New York system gives sign-on bonuses, on-the-spot job offers amid staffing shortage

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Amid intensified staffing strain fueled by the latest COVID-19 wave, Ellis Medicine is making on-the-spot job offers and offering sign-on bonuses of up to $20,000 for nurses, up to $25,000 for medical technologists and up to $15,000 for respiratory therapists, the Schenectady, N.Y.-based system confirmed to Becker's

Samuel Pierre, director of talent acquisition and human resources operations at Ellis Medicine, said the aim is to attract healthcare professionals as organizations across the U.S. are competing for talent. 

"We understand most, if not all, hospitals are competing for the same talent out there, so our hope is that the bonus does attract" people, he said.  

Ellis Medicine, a nonprofit, 438-bed community and teaching system, is also holding on-the-spot interviews during weekly events known as "Walk-in Wednesdays."

Each Wednesday, candidates for nursing-related positions, including registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, can come to the system's Ellis Hospital for an on-the-spot interview with nursing leadership, according to the system website

The goal, said Mr. Pierre, is to get offers out to candidates while they're at the hospital interviewing. 

Ellis Medicine's hiring efforts come as the system has about 500 job openings across various areas, including environmental services, compared to the 300 job openings the system typically sees.

Mr. Pierre attributed the increase in openings primarily to a high number of retirements, as well as people leaving the profession, rather than losing workers because of New York's vaccine mandate. 

The state's mandate took effect Sept. 27.

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