With a goal to hire the right people in the right way, at the right time, and in the right position, Texas Health’s Workforce Planning initiative helps the organization anticipate hiring needs, appropriately prepare to fill vacancies or new positions, and keep a laser-like focus on retention.

Workforce planning is a multi-step process that allows us to proactively plan ahead to avoid staffing shortfalls or a surplus. It helps us forecast talent needs, as well as assess the supply of existing and future personnel who are qualified to work in needed positions and roles.

Since the market in North Texas for health care services and talent is very competitive, we must be deliberate and fact-based in our approach. We hire and promote selectively, pay competitively, recognize liberally the achievements of our people, and provide opportunities for educational and clinical development for career progression within the organization.

Our employee referral program encourages employees to refer friends or former colleagues for employment at any of our facilities. Our recruiters make it a top priority to pursue these leads. Since the launch of the program in 2000, we have filled more than 30 percent of open positions annually through employee referrals. We hired more than 1,000 employees using this approach in 2012 alone.

Like most health care organizations, Texas Health faces a shortage of qualified talent in nursing, case management, rehabilitation services and other clinical roles. Thoughtful workforce planning and competitive employment programs allow us to recruit and retain those who can continue providing quality patient care and improve patient satisfaction.

Additional challenges we face include:

  • A constrained fiscal environment that makes it difficult to increase compensation to the point of market differentiation and provide unlimited development opportunities.
  • Changing patient demographics and business needs (e.g., stronger community health and wellness programs) that require new and/or specialized skill sets from our people.
  • An aging workforce; many employees in critical roles are expected to reduce work hours or are approaching retirement.
  • An increase in unqualified candidates applying for jobs, which takes value-added time away from already stretched resources.

To stay competitive, Texas Health Resources is deploying a multipronged strategy that includes:

Progress Being Made

We measure our recruitment processes against regional and national benchmarks for efficiency and effectiveness. We make course corrections as needed based on monthly data and quarterly detailed reviews with hiring leaders.

Key achievements made during 2011-12 include:

  • Acquiring a large group of primary care physicians to support the care continuum (a 500 percent increase of employed physician providers).
  • Launching a nurse residency program to attract new graduates. The 18-week process helps transition new nurses from academia to the bedside.
  • Participating in a regional workforce planning collaborative in partnership with the Dallas Fort Worth Hospital Council.
  • Decreasing our time to fill 17 nursing positions by eight days in one year.
  • Achieving a 91.9 percent offer acceptance rate systemwide in 2012. We hired 3,952 employees.

In the coming years, we plan to improve recruitment efficiency by proactively identifying potential passive candidates, and training managers to better select top talent. We also will:

  • Integrate workforce planning with strategic planning efforts, which will help us evaluate long-term employee supply and demand.
  • Move cultural assessments earlier in the candidate screening process to know sooner whether a candidate is the right fit.
  • Improve accuracy of predicting flight risk of current top and significant performers in hard to fill, critical positions.
  • Enhance programs to engage and attract physicians, primarily around involvement and partnership in driving clinical care and quality.

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