Frequently, when we talk about the leadership pipeline, the question comes up, buy or build? This means, do we train and develop the people we have (build), or do we go out and seek new people (buy). It’s almost always cheaper to build than to buy. Not just in saving you recruiting fees, relocation costs and sign on bonuses. It also helps retain the talent you have, improves employee morale and makes you, all other things being equal, an employer of choice.
ER Nursey writes this about her profession:
Hospitals spend a lot of time and money on recruiting nurses. A lot of the nurses they recruit are inexperienced new grads.
At the same time they do nothing to keep their experienced staff happy so they often leave seeking greener pastures.
Why not spend a little time and effort keeping your experienced nursing staff which is your best resource? If your staff didn’t keep leaving you wouldn’t have to spend so much money on recruitment.
Yes, you have to pay experienced nurses more than new nurses. Experienced nurses also know what they are doing, understand policies and procedures and have developed relationships with the other staff. Even treating them right, it is cheaper to build than to buy.
The problem is, managers see recruitment costs as “unavoidable” while they see anything done to improve retention as “extra costs.” Boy are they wrong.
I have no idea what it takes to get a new nurse up to speed. I know that, in my department, we feel like it takes 3 to 6 months to get HR people up to speed. That’s 3 to 6 months of salary you are paying, plus recruitment, plus sign on bonus. Hello, it would be cheaper to give your existing nurse a 10% increase.
Sometimes you don’t have the talent available in house. That’s fine. Sometimes you have your best talent leave you through no fault of your own. That’s a cost of doing business. But, if you consistently look to buy new talent and reject the talent you already have, that’s just plain dumb.