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Efficient staffing partners for health systems

Although the health care workforce has begun to normalize following the historic lows of the pandemic, according to Staffing Industry Analyst’s most recent Healthcare Staffing Report, health care employers across the board still struggle with a tight labor market, high turnover, and continued attrition.

In fact, the health care sector continues to rank last for overall employee satisfaction, with low scores in areas such as engagement, intent-to-stay, and employee experience versus expectations, found Qualtrics in its 2023 Healthcare Experience Trends Report.

Turnover is costly – it can take up at minimum 5 percent of the total annual operating budget, according to a study published in Healthcare Management Review. That includes the cost of hiring and training, as well as productivity losses. The trouble is finding qualified professionals to fill these gaps quickly before they become even more costly.

Working with a staffing partner continues to be a lifeline for health systems to mitigate staffing shortages and protect their bottom lines by taking away some of the burden of recruiting, engaging and hiring candidates, which can be a time-consuming and costly process.

A staffing partner can:

1. Build a customized staffing approach. Just as health care professionals are dedicated to delivering personalized, high-quality care, a staffing partner will work to understand the specific needs of your organization. The goal is not to merely place candidates but to find the right candidates by meticulously screening and identifying health care professionals whose skills, work ethic, and personality traits align with your organization’s values.

They can also facilitate unique and flexible arrangements, such as covering planned vacancies like parental leave or providing specialists for specific cases. Not only does this help to meet your needs in the short term, but also it increases the likelihood that a candidate will be a fit longer term.

2. Provide expertise and an extensive network of candidates. Staffing partners have a deep understanding of the industry and maintain extensive databases of qualified candidates. Their vast candidate pool enables them to promptly fill positions, as they likely have candidates readily available to meet your organization’s needs.

Additionally, staffing partners have insight into industry trends and labor market demands. They can help identify the skills required for success in your organization and efficiently assess candidates’ suitability in a relatively short timeframe.

Health organizations can also benefit from the staffing partner’s outreach technologies and their expert recruitment and engagement tactics.

3. Cover salary, benefits, and labor compliance. Many staffing partners offer to cover all aspects of compensation, including salaries, wages, retirement plan contributions, and payroll taxes for the professionals placed within your organization. They can also handle administrative tasks and employee communications, as well as ensure compliance with state and federal labor laws.

4. Help your organization adapt to any staffing challenges. In recent years, health care professionals and support staff have been leaving their positions at an alarming rate, often with little or no notice. This can seriously disrupt day-to-day operations and, in turn, patient care.

With streamlined candidate sourcing, engagement, and hiring, a staffing partner can minimize this disruption. And they continually act as consultants to your business, ensuring your staffing needs are met as your organization grows or shifts.

All in all, staffing partners can spend their time and resources to save yours – so you can focus on serving patients.

Patrick Dotts is a health care executive.

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