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Workforce report: Recruitment

NOTE: This blog post features the Recruitment section from OCH's newest report, "Strengthening the health-serving workforce". This report is directly informed by the work of OCH’s partners in behavioral health, primary care, hospitals, dental health, public health, community-based, and Tribal settings. As such, there is room for everyone in this important work. OCH aims to support a strong and healthy workforce, which ultimately produces a ripple effect that positively impacts individual and population health.

Recruitment refers to the hiring of new employees. Recruitment was identified as the most challenging element of the workforce process. Common challenges included offering competitive salaries and benefits, limited availability of affordable housing, and reaching qualified candidates to fill specific gaps. Partners across the Olympic region are implementing creative solutions to address recruitment barriers.

Competitive salaries and benefits

Competitive salaries and benefits play a huge role in recruiting a strong health-serving workforce. Nine out of ten partners listed this as the factor with the greatest impact on recruitment. This poses a significant challenge for the Olympic region, as it is difficult to compete with urban neighbors in Seattle and across the nation, especially considering the rising cost of livingxiv in all three Olympic counties.

Partners that provide health services for clients enrolled in Medicaid heavily depend on fixed reimbursement rates to establish employee salaries. The smaller, more rural nature of the communities many partners serve leads to significantly lower reimbursement funds when compared with more urban areas.