Additional benefits of local hiring
- Address issues of health equity and identified community health needs
- Create a more diverse workforce
- Improve employee morale
- Improve the institution’s reputation in the community
- Reduce carbon footprint with more employees living closer to work
- Increase the number of residents with access to health insurance
Address issues of health equity and identified community health needs
With growing recognition that economic determinants are critical to health status, data on employment and income will likely become a bigger part of the community health needs assessment process. The wage increases, as well as the health insurance benefits, that result from targeting employment in specific neighborhoods, can begin to help address issues of economic instability in many distressed communities. Moreover, supporting local workforce intermediaries can become part of the community health needs assessment implementation plan.
- Results from Community Health Needs Assessment
- Data on wage increases from program participants
Create a more diverse workforce
Creating a more diverse workforce is increasingly a focus of healthcare institutions, especially as there is added interest in addition positions such as community health workers and other jobs that require knowledge of specific communities. Building a more diverse workforce can help improve cultural competency and increase patient satisfaction, now a critical success measure for hospitals. By hiring diverse candidates into entry-level positions, and linking them to opportunities for advancement within the institution, local hiring efforts can begin to improve diversity at all position levels.
- Cost of efforts to recruit diverse candidates at all position levels
- Savings from moving up internal candidates
- Community health benefits from community health worker positions
- Improved patient satisfaction
Improve employee morale
Training and investment in employees can improve employee morale. Moreover, managers who participate in job training programs have reported increased pride in working at the institution. Improved morale is an important factor in retention, and thus an important benefit.
- Data from employee satisfaction surveys over time and between control group and trained group
- Data from employee satisfaction of managers who serve in coaching and mentoring roles compared to control group
Improve reputation in the community
There is a growing expectation among communities that health systems should be doing more to address community needs.
There is a growing expectation among communities that health systems should be doing more to address community needs. An explicit inclusive, local hiring program can help to shift this perception, while helping the health system address existing workforce needs. Moreover, many residents who may be applying for jobs are also patients.
- Data from community surveys
- Number of visits from patients in surrounding zip codes
- Positive press from initiatives
Reduce carbon footprint by employees living closer to work
Another advantage of local hiring efforts is that they will eventually shift employee demographics so that more of the workforce is living closer to the institution. This reduces commute times and helps facilitate the use of public transportation, biking, or walking to work, all of which lower carbon emissions. Vehicle emissions in particular are drivers of poor health, and contribute to higher rates of asthma, heart disease, and cancer.1John Wargo, Linda Wargo, and Nancy Alderman, “The Harmful Effects of Vehicle Exhaust: The Case for Policy Change,” Environment and Human Health, Inc. (2006), www.ehhi.org/exhaust06.pdf Reducing emissions can thus help to reduce the instances of these health effects, contributing to overall population health. Moreover, this can help to bolster existing sustainability strategies.
- Average commute distance before and after implementation of program
- Data on local transportation emissions
- Data on the instances of asthma, heart disease, cancer and other instances of disease linked to particulate matter
- Carbon footprint calculations
Increasing the number of residents with access to health insurance
Uncompensated care represents a significant cost burden for health systems and hospitals. Increasing the number of residents in the community who are on health insurance plans will reduce visits from patients typically grouped into charity care. Employing local residents in full-time positions with benefits is a way to directly address access to insurance.
- Number of new hires granted healthcare benefits from the surrounding community
- Overall health insurance rate in the surrounding community