Expect More from Your Staffing Partners

What are you expecting from your staffing partners? I’d argue not enough.

The race to procure talent has produced a seemingly endless wave of firefighting and wage spikes to recruit desperately needed workers. Managing crisis demand and complicated scheduling efforts have exhausted and stressed an already overworked system. Raising your expectations of your staffing partners can help. 

Staffing companies have played a vital role in supplying hospitals with critically needed talent long before the pandemic. Unfortunately, this pandemic has only increased the dependency on this service, creating an unsustainable cycle for many hospitals scrambling to staff beds. But beyond providing a stop-gap solution to fill seats, often at sky-high pricing, how have you leveraged your staffing network to reduce that dependency?

Most healthcare staffing organizations have grown tremendously since the onset of the pandemic. But beyond charging skyrocketing prices to drive supply into your organization, what other solutions have your staffing partners offered to alleviate shortages and improve retention? 

I would like to challenge the notion that staffing agencies only exist to transact. In fact, the staffing industry at large bears great responsibility to assist its clients in creating sustaining solutions and efficiencies to improve talent strategy within the organizations it serves. Especially now. 

Most sizeable staffing organizations onboard dozens to thousands of healthcare workers a week. Many hold contracts to support thousands of hospital systems across the country. Some of the largest players wholly own contingent labor pools for dozens, if not hundreds the country’s largest systems. The numbers are staggering, and the market intelligence held within these companies isn’t simply insightful, it’s transformative when put to good use. 

As you consider how you are leveraging your staffing partners to address the growing concern over unstainable wage spikes and increasing turnover, think about asking for the following. Willing partners should eagerly provide: 

1. Market Analysis – staffing suppliers are fielding thousands of open requisitions a day across their client base. Don’t accept baseless claims on suggested market rates for talent. Expect your partners to provide reporting on labor rates across skill sets, geography and even across industry. For many of your skill set needs, your competitors aren’t just hospital facilities down the road. Today, you are competing across industries for everything from environmental services to systems support to clinical specialists. A competitive and educated labor wage plan is just one component of a multi-pronged talent strategy. Your suppliers can help.

2. Retention Support – First impressions count, and your staffing partners are often the launch point in a sequence of events that tell prospective candidates everything they need to know about cementing their career in your workplace. With widespread access to the nation’s largest and most competitive health systems, staffing organizations have a front row seat to best practices in talent acquisition strategy including interview tactics and onboarding processes. These are often the first step in building effective retention practices across your workforce. How are your staffing partners informing these key practices for your organization?

3. Employer Care – if your staffing partner is the employer of record, they hold enormous responsibility for the care and well-being of your contingent staff. Challenge how your partner(s) are caring for their employees. What policies and programs have they built to address the stress and strain on it’s workforce? How do they ensure those employees have access to quality health benefits, clinical support and coaching? Know how your partners are equipped to handle clinical escalations and safety concerns in partnership with you. Your patients likely don’t know the difference between your agency staff and full-time workers, and they shouldn’t have to. Seamlessness matters.

Insight Global Health offers this and more. We apply the data and insights gained from decades supplying the healthcare industry with vital talent to add value and trust with our clients. This isn’t a convoluted or exclusive offering available to the highest paying client, it’s table stakes when you partner with our organization. As a leading staffing organization, we have collected millions of data points that help us educate our partners on how to rethink everything from their interviewing best practices to onboarding processes. We even go as far as to help transform cultures so that our clients can retain the critical talent needed to provide sustainable care to it’s patient population.

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