Healthcare Staffing Is Stuck in Manual

By: Joe Price |
December 1, 2016

Healthcare Staffing Is Stuck in Manual

This September, Fyre attended healthcare staffing events where we had the opportunity to speak with and learn from staffing professionals from across the country. Knowing the growth and speed of change across the industry, we decided to seize the moment and conduct a short healthcare staffing survey. With the incredible volume in healthcare hiring today, we wanted to know how staffing firms are keeping up. Is VMS taking over everything? What’s affecting fill rates? Is manual data entry a thing of the past? (Spoiler: NOT EVEN CLOSE.)

Here’s what we learned from the 40+ healthcare staffing industry professionals who participated in this informal but very informative survey.

VMS Usage Is Widespread

A strong majority of respondents, 85%, said that more than half of their new job orders come through a VMS. It’s important to note the gap revealed in these responses. While a majority of firms are leveraging VMS for many of their new job orders, there are still job orders coming in from other places. VMS is the central job order access point, but there are other ways healthcare employers are engaging staffing firms.

 

More VMS to Come

The majority of respondents, 93%, also said that the percentage of new job orders coming through VMS has grown. Clearly, migration to the VMS model is a strong trend in healthcare staffing with significant momentum.

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When asked how much of their non-VMS business they anticipate moving to a VMS, 84% said that they anticipate up to half of this business will move to VMS within the next 5 years. The remaining 16% expect that more than half of their non-VMS business will move to VMS over the same time period. While it’s unlikely that the VMS model will have a full monopoly of job orders five years from now, the movement to VMS is strong and steady across the industry.

Fill Rate Factors: Information and Speed

Information and insights are key to staffing success and that is true in healthcare staffing as well. When it comes to fill rates, staffing professionals said the top two factors with the most influence on success are 1) having access to all needed job information and 2) new VMS orders being accessible to teams in a timely manner. Less than half, 48%, felt like having a standardized process for handling VMS orders affected fill rates and only 30% said that having jobs posted to their website was key.

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Manual Entry Remains Mighty

With the need for good job information and timeliness highlighted above, it might be expected that manual processes were giving over to automated ones across the healthcare staffing sector. Not so. Only 23% of businesses are leveraging automation to enter and update VMS jobs to their ATS. Another 42% of staffing firms are using manual entry for their ATS updates and 25% have their recruiters working off of spreadsheets, which are outside of their ATS, pulled together irregularly and often contain outdated information.

With the volume, speed and insight pressures facing healthcare staffing firms, the endurance of these manual processes is surprising and points at a critical efficiency opportunity for healthcare firms looking to make high-impact change to their delivery cycle. By eliminating manual processes, healthcare staffing firms will have more time and resources to deliver better, faster talent results to today’s healthcare employers.

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Jobs Are Slipping Through the Cracks

Less than a third (30%) of respondents using VMS say that all of their jobs go into their ATS. One fourth (25%) said their businesses wait until jobs are filled to add them to the ATS while the remaining firms only add jobs for certain positions, skills or geographies to their ATS. This is important because when only select jobs are entered into the ATS, a healthcare staffing firm is at a disadvantage. If the ATS is incomplete, the firm cannot accurately depict key performance metrics, such as fill rates, or view hiring trends across the industry or its client base. In addition, it’s hard to assess opportunities that are not currently being serviced if they are not tracked in the ATS.

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The Conclusion: VMS Is Here to Stay, Manual Has to Go

While the customers of healthcare staffing firms are automating and centralizing through VMS, the industry itself is slower to adopt the technology automation needed to keep up. The speed it takes to fill jobs across today’s high-volume healthcare staffing industry cannot be met by recruiters and admins who are required to do extensive manual work.

As we look ahead, Fyre believes the next few years will be the essential automation period for healthcare staffing firms. Those who embrace technology automation and data-driven insights will be able to keep pace with the high demand and volume of healthcare staffing. Those who don’t may find it very hard to keep up with an industry sector that is racing ahead. Would you agree or is there a different path forward for the industry? Share your thoughts here and let’s keep this important discussion going.

 

Also published on Linkedin.com

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