Consultants, due in part to the nature of their short contracts, are nearly twice as likely as full-time employees to be actively looking (46 percent vs. 24 percent) and are more likely to be networking, updating their resumes and replying to recruiters who get in touch.
With so much activity, hiring managers need to keep their eyes on both sides of the fence that is, actively recruiting the health IT professionals you want on your team while doing your best to accommodate the people you already have.
Full-time employees motivated by the consulting world's money and flexibility, and less concerned with the benefits, balance and camaraderie of working on a larger team, will be hard to hold onto, Elster says.
To accommodate those who are inclined to stay, it pays to establish loyalty, provide growth opportunities and offer the opportunity to work with relevant technology. Reinforce these ideas by encouraging healthcare IT employees to pursue certifications, attend industry conferences and find other ways to broaden their skills. "It's not just about money," Elster says.
In addition, facilities in the build or implementation phase of a project would be wise to emphasize that the consultants will come and go, he says, while the full-time employees remain a valuable part of the team. In fact, the sooner a full-time employee takes the reins from a consultant, the sooner you have an in-house subject matter expert whom IT, business and clinical staff will see as a trusted project leader.
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