At the Helm

The C-suite's role in recruiting and retaining a top entry-level workforce

by Lisa Bielamowicz and Kathryn Martucci

Health care executives have long understood the importance of their entry-level staff to the overall success of their organizations. Yet recruiting and holding on to talented employees remains a challenge.

To that end, Advisory Board led the Health Career Pathways Task Force, which brought together experts from 20 health systems, community colleges, and workforce training organizations to identify best practices that build a pipeline of entry-level health care workers. We found that workforce development efforts must be collaborative and regional—and that health system executives must help facilitate that work. Specifically, executives should:

  1. Encourage their HR teams to use tactics outlined in the Task Force report to take their current efforts to the next level. The strategies are designed to help employers solve two challenges they typically face when trying to create entry-level health career pathways: a "traditional"(and overly limited) talent pool; and an unsustainable rate of turnover among entry-level staff.

  2. Ensure that their organization is a part of transforming the way their entire community approaches workforce planning. There's only so much one organization can do on its own to address the more complex issues that are associated with traditional workforce development efforts.

Health Affairs recently ran a blog post that describes the work of the Health Career Pathways Initiative. Read on to hear a powerful success story from an entry-level health care worker and get a summary of the task force report, which includes recommendations and resources to guide workforce development initiatives. You can also learn about how a partner organization, Hope Street Group, is guiding seven regions around the country in testing these concepts in the real world. Read the blog post.

Interested in how to get your organization involved in the Health Career Pathways Initiative? Email Chelsey Crim, Program Manager at Hope Street Group, at syncoursignals@hopestreetgroup.org about joining the Health Career Pathways Network.

Learn more about how to pave health career pathways to the middle class

Download the full Health Career Pathways Task Force report to learn how health care employers and educators can work together to train, recruit, and retain entry-level staff.

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