Why Hiring Agencies to Fill Workforce Vacancies is in the Best Interest of Healthcare Facilities
When the COVID-19 virus broke loose earlier this year and became a true pandemic, the demands placed on the nation’s already overworked medical professionals became all the more formidable. In these unprecedented times, it is safe to say that the best use of every medical professional’s valuable time is one of two things: patient care or clinical research. Conversely, it is also safe to say that the best use of every hospital administrator’s valuable time is overseeing the smooth provision of that medical care and the easy facilitation of that clinical research. However, all too often, the attention of officials at hospitals and medical clinics must be turned to the time-consuming, yet necessary task of addressing workforce issues such as filling gaps in staffing, or locating employees with specialized training. According to Eric Allison, a staffing and recruiting expert, and Co-Founder, and Managing Partner of Staffing Venture Capital Inc., these problems can be quickly and easily solved by retaining the services of a healthcare staffing agency.
Fast and Reliable Recruitment
A healthcare staffing agency’s entire business model and reason for existing is to recruit a labor pool of competent, qualified medical staff and then match them to workforce vacancies in hospitals, clinics, and private practices. During recruitment, unqualified or otherwise unsuitable applicants are screened out through an arduous process of questionnaires, background checks, in-person assessments, and regular performance reviews. Without the assistance of a staffing agency, healthcare facilities that advertise openings to the general public run the risk of wasting untold hours interviewing poorly-credentialed or ineligible prospects. With the assistance of a healthcare staffing agency, though, this is not an issue.
Flexibility Across the Board
According to Eric, “in many cases, a healthcare facility may require a new employee to fill a highly specialized medical role”. A registered nurse qualified to assist in cardiovascular surgery, for example, or a medical assistant with expert-level psychiatric training. Needless to say, the more particular the speciality, the smaller the pool of qualified applicants.
By retaining the services of a healthcare staffing agency, hospitals, clinics, and private practices can streamline this process, simply choosing from a pre-existing list of personnel with the desired certifications and experience. If, for some reason, the first hire does not fit well in the workplace, a healthcare employer has only to return to the pre-existing list to find another suitable applicant. The same goes for other aspects of prospective hires. If a medical facility is looking to hire only part-time workers at a given time, an agency can match them with applicants only looking to work part-time. The workforce flexibility engendered by healthcare staffing agencies is one of their major selling points.
Reduced Obligations and Risks
Finally, there are some significant legal advantages in retaining the services of a healthcare staffing agency. Employers shoulder many legal responsibilities for their employees, including covering certain taxes, providing insurance coverage, and abiding by and enforcing labor laws. By retaining the services of a healthcare staffing agency, hospitals, clinics, and private practices can partially alleviate themselves of these responsibilities, as staffing firms are generally considered the employer of record—especially in terms of temporary, seasonal, or casual employees. Simply put, medical facilities that use staffing agencies limit their legal obligations and exposures.
Locating and recruiting qualified medical staff was difficult enough before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but now, due to the skyrocketing demand for competent professionals and more hazardous than usual working conditions, it is even more of a challenge. By retaining the services of a healthcare staffing agency, healthcare facilities of all kinds can remove the onerous and time-consuming hiring process from their task list while simultaneously increasing their workforce flexibility, as well as limiting their legal exposure. Lastly, Eric Allison highlights that the extra time and energy that this creates for medical staff and administration can then be used to focus on improving patient care and clinical research—otherwise known as practicing medicine… or what is truly important.