The Best Place to Work
It’s no secret that in 2022, many industries, including health care, struggled to find enough workers to fill essential jobs. The desperate need for nurses made national headlines, as did the shortage of primary care physicians.
While BayCare worked diligently to expand existing programs and develop new strategies to attract more nurses and physicians, BayCare recruiters also focused on a less visible issue: Health care organizations need to attract a lot more people to administrative and technical roles—clinical and nonclinical. They also need people to fill entry-level, frontline support staff roles, which are often the first step into the health care field for teenagers and others who are eager to learn new skills, attain higher-level roles and build a lasting career in health care.
For those recruiting challenges, BayCare turned its attention to a sometimes-overlooked demographic: high school students who don’t plan to go to college. So BayCare leaders and recruiters showed up at high school career fairs during 2022. And busloads of high schoolers began arriving at BayCare hospitals for tours.
Director of Talent Acquisition Angel Brown believes BayCare can build the reliable workforce we need to support patient care if we can show students that there are interesting jobs in our high-performing health system and offer them entry-level positions wrapped in a solid commitment to train them for higher positions with sustainable wages.
This BayCare booth at a Hillsborough County high school career day attracted lots of attention from high school students with questions about health care careers.
In 2022, BayCare made a significant investment in building the organizational infrastructure to support that effort. Brown got approval to hire BayCare’s first recruiter focused solely on creating relationships with high schools and colleges. “That’s been huge for us,” she said.
Other departments have realigned and expanded their staffs so they can oversee new internships, apprenticeships and other training programs planned for launch in 2023.
In 2022, BayCare also:
- Developed 14 “career pathways” that spell out how an employee can grow from an entry-level job to a position with more responsibility and a sustainable wage and receive BayCare’s help at each step. More pathways will be created in 2023. “We’re introducing training roles that are intermediate steps between entry level and professional, so we can put you in a spot with training on the job, which is a really big deal,” Brown said.
- Was an active partner with Future Career Academy. The Academy connects non-college-bound seniors in Hillsborough County high schools to good, in-demand jobs that have training programs which will allow these students to build careers that last.
- Partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of the Suncoast to give interested members of the club a chance to work alongside hospital health care workers and get paid for it. If successful, the program may be expanded to other organizations that have youth clubs.
- Built on BayCare’s long-time collaboration with regional academic institutions where students can receive in-demand degrees or certifications. For example, BayCare partnered with St. Petersburg College to create an affordable surgical technologist associate degree program.
There’s much more to come from BayCare in 2023. “For individuals who are willing to learn and grow,” Brown said, “and have a good work ethic, the sky’s the limit.”
Workplace Awards for BayCare
Year after year, BayCare wins regional and national recognition for our workplace achievements and mission-driven culture. In 2022, we received:
- Fortune Best Workplaces in Health Care™
- PEOPLE® Companies that Care
- Tampa Bay Times Top Workplaces
- BOLD Programs of Distinction from the National Center for Healthcare Leadership