Recruitment challenges and costs were identified by administrators from 129 randomly selected agencies that provide residential, vocational, and other services to persons with developmental disabilities in Minnesota. Finding qualified applicants was the most difficult staffing problem reported. Common recruitment incentives included providing competitive benefits, allowing time off without pay, and offering paid leave time. Relatively few agencies used innovative strategies (e.g., bonuses for employees who recruit new workers). The average agency had vacancy rates of 6% in direct-support positions and 4% in first-line supervisor positions. On the basis of these findings, one could determine that the cost of advertising and overtime for vacant positions in Minnesota could approach $6.7 million per year.
Support for collecting the data upon which this report was based was provided by the Alliance for Consumer Options in Minnesota. Manuscript preparation was supported by Subcontract No. H133D50037-96 between the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR); the Research and Training Center on Residential Services and Community Living, Institute on Community Integration (UAP), University of Minnesota; and the Research and Training Center on Community Integration, Center on Human Policy, at Syracuse University. Support was also provided by Grant No. 90DN0028/01 from the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, with supplemental support from the Health Care Financing Administration. The authors thank Kathy Burkholder at the University of Minnesota for her assistance with collecting data for this study and Bob Hafdahl, Lynne Megan, and the Data Collection Committee from the Alliance for Consumer Outcomes, for their assistance throughout the project.