Talent Tuesday: Majority of Healthcare Businesses Expect U.S. Economy to Improve

Aim to Enhance Employee Recruitment, Retention Efforts

Across the board, healthcare leaders are focused on one of their most important assets: employees. Talent acquisition and retention is among the top three areas of business focus, a top investment priority, and among their top concerns. To address employee recruitment and retention matters, 22% plan to invest in recruitment and retention ahead of marketing (21%) and cybersecurity (15%).

These insights are part of a nationwide survey of small and middle market companies across the U.S. conducted by Umpqua Bank (@umpquabank) as part of its annual 2023 Business Barometer report.

Optimism in the future of the economy

Over half of healthcare professionals expect the country’s economic conditions to improve over the next 12 months. Additionally, 67% expect an increase in revenue and 62% expect an increase in profitability. The survey also found that healthcare, manufacturing, and agricultural businesses are the most optimistic as it relates to the country’s future economic conditions.

“Healthcare businesses are focused on enhancing their fundamentals as they prepare for 2024. This translates into increased attention to managing staffing issues, promoting their services, and investing in cybersecurity,” said Umpqua Head of Middle Market Banking Richard Cabrera. “Although an essential industry, healthcare leaders are not taking this status for granted and are intent on improving efficiencies, strengthening financial management as well as employee recruitment and retention.”

Top issues to address

Survey participants, within the healthcare industry, believe the two most important issues their businesses need to address to succeed are: (39%) attracting, hiring qualified personnel, and retention and (32%) growing their business through marketing. Healthcare leaders also expect to increase efficiencies through the automation of tasks (28%), leveraging artificial intelligence to analyze data and support decision making (23%), and adding new goods or services with higher profit margins (19%).

Rising cost

The report shows 65% of respondents expect prices for their products and services to increase over the next 12 months, and 70% of healthcare leaders have raised the prices on their products and services in the last 12 months.

Other notable insights from the Umpqua Bank’s research include:

  • 78% are planning to invest in financial tools to protect their payments systems.
  • 65% of survey participants expect to make significant changes to their lines of products and services.
  • Similar to the majority of survey participants, 65% plan to find ways to digitize new areas of the business to improve efficiency.
  • Given that healthcare leaders expect economic conditions to improve in the next 12 months, they appear more comfortable taking on debt, with 53% noting they will likely take on debt to invest in expanding their business.
  • 51% are considering an increase in their real estate footprint.

On behalf of Umpqua Bank, DHM Research conducted an online survey of 1,250 owners, executives, and financial decision-makers of American small and middle market companies during July 27 to August 8, 2023. 22% of middle market respondents are minority-owned while 23% of small respondents are certified woman-owned and 17% minority-owned. The margin of error is: ±2.8%.

About Umpqua Bank
Umpqua Bank, headquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation and operates across Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Umpqua Bank has been recognized for its innovative customer experience and banking strategy by national publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fast Company and CNBC. The company has been recognized for eight years in a row on FORTUNE magazine’s list of the country’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” and was recently named by The Portland Business Journal the Most Admired Financial Services Company in Oregon for the 17th consecutive year. In addition to its retail banking presence, Umpqua Bank also owns Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc., a nationally recognized commercial finance company that provides equipment leases to businesses.