Retention strategies needed to ease health care’s recruitment woes

Recruitment and retention issues in health care were the focus of this year’s National Healthcare Leadership Conference in Winnipeg. Regular Canadian HR Reporter contributor John Butler, writer, consultant and former health-care executive, reports from Manitoba.
By John Butler
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 07/16/2001

Day care, employee assistance programs, improved personal leave policies, greater say in how things are run. These are a few of the ways to keep employees, according to health-care leaders who gathered in Winnipeg last month to tackle staffing issues.

Health care’s human resources requirements, recruitment, retention, renewal and remuneration were the theme of the 2001 National Healthcare Leadership Conference, sponsored by the Canadian Association for Community Care, the Canadian College of Health Service Executives and the Canadian Healthcare Association. Ten years ago, a health leadership conference would have focused on downsizing and dealing with workforce curtailment. Today though, the vast health sector faces shortages in most technical, managerial and clinical areas, and finds itself in greater competition with the private sector.

Toronto television host and producer Irshad Manji, of Citytv, set much of the tone for the conference by pointing out that her generation is “young and restless,” preferring more flexible and promising career paths in the private sector. This generation, said Manji, wants to avoid what they see as the over-bureaucratized, stress-ridden and unimaginative career paths available in health care and other public sectors.