Ask any healthcare recruiter and they will tell you Ontario and many provinces across Canada are facing a healthcare worker shortage. Hospitals and care facilities are in dire need of doctors, nurses, and all types of support staff. 

The nursing shortage is a significant issue. It’s estimated that in Ontario alone, they need to hire 24,000 nurses right now to meet the national average of a safe patient-to-nurse ratio, according to the Ontario Nurses Association. And this is just nursing. There are many other positions experiencing shortages. 

Healthcare recruiters how to retain healthcare employees


Healthcare employers are faced with a two-headed challenge. They not only need to hire more people to fill existing vacancies. They also need to take steps to retain the healthcare employees they have currently. Providers cannot afford to lose more people. 

Our healthcare recruiters suggest taking the following concrete steps to retain healthcare employees:

Encourage work-life balance and flexibility

Balance has been a significant challenge for people in the healthcare industry over the past few years. Staff shortages, the pandemic, and long hours have led to high rates of employee burnout and people leaving the profession. 

Offer balance and flexible conditions including flexible scheduling options and telecommuting options, as well as providing resources for employees to manage stress and maintain good mental and physical health.

Provide competitive compensation and benefits packages

This includes offering fair wages and salaries, health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. It is important to research and stay current with industry standards to ensure that your organization is offering competitive packages or you could lose employees to other organizations that are willing to pay more. 

Create a positive and supportive work environment

People want to work for employers who care about their well-being. They desire a culture of respect, trust, and teamwork. They want to work in a clean, safe, and comfortable physical work environment. People want to know their employer has their back. 

Offer opportunities for professional development and career advancement

People want to grow. They want new opportunities and the chance to have their voice heard. Employers will have a better chance of retention when they provide training and educational opportunities, as well as clear pathways for advancement within the organization.

Ongoing training and support also fall into this category. Provide employees with the tools and resources they need to perform their jobs effectively, as well as offer ongoing training and support to help them develop new skills and advance in their careers.

Listen, address issues, recognize and reward good performance

Your employees want to be heard. Provide regular feedback and recognition for a job well done, as well as offer incentives and bonuses for outstanding performance. Make a point to offer clear and timely communication, as well as actively seek and respond to employee feedback. Offer a process for employees to voice their concerns and work to resolve any issues in a timely and fair manner. Finally, survey employees and take action to address any issues or concerns that are raised.

Invest in employee retention programs such as mentoring, coaching, and employee assistance programs

This is an obvious one. If you want to retain your healthcare workers, you need to invest in retention programs. These programs can help employees develop professionally, manage stress, and maintain good mental and physical health, leading to higher job satisfaction and lower turnover rates.

The things that get all employees to stay with an employer are the same for healthcare workers. Create an environment where people want to work and have a sense of pride in being an employee of your organization. 


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IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across Canada and internationally. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Executive Search / Board & C-Suite, Technology, Media, Digital & Marketing, Accounting & Finance, Financial Services & Insurance, Startup, Data Science, Consumer, eCommerce & Retail, HR, Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Engineering, Construction & Engineering, Legal & Professional Services, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, and Sales. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Kelly Meadows Healthcare Pharma Recruiter

Kelly Meadows

Kelly Meadows is the Vice President and Practice Lead in the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare business at IQ PARTNERS; she and her team partner with the best Healthcare organizations in Canada and internationally. Kelly specializes in mid-level Management to Executive roles across several related industries, including Healthcare, Nursing, Medical Aesthetics, Medical Device, Pharmacy, Digital Health, Bio-Tech, Science, Dental, Animal Health, Clinical Research, and Vision Care. Kelly has a distinguished career within a variety of niche Canadian sectors, having worked amongst the top leading companies. She is the go-to person in Canada when it comes to headhunting top talent across all disciplines. Kelly has partnered with some of the most recognized employers in the country.

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