Not all organizations can, or will, choose to adjust pay based on inflation. But with these tips, leaders can minimize the impact on turnover by addressing employees’ pay concerns as soon as they begin.
Inflation hit hard on the nation’s FQHC safety net in 2022. Inflation reached a 40-year high last year, and while it’s levelled off, it’s had an unprecedented impact on care delivery in FQHCs. The Kaiser Family Foundationreports staffing shortages are simultaneous to increasing demand for services, putting more pressure on a community that is already rocked and is still trying to recover from COVID-19. How will inflation affect our ability to hire and retain our workforce? Here are three trends impacting FQHC hiring in 2023.
Three Inflation-Related Compensation and Staffing Trends to Watch
- Non-FQHCs will raise prices this year. According to the Advisory Board, healthcare organizations outside the FQHC community will raise prices this year. They say healthcare prices will rise between 7.5% and 15% this year as these organizations renegotiate payer contracts. Of course, there is no parallel for this trend in the FQHC community, but additional federal funding or changes in reimbursement could provide some bottom-line support in community health.
- Non-FQHC salaries will increase. FQHCs do not have the luxury of a cushion to blow up clinical and administrative salaries. But Gartner says, “Organizations that don’t adjust pay to match inflation are likely to face additional turnover as employees take the quickest, easiest route to higher pay in a competitive job market.” Gartner’s research says employees expect a 10% increase in total comp when switching healthcare employers. In response, expect non-FQHC organizations to increase total compensation to attract more staff at every level. For community healthcare organizations, now is the time to take another look at the bottom line and get creative in your pursuit of additional funding whenever possible.
- FQHCs must prepare to address inflation and compensation head-on. Gartner says, “HR leaders must be prepared to address pay fairness in their organizations—regardless of whether they are adjusting wages.” Community healthcare organizations may be unlikely to respond with salary bumps, given their budgetary constraints. FQHCs must develop counter strategies now that capitalize on their strengths to help improve retention and to attract more talent. But how can this happen?
First, FQHCs must promote and improve any benefits they offer, such as work-life balance, to increase the attractiveness of their compensation offerings. They also should proactively address employee concerns about pay and adapt their communications to handle these issues. In these instances, community healthcare is all about promoting the mission over margin. However, this shouldn’t be a one-off but a long-term strategy to discuss compensation, benefits, and the work-life balance that comes with the job.
Finally, FQHCs must develop new partnerships to continue to help them staff up in preparation for the turnover that will continue to impact organizations. That’s where UHC Solutions can help. UHC Solutions is the only recruitment firm that partners exclusively with FQHCs and other community health centers, and therefore has a unique understanding of the ins and outs of community health.
Call us to discuss your hiring strategies and find out how we can help your organization stay ahead of the recruitment challenges of the future.