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Human Resource Management Essay: Issues Faced By The Australia Healthcare For Attraction And Retention


Task: There are two choices (will be announced) for Essay 3 – for example, the ‘X’ sector, or the ‘Y’ sector. You will write an essay on the key challenges in attracting and retaining a workforce in your selected sector. Your essay will draw on at least five themes from Week 1 to Week 11 of this unit, being those most relevant to your selected industry sector.

Your essay will draw on the academic literature (including the articles from ‘Reviewing the Literature’ you developed for Assessment 2), and develop an argument applying that literature to your selected sector. You must cite at least ten (10) relevant peer reviewed journal articles, and 3 chapters from the Nankervis et al. (2019) textbook. You can cite other academic references such as books, conference papers, and book chapters but these will NOT be counted as part of the 10 journal articles.


Talent attraction and retention
The essay brings into light the key challenges in attracting and retaining a workforce in the healthcare sector (or hospital management) of Australia. Healthcare or hospital management is a broad term that describes the healthcare administration, and management of all the aspects related to the organisation. It may include patient care, record keeping or inventory management by the health managers. The assignment will discuss the challenges or issues faced by the Australia healthcare for attraction and retention of health workforce. The revenues of the Australian health sector have been accounted at the rate of 3.6% amongst all other sectors of economy(Australian Government Department of Health, 2019). HRM (human resource management) is significant in the healthcare industry as it fulfils the responsibility of training and development of the employees. Retaining staff is crucial for the growth and development of healthcare organisations as they aim to provide effective health services to the patients. Thus, the essay will explain the concept using the five themes and the related evidenced material through journals in context to HRM in the health industry.

Human resource management in healthcare sector makes a significant contribution towards ensuring the health, and safety of the patients. Medicare is the foundation of health system, which provides access for the healthcare services at low cost to the Australians. The health system of Australia is one of the most efficient health care systems I the world as it aims to provide patients with the safe and affordable health services. As with other industries, the Australian healthcare is challenged by the most pressing HR issue of recruitment. Thus, shortage of employees affects the costs, and productivity of the healthcare in the industry (Healthcare Business tech, 2019).

Thus, essay will pull upon the five selected themes on the challenge of talent attraction and retention.
Employee retention in the Australian healthcare sector has become a critical issue, which influences the healthcare services of the patients. Some of the key factors that affect the nurse staff turnover in Australia consists poor work environment, limited career opportunities, poor support from management, prejudice, ineffective team-work. Others are lack of employee recognition, negative staff attitudes, and lack of employee participation in the organisation. Therefore, the theme will focus upon talent management, for ensuring effective retention in the healthcare organisations (Wakerman et al., 2019). According to Wakerman et al. (2019), it has been found that residents living in remote communities comparatively have poorer access to the healthcare services in Australia, due to workforce turnover. The authors conducted a comprehensive study on the employee turnover in remote NT (Northern Territory) region of the country. The annual turnover rates of the nurses in the NT area were found to be 148% which increased primary care costs in the remote locations. Efficacy of medical services decreases with the increase in the staff turnover, and employment of short-term employee in the hospitals. The healthcare access issues are associated largely with the persistent problem of undersupply and the ineffective or maldistribution of the health workforce within hospitals. The staff turnover was mainly impacted by effectiveness of management practices, and recruitment of indigenous staff in the Australian health organisations. Thus, it highlights the significant role of Strategic HR planning in the changing environment of healthcare (Halcomb & Ashley, 2017).

In health care, HR planning plays a vital role in recognising the current and future human resource needs and the analysis of motivation strategies for attaining goals. HR planning will assist in meeting the health needs of the population, and maximizing the outcome of resources, and health services in hospitals. Planning process in healthcare is carried out in several stepsto analyse the current HR with the future needs in the healthcare organisation. Thus, the author studied elements leadership, education, training and development, finance, and HR systems implemented in the hospitals. Also, job-satisfaction of employee is directly related with their retention in the organisation. Nurse turnover has been observed at 16.7% in the Australia impacting the health care delivery. Attracting talent, and ensuring effective training and development is a laborious job, which also state about the considerate need for HR planning in the organisation. Furthermore, evidenced based retention strategies may include numerous interventions such as education to health professionals in remote areas, training and development, for the development of ‘fit for purpose’ and stable workforce. Implementing retention strategies through workforce planning will contribute in slowing reducing the excessive remote health workforce turnover. Hence, strategic HR planning actions will result into cost savings and improved continuity of care within Australia (Donley et al., 2019).

According to Cheng, Nielsen & Cutler (2019), it has been found that nurse shortage crisis is intensified in the aged-care sector of Australia. A steady rise in the demand of health services has been found in aged-care sector, which would require more efficient and skilled workforce. However, the aged-care facilities have encountered employee turnover at the higher rates, which is a major threat to the patient’s mortality in the aged sector. In context to residential facilities, they need to hire the direct care workforce, i.e. PCA(Personal care assistants) and RNs and other nurses to support older people in their daily life activities.Therefore, attracting and retaining the health workforce in the aged-care sector is considered crucial for the improvement in health and wellbeing of the population. Some of the major factors behind nurse turnover in the aged-care sector include excessive work load, complex care, irregular work schedules and regulatory requirements, low pay, abuse or violence, affects their retention.

In reference with the article, the study has widely focused upon the aspect of job-quality perceived by the health workers in the aged-care setting of Australia. In addition, it has demonstrated the influence of perceived job-quality on the workforce intentions to stay. A major influence of ‘work-life interference’ has been found here as the potential driver affecting their retention. In the global healthcare environment, employees may shift or change their job for better work environment, high pay, recognition, leadership, and larger career opportunities.Therefore, it determines the importance of the work design challenges in the global environment of healthcare (Donley et al., 2019). Work design refers to the arrangement of one’s tasks, roles and responsibilities in the organisation. The healthcare sector face work-design challenges due to poor pay, improper work conditions, limited leadership, job-content, and poor relationships at work, leading to labour shortage issues. Thus, health organisations need to focus on the formulation of a workforce strategy for designing the quality jobs in the hospitals. Perceived job quality is linked with some of the non-economic aspects, such as job-autonomy, pressure, care time, respect and acknowledgement, co-worker relations and access to training. For an example, nurses in the primary care gives more value to the aspect of autonomy leading to their intentions to stay for a longer period in the health organisation(Nankervis et al., 2016). Australian healthcare organisations focus upon creating high quality jobs, by focusing upon healthy work environment, and work-life balance amongst the healthcare workers. This represents the way health managers works to enhance the attractiveness of their jobs, for retaining staff. Thus, work design boosts the motivation of the employees to work with high commitment in the organisation, and achieve high levels of performance.Hence, the aspects of job quality and employee intention to stay in the organisation are positively related (Gilroy et al., 2017).

The essay will now deliberate key concepts on the theme ‘Talent attraction and selection in the Australian health organisations. The element of healthcare staffing is considered critical to the patient satisfaction and positive health outcomes, as health staff is responsible for providing them efficient care. Inadequate staffing in the hospitals may affect the patient mortality in long term. In consideration to the study conducted by Withiel, Marr & Juj (2020), it has been understood that recruitment and selection of health staff the major investments in the healthcare industry. Loss of efficient and competent health staff in the healthcare institutes leads to a financial burden on the organisation.The author has undertaken the study and analysed the significance of staffing in reducing the attrition of workers in context to the Royal Melbourne hospital in Australia (Nankervis et al., 2016).

The brief case study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of the recruitment interventions being applied in the hospital. The performance and growth of any healthcare organisation is contingent mostly on the continuous availability of competent health workers. Australian health systems must emphasize on using effective recruitment strategies and focus on creating job opportunities to attract the best talent in the organisations. The current/effective HR strategy for constructing the organisation’s pool of candidates in health organisations includes attracting talent in-house, external sources. The healthcare sector is presently generating higher demand for the medical care services, for sustaining growth in the future. However, the public and private health systems are facing difficulties insufficient knowledge amongst the workers, inadequate education influencing the organisation’s pool of workforce (Moss, Mitchell & Casey, 2017). Selection refers to the process of placing the right men at the right job with the essential skills, and other qualities to perform the job in the organisation. In Australian health organisation, best employees are selected through a process, beginning from the screening, tests, two rounds of interviews, and then verification and references. The process remains the same for selection of new prospect candidate in the organisation. Though, the criteria for selection of staff consist of soft and technical skills, time management, patience, integrity, team work and positive attitude. On the other hand, selecting candidates from abroad requires qualification in the required field, language proficiency skills, to perform the job in healthcare(Patterson& Zibarras, 2018).

Health managers in Australian organisations currently recruit staff through internal and external recruitment methods, and outsourcing talents for better results. This assists managers in placing right people for the right job, for increasing efficiency of healthcare services. Use of social media sites and online ads has greatly supported in the hiring of best candidates. Thus, shift from the traditional methods of hiring (using newspapers) to the online advertising has led to a significant competitive edge in the industry. Thereafter, selection of the talented and prominent staff in healthcare will ensure high levels of productivity, and will reduce operational costs of healthcare. Implementing the above all changes in health organisations will create a major impact on the stakeholders, as in terms of increased reputation and credibility, transparency in information sharing, and superior health outcomes. Hence, these aspects contribute in the attraction and selection of the trained and best staff in the healthcare of Australia (Patterson & Zibarras, 2018). Moving onto the next section, the essay will describe the relevance of theme Managing workplace health and safety. The prevention of harm or absence of preventable harm to the patients is termed as patient safety in context to the healthcare organisations. Australian Commission on patient health and safety has been designed to take necessary steps for ensuring patient health and safety (Nankervis et al., 2016).

In the view ofMorphet et al. (2019), health and safety of the staff is vital in the healthcare organisations to the effective delivery of health care services to the patients. The author examined 99 participants for identifying issues of patient health and safety from different health services across the metropolitan and regional Victoria, Australia. Workplace violence has been identified as major risk factor affecting the employee’s performance and their overall wellbeing.Violence was considered as the part of their job, along withworking alone and home visiting has influenced their safety (Moss, Mitchell & Casey, 2017).

Workplace health and safety emphasizes on both, ensuring overall health of the organisation inclusive of patients and staff. Quality care refers to the implementation of preventive measures and strategies for reducing any incident of workplace injuries and poor health of the patients. These might include workplace violence, emotional and mental distress, workplace bullying, or harassment to the nurse workers (Zadow et al., 2017). Also, it is advised to the employees for handling the equipment, and tools under the treatment process. Therefore, health care standards in the hospitals and other public health settings can be effectively achieved through the analysis of the causes of errors, incidents or loopholes impacting the health and safety of the patients (Lane et al., 2017).

An important role of HRM function is found to mitigate and control the risk of patient health and safety issues in the organisations. Here, violence is the crucial issue that harms the nurse workers psychological, mental and physical health and ultimately impact the patient health outcomes. Knowledge sharing and imparting regular education can help mitigate or reduce such safety risks in the hospitals (Morphet et al., 2019). Nursing management need to implement and update on effective and reliable response systems to prevent and manage the cases of workplace violence. Thus, strategies to maintain a safe healthcare environment indicate the compassionate behaviour and attitude towards the patient’s health creating a competent health system. Hence, these aspects and changes in the healthcare delivery will reduce the staff turnover in the organisation (Pariona-Cabrera, Cavanagh & Bartram, 2020).

Performance management is another vital HRM function or theme in the efficiency and success of healthcare organisation. The theme represents the relationship between the performance of staff and their retention in the healthcare. Performance management is the process of aligning the organisational goals with the available resource, and measuring employee performance. Staff performance in healthcare is measured in terms of their productivity, responsiveness, and competence in the delivery of health care services. Therefore, organisations can effectively manage the medical activities, and aim to reduce risks for promoting the quality improvement in service delivery (Hills, 2016). According to Hewko & Cummings (2016) studied and organised the system of performance management in healthcare organisations across different countries. PMS (performance management systems) in context to healthcare organisations is observed as a critical theory. It has a unique potential of creating a compliant, qualified and skilled workforce in health organisations. As the health services are in increasing demand in the Australian public settings therefore, it is important for health managers to invest resources in effective measurement of performance. They can implement performance development or improvement model or steps to measure and eliminate risks affecting performance (O’Brien et al., 2017).

Additionally, negative outcomes on health have widely increased in the ageing care sector of Australia, along with the safety issues which influenced their performance to a great extent. This requires health organisation, managers and allied health leaders to implement effective measures for improving cognitive performance of the employees working in the health facility.It will further boost the morale and confidence of the nursing staff to improve the quality of health care services in the organisation. Thus, in order to improve and managing performance, managers must create high quality jobs, and eliminate any risks factor in their treatment processes during care delivery. Hence, it will foster the overall performance, and will enhance the retention of employees in the healthcare organisation(Querstret et al., 2019). To conclude the above discussion it can be stated that attracting and retaining talent are the key factors of success in the healthcare organisations. The assignment has discussed the HR challenge faced by Australian health organisations, through certain themes. Human resource management plays a significant role in managing the health outcomes, risks, and organisational efficiency. The patient health and safety is the key indicator of high performing organisation. Implementation of themes such as HR planning, performance management and others has illustrated different ways to overcome the increasing nurse turnover in the Australian health sector. In healthcare systems or public units, the work environment, and other HR strategies creates a major influence on the staff commitment towards the organisation. Thus, health managers must design quality jobs, and increase their motivation to deliver effective care services to the patients. Hence, the health organisations must implement effective HR strategies to attract and retain the best talent, leading towards high success in the long-term.

Australian Government Department of Health. (2019). The Australian Health system. Retrieved from:
Cheng, Z., Nielsen, I.& Cutler, H. (2019). Perceived job quality, work-life interference and intention to stay. International Journal of Manpower, 40(1), 17-35.
Donley, J., Hess, James, Miller, Heather & Allen, Richard. (2019). Work Environment and Job Satisfaction: A Correlational Study of Childcare Workers in Behavioural Healthcare, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.
Gilroy, J., Dew, A., Lincoln, M. & Hines, M. (2017). Need for an Australian Indigenous disability workforce strategy: review of the literature. Disability and rehabilitation, 39(16), 1664-1673.
Halcomb, E. & Ashley, C. (2017). Australian primary health care nurses most and least satisfying aspects of work. Journal of clinical nursing, 26(3-4), 535-545.
Healthcare Business tech. (2019). Hospital Management. Retrieved from:
Hewko, S. & Cummings, G. (2016). Performance management in healthcare: A critical analysis. Leadership in Health Services, 29(1), 52-68.
Hills, D. J. (2016). Associations between Australian clinical medical practitioner exposure to workplace aggression and workforce participation intentions. Australian health review, 40(1), 36-42. Lane, R., Halcomb, E., McKenna, L., Zwar, N., Naccarella, L., Davies, G. P. & Russell, G. (2017). Advancing general practice nursing in Australia: roles and responsibilities of primary healthcare organisations. Australian Health Review, 41(2), 127-132. Morphet, J., Griffiths, D., Beattie, J. & Innes, K. (2019). Managers’ experiences of prevention and management of workplace violence against health care staff: A descriptive exploratory study. Journal of Nursing Management, 27(4), 781-791. Moss, S., Mitchell, M.& Casey, V. (2017). Creating a Culture of Success: Using the Magnet Recognition Program® as a Framework to Engage Nurses in an Australian Healthcare Facility. JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration, 47(2), 116-122. Nankervis, A., Baird, M., Coffey, J. & Shields, J. (2016). Managing Workplace health and safety (9th ed.), Human Resource Management: Strategy and Practice (476). South Melbourne, Australia: Cengage Learning.

Nankervis, A., Baird, M., Coffey, J. & Shields, J. (2016). Talent attraction and selection (9th ed.), Human Resource Management: Strategy and Practice (217). South Melbourne, Australia: Cengage Learning. Nankervis, A., Baird, M., Coffey, J. & Shields, J. (2016). Work design challenges in a global environment (9th ed.), Human resource management: Strategy and Practice (178). United States: Cengage AU.
O’Brien, L., Mitchell, D., Skinner, E. H., Haas, R., Ghaly, M., McDermott, F.& Haines, T. (2017). What makes weekend allied health services effective and cost-effective (or not) in acute medical and surgical wards Perceptions of medical, nursing, and allied health workers. BMC health services research, 17(1), 345.
Pariona-Cabrera, P., Cavanagh, J.& Bartram, T. (2020). Workplace violence against nurses in health care and the role of human resource management: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Advanced Nursing, Journal of advanced nursing, March 16, 2020.
Patterson, F. & Zibarras, L. (Eds.). (2018). Selection and recruitment in the healthcare professions: Research, theory and practice. Berlin: Springer.
Querstret, D., O'Brien, K., Skene, D. J. & Maben, J. (2019). Improving fatigue risk management in healthcare: A systematic scoping review of sleep-related/fatigue-management interventions for nurses and midwives. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 103513.
Wakerman, J., Humphreys, J., Russell, D., Guthridge, S., Bourke, L., Dunbar, T. & Jones, M. P. (2019). Remote health workforce turnover and retention: what are the policy and practice priorities Human resources for health, 17(1), 1-8. Withiel, T., Marr, L. & Juj, G. (2020). 'Right fit, right job, right time': Case study of a new model for allied health recruitment in public health settings. Australian Health Review: A Publication of the Australian Hospital Association, 44(1), 52-55.

Zadow, A. J., Dollard, M. F., Mclinton, S. S., Lawrence, P. & Tuckey, M. R. (2017). Psychosocial safety climate, emotional exhaustion, and work injuries in healthcare workplaces. Stress and Health, 33(5), 558-569.


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