specialized consultants.”

“To attract and retain top talent, healthcare organizations will need to offer competitive compensation and benefits. It’s important to always keep in mind the large role that compensation and perks play in a professional’s job satisfaction. In addition, supporting career growth and work-life balance, as well as providing training and certification support, is important.”

Andrew Bellard, CEO of Home Care Associates 
 “The upward trend in healthcare salaries applies to home health and home-based services as well, but this segment of healthcare often lags behind others in this arena.” 

“There seems to be a great dichotomy concerning compensation between management and sales positions and field staff (RNs, LPNs and CNAs).”

“Administrative positions are often the highest compensated in most home-based services. Sales roles come in a close second, but the most successful operations front-load their sales staff with hefty salaries and incentives to drive market-share to their doors.” 

“Unfortunately, most home-based agencies are not comfortable with the value of effective sales and marketing and often overlook what these positions bring to their organization.”