We don't have to tell you that 2020/2021 has been a lot different than the prior years, for the healthcare staffing industry. As members of the American Staffing Association, we wanted to expand on recent discussions and insights that companies just like yours have been mulling over.
Below, we'll break into each can of worms and provide more details that our experienced team has offered up.
What trends are you seeing with contract vs permanent placement positions? What trends are you seeing with the demand for talent?
Perm placement contracts and requests have declined. Which can be fairly predictable, but not a long-lasting trend. You're going to find that more advanced positions and placements are gaining demand. Always remember that Hospital and Health System leadership tends to rotate annually. Especially now, you're going to see a lot of cultural transitions in leadership. New leadership means new opportunities.
Client facilities are losing staff, tenured and contingent, to emergency vaccination sites due to the increased pay opportunities. Well certainly! Many of us know the lure of an increased benefit package, but how many of us understand the importance of stability with an industry employer? To remain an ideal employer and a feasible option amidst other competitive options, emphasize your company cultural attitudes (like diversity and inclusiveness) and tangible benefits. We mean it on the benefits. Keeping this transparent and standard will build rapport in the industry and word will spread like wildfire. The benefits matter and can make or break a decision to work elsewhere.
Pandemic and crisis rates are not extensibly permanent but the public perception of your company sure is.
The demand for healthcare providers and clinical talent means that you are not in the position of power. Negotiations have been dissected for millennia and recognizing that nuance will set you up for success, or least set you up to avoid disappointment.
Credentialing specialists and phlebotomists are in even higher demand than other practitioners. This makes sense! You cannot handle any blood work without a phlebotomist. Tools and resources like Definitive Healthcare can help you predict the next wave of needed specialties. It's critical to have an analytical mind and practice foresight when leveraging this type of information.
For context, in healthcare staffing, contingent placements are in higher demand around Holidays, when the tenured staff is taking PTO.
Also, you don't always need a flesh and blood credentialing specialist. Handle things more efficiently with software tools like BlueSky and Nursys to save costs and increase productivity.
Recruitment and retention of high quality talent, clinicians and providers has been difficult. This is normal by the way. Our team has seen this struggle and multiple industries found solutions. Healthcare Staffing is one of those industries that needs to play catch up with technology to gain those benefits.
Our team wrote a piece on this recently, check it out here.
Integrations like email marketing, job board posting, mobile friendly websites and applications, and similar really increase your value as an employer. Again, you are not in the position of power anymore. You must present your company as a fabulous option to stay competitive with the industry beasts.
It was specifically noted in these discussions that companies are losing candidates due to the lack of mobile compatibility, and functional ease of picking up shifts.
Do not forget that float pools are the life blood of how our client facilities place providers and you can be flexible to accommodate their needs, and earn your profit!
What about training and the new virtual environment, how is your internal team managing this change?
For candidates and clinical talent, products like Healthcare Staffing Hire offer a highly competitive choice to Relias/Prophecy.
Companies like those that have been resold a few times, demonstrate the common issues of acquisition/merger: less than ideal customer service, unannounced API changes, increased costs, slower development roadmaps, etc.
Do your research, get a few demonstrations, and know that even if your preferred platform doesn't integrate with your ATS it should definitely still be mobile friendly.
For your internal teams, companies are claiming LinkedIn learning is a helpful resource. It does seem like you need a pre-existing level of technical ability to take that advice though.
Our team has found that training audiences with little to no technical aptitude is achievable with the right explanations and expectations. Making sure that your team can properly communicate what they see on their screens, know how to take screenshots, understand email phishing and don't click random links and attachments is still incredibly important!
These are just the building blocks of getting a more senior team member familiar with and accepting of technological enhancements to their clinical staffing workflows. All expertise starts with fundamentals.
How is everyone handling the company vaccination needs, especially for the temporary workforce?
One company is incentivizing workers to receive the vaccine by getting time off with pay that day and the next day if they have a reaction to the vaccine. This is a great idea and reward for those who take the extra step.
Some client facilities are providing the vaccinations to contingent employees. Otherwise, clinicians have gone to mass vaccination clinics. Other companies have been unable to access the vaccine because of the state-by-state rollout.
It's also been said that the Southern Nevada Health District emailed a subcontracting agency links that were then forwarded to employees so the providers can book their tests directly and get vaccinated.
Tracking vaccinations and quarantines have become a full-time job for many companies. One staffing company attested they had assigned a dedicated employee to track these stats.
Another agency has a spreadsheet to track vaccinations for employees. This is particularly disheartening. STOP WITH THE SPREADSHEETS!
Your ATS should be able to accept a vaccination note as a required document or candidate package. BlueSky does and we're not the only ones who can meet the need. Internally, your team can likely use an intranet tool like Zoho People or manage this in your HRIS.
Getting a foot-in-the-door with federal entities or the local government remains elusive. Some agencies have found success by partnering with local contractor companies as a "back-door" method. Truly it's an effective tactic.Others have also partnered with the workforce solution centers at their state/city's local Department of Labor. Be proactive and professional, your presentation is the only chance you'll have as these are very busy people right now.
Handling high-volume is becoming a burden for agencies and companies that are not using a workforce management software. Luckily the only advice we have to give here is that you should certainly up your game. Get the software that's right for your needs and your team, you won't regret it.
Would you be surprised to learn we wrote about this recently as well?
What creative methods are your sales reps using to reach out to prospects now?
Leaving business cards with prospective clients have been a bigger success recently. Having a nice designed business card will set you apart from the herd too.
Checking in with clients and prospects in a non-sales conversation has helped gain more business. "Hope you're staying positive and testing negative!"
What advertising mediums are you using to attract talent and new prospects?
It's apparent that the healthcare staffing industry has a hard time getting the word out amidst all the shouting. Our team recommends having a strong and branded social media presence. Be active on your platforms to garner interest in general. Nursing professionals are avid instagram and tiktok users. Use advertising platforms focused on your audience instead of focused on your personal capabilities, and you'll find success!
Snagajob is a newer job board that is being talked about. Some agencies are contemplating running night campaigns on radio.
Radio is a difficult medium though, it could be worth reconsidering this method unless your audience is very active on the selected stations.
Specialty sites (targeted toward nurses, etc.) have been successful for attracting new talent as well. Check into nurse career resources if you'd like to see what types of organizations are good to target.