We employ more than 27,000 professionals and aim to be a pioneer in health care with a solid value base, and this includes our functions as an employer.
As a pioneer in health care, we provide opportunities for doing valuable work for society at large in ways not available anywhere else. At work, we engage with each other and with patients in an individual, equal and friendly way. With us, employees can create long career paths, find new growth opportunities or work for short periods.
There has been much discussion of the image of HUS as an employer among various professional groups and stakeholders in recent years, and the year 2020 was no exception. The particular topics of interest were the deployment of the Apotti patient and customer information system across all of HUS and the coronavirus pandemic that started in late February and went on to cause reorganizations and reassignments particularly among clinical staff. Our operations were challenged by the environment changing on an almost daily basis, resulting in new decisions and guidelines. Debate about the practices and decisions at HUS and about how employees were coping amidst all the changes and the pandemic fostered diverse and in some cases highly critical views of HUS as an employer. There was much public debate about the health care sector in general during the labor market negotiations in the spring.
More applicants, but recruitment remained challenging
We posted 2,938 job ads during the year and had 35,868 job applicants. The number of vacancies increased by 5.6%, and unlike in previous years, the number of applicants also increased, by 1.5%. Nevertheless, it was still generally difficult to find suitable candidates for recruitment of nurses and physicians, and the exceptional circumstances in 2020 did not help.
We increased targeted marketing in our recruitment publicity, for instance with social media campaigns, and this clearly increased interest among potential applicants. Articles about the work of nurses, for instance, reached their target group effectively, and they were widely read. Each article was viewed nearly 4,000 times over the 30-day campaign period, and the average number of contacts was more than 100,000 per article.
The shortage of applicants was apparent not only in positions for nurses and physicians but also in ICT and logistics. By contrast, numerous applications were received for vacancies in administration and management. One of the key strategic projects in 2020 was to make the recruitment process more agile, one of the points being to improve the applicant experience.
Meaningful work is interesting
Feedback from applicants suggests that HUS is interesting because the work is meaningful and the organization is important. The exceptional year of the coronavirus brought some temporary changes to our recruitment processes. For instance, we received more applications than anticipated for nutritional appointments in our summer recruitments. As the coronavirus pandemic escalated in spring 2020, nursing students expressed interest in helping us out, and we hired several of them.
Having professional and competent personnel is of vital importance to us. We measure employee satisfaction with an annual personnel survey (Working Life Barometer). This helps us identify development points but also brings out best practices that are worth keeping.
The coronavirus pandemic brought a change to our development efforts. Nursing staff in particular were subjected to urgent retraining and transfers, which resulted in uncertainty and mental stress. It did not help that hired labor was also difficult to obtain.