CEO Corner

Retaining Staff

Last year in June, I began sharing data that HBI collects regarding it’s human resources performance. I want to continue to do so, because the workforce crisis in Minnesota is not going to get better anytime soon. The data show that, so far, HBI has recovered from its blip of last year when turnover spiked and recruiting declined.

HBI’s vision for staffing is to be successful in recruiting, hiring and retaining qualified staff, regardless of the circumstances prevailing in the industry. The organization has made it a special project to track data related to its recruitment, hiring, & retention of staff, to try innovative methods to improve its performance, and to track the outcomes of the innovation.

HBI employs 303 staff, 35% of whom have worked for the organization for at least five years. HBI is getting much better at recruiting the types of DSP candidates it needs. In 2017, we interviewed 53% of our applicants, so far in 2018 we are interviewing 61% of them. That means we are attracting more talented applicants. Moreover, in 2017 we hired 38% of our interviewees. So far in 2018 we are hiring 49% of them. So we are spending less time on sorting and selecting.

The last national DSP turnover data we have, as measured by the National Core Indicator project, is 45% for 2016, up from 42% in 2015. At HBI, our turnover declined dramatically from 2013 to 2015, from 35% to 21%. However, from 2016-2017 we saw an increase, up to 24% then 32%. Because our hiring dropped, our total number of employees declined.

Seeing Improvements

Things are looking much better through August of this year. DSP turnover is running at 12%. We obviously expect it to be higher by the end of the year but it should come in lower than last year. As I mentioned earlier, our total number of employees is also up.

Assuming these improvements hold, they are still not good enough. Given the workforce challenges HBI faces, we must do even better. Most of the DSPs who do leave have been hired within the last 6 months, the population we need to target.

Turnover of course is not spread evenly across the organization. So while many homes are okay, several are struggling as turnover cycles for them. These open positions make scheduling difficult. Every 14 day pay period, HBI must schedule 1727 DSP and 347 nursing shifts. To assure that individuals are always supervised 24 hours/day, 7 days/week, we have created a system of mandating DSP and nursing staff to stay if a scheduled staffer fails to show up for a subsequent shift.

In addition, we have added scheduling software made by Kronos. Now managers and DSPs have access to it. So they will be able to schedule and cover open shifts in real time. We did this in response to requests we heard from staff at town halls. Many said they are available for extra hours but were never called. Now through electronic means, they will be able to see what is available if they are interested in working.

One conclusion to draw from this is HBI is actively innovating when it comes to improving its systems with regard to recruiting, hiring, retaining and scheduling DSPs and nurses. Even with the ups and downs, HBI’s data look very good. But given the severe staffing challenges that currently exist and are to come, HBI must continue to get better.

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