It’s taken awhile for many of us to accept the “new normal,” where everyday life is complete with face masks, social distancing, hand sanitizer, and healthcare crisis rates. Change is many times unpredictable; however, it’s inevitable which is why facilities need to be both flexible and prepared to react when the market and demand shift.
The COVID-19 pandemic threw the healthcare industry a curveball and forced healthcare professionals, facilities, and healthcare staffing agencies to make drastic changes to employee pay structures in order to appeal to qualified medical workers needed to fill the increased demands of crisis positions. As more of the population gets vaccinated, businesses are sending employees back to work, and cities are starting to re-open. Though we’re not out of the deep end yet, healthcare crisis rates are starting to normalize.
Healthcare professionals have become accustomed to elevated rates to fill the demand for travel positions. As these never-before-seen crisis rates are scaled back, certain positions will be less appealing and more challenging to fill staffing gaps in the short term.
Heather Sutherland, LRS Healthcare Director of Client Management, shares tips that healthcare facilities should know to appeal to travelers so they can stay staffed now, and post-COVID.
The 3 Best Ways to Improve Your Facility’s Fill Rate
Be responsive to your healthcare staffing client manager. Administrative positions have also been negatively impacted by COVID, and managers are busier than ever due to being short staffed with increased patient loads. “We understand time is of the essence. If we aren’t able to connect with the facility and quickly schedule an interview, many times a candidate will move forward somewhere else,” says Sutherland. “The sooner we can get an interview with the facility, the sooner their needs are met.”
Share job and facility details. Be descriptive and detailed when sharing information about a job, and your facility. The more details an agency can get, the better they can advocate on your behalf. Share the important things like shift dates, interview times, and if there is active COVID patients on premise. “Tell us about your facility, the city and surrounding areas that locals love most. We can search the web, research and put some selling points together, but no one knows a city or facility better than someone who is submerged in it.” Sutherland adds.
Your company culture matters. Temporary and contract employees bring just as much value as permanent staff. Treat travelers as your own. Providing a thorough and complete onboarding program will allow temporary staff to feel welcome and bought into the program. Sutherland claims, “Not only does a positive company culture cultivate a healthy work environment, and productive, happy employees, there is less rub between perm staff and travelers.”
A reliable healthcare client manager is a healthcare facility’s best advocate. Working with a full-service staffing agency can alleviate some of the added responsibilities expected of hospital and facility managers simply by ensuring their teams are properly staffed, especially facilities that are consistently short staffed. When recruiting and hiring is handled externally, this frees up managers’ availability allowing their focus to be directed to quality patient care, team moral, and company culture.