1,000s of Jobs/Month Can Make You Sick
Healthcare staffing is not for the faint of heart. The midsize and large healthcare staffing firms we support at Fyre are seeing 250 to more than 1,000 job orders per day and have even seen as high as 35,000 in one month. Many staffing firms in other verticals see in one month what healthcare staffing firms see in a week. And then there’s the email. Several of our clients are receiving more than 500 emails per day from their VMS clients.
As the numbers reveal, talent demand is very high across the healthcare sector. How wonderful for staffing firms with the capacity to keep up. How overpowering for those that can’t. Unfortunately, most healthcare staffing firms are struggling to keep up. While it’s good to have a healthy bounty of work in staffing, today’s healthcare hiring volume is crushing for many firms. For others, the high volume means a high volume of missed opportunities. It’s not hard to miss the diamonds in the rough, such as an easily filled shift with crisis rates, when you’re sifting through thousands of other nearly identical orders. In this two-part blog series, we want to look at: 1. What healthcare staffing firms are up against and 2. Ideas on how to manage constant flow of work and keep clients, staff and candidates informed and happy. Let’s begin by looking at why so many healthcare staffing firms are falling behind.
Healthcare Staffing Is Big, Big Business
Healthcare staffing is a massive, multibillion-dollar staffing vertical and growing bigger by the minute. The healthcare staffing data from the Bureau of Labor Statics shows how dominant an employment force the healthcare sector has become:
• “Healthcare support occupations and healthcare practitioners and technical occupations are projected to be the two fastest growing occupational groups during the 2014 to 2024 decade.”
• The BLS also projects that most new jobs will come from healthcare support, practitioner and technical occupations, which would make healthcare responsible for around 1 in 4 new jobs.
Healthcare Staffing Is Complex
Another challenge healthcare staffing firms face is the complex categories of employment healthcare industry requires. For example, there is Allied Health talent staffing, which encompasses technical and diagnostic roles in addition to patient care roles, from therapeutic to support services. Nursing has all the traditional categories of employment (full-time, flexible, etc.) as well as Per Diem Nursing (short-term, contract positions) and Travel Nursing, which contracts nurses who are willing to relocate at various places across the country for limited periods of time. In addition to all this, there is Locum Tenens in which short-and long-term contract positions are categorized for healthcare physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. While many staffing firms are specialized in one category, others manage several which adds complexity alongside the opportunity. Expanding and complex categories is nothing new to the healthcare industry, which has been updating its classification systems for disease codes and surgical and diagnostic procedures from ICD-9 to ICD-10 only to have an ICD-11 update just around the corner. Staffing firms have not only volume to manage but categorization and classification of this growing and important talent sector.
High Demand Forces Service Compromise
At Fyre, we are seeing many staffing firms managing 9,000-plus job orders coming in through various client VMS systems. What happens in most cases is that the firms, eager to fill jobs but overwhelmed by the torrent of opportunity, end up sacrificing their service for speed. Many firms will only enter the positions after they have filled them, leaving unknown amounts of opportunity to competitors. They also sacrifice the candidate experience and employer branding in order to work at breakneck speed. The work of simply entering orders into their ATS becomes the majority of all efforts and candidate care and branding are neglected. This is the point at which you know too much of a good thing (endless job orders) will make a healthy staffing firm sick if staffing firms cannot find smart ways to master the opportunity.
The Solution: Change How Healthcare Staffing Works
Staffing firms that find ways to both manage heavy volume and engage candidates, ensure good employment matches and become a valued employment partner are the firms that will succeed and endure. They will be able to build sizable, loyal healthcare talent and client bases that will turn to them when the labor market is strong and when it’s not. They are the staffing leaders of the future and there are ways to improve staffing processes and workflow now in order to become one. Watch for Part 2 in this series on healthcare staffing challenges and learn how firms can adjust what they are doing now in order to get ahead at a time of almost oppressive talent acquisition opportunity.