First, let’s agree on what we know:
Newly published data from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) is projecting an estimated shortage of between 54,100 and 139,000 physicians in the U.S. by 2033. Even worse, the shortage of hospital staff, especially nursing, has only increased during the pandemic.
As we improve health care equity, underserved populations will increase demand. Thus these staffing shortfalls will be even more painful.
Much of the deficit can be attributed to impending retirements – given over one-third of today’s active practitioners will fall into the 65-and-older category within the next 10 years. Other factors include policies restricting scope-of-practice and restraining healthcare provider education capacity. When over 40% of medical school graduates can’t access Residency, it’s fair to say there is a problem with a fairly obvious solution…
To deal with these shortages, decision makers sometimes seek out healthcare staffing agencies. If they are fortunate to align with a qualified healthcare staffing partner, organizations can address a myriad of workplace challenges, including burnout, sudden staffing gaps, and other shortfalls that arise from disability, increased seasonal needs- or the next pandemic.
When it comes to choosing the right healthcare staffing partner, what are the smart questions to ask?
How Extensive, Deep and Current is Their Reach?
All healthcare staffing firms possess some scope of talent in the pipeline. If you’re with a smaller facility, where needs aren’t urgent or time-sensitive, you may be able to work alongside a recruitment firm with a shallow pool of talent. For a majority of organizations, however, where there’s a consistent level of urgency to keep the facility staffed, a deeper pool is essential. Equally important is if they have a constant acquisition process to update their candidate pools.
Can They Adequately Provide Top-Talent?
It’s helpful to have a large number of candidates, it’s a whole other ball game to deliver quality candidates. When seeking out a healthcare staffing partner, always be cognizant of how they approach their vetting and recruitment process. For example, the staffing firm should be able to recognize what constitutes a highly-qualified candidate based on both their skill set and their “soft” fit from a cultural perspective. After all, when top-tier talent feel at home with your organization,, they’ll have a greater likelihood of bringing real value and staying longer.
Do They Offer Any Added Value?
Many hospitals lean on healthcare staffing companies because of their unique market expertise and ability to tap into other decision-makers in the industry and share best practices that match today’s realities. These discussions are pivotal for staffing firms, as they can be the basis for meaningful consultations that offer data-based recommendations and anticipate a client’s upcoming staffing needs. When a healthcare staffing partner is able to deliver a high level of value, it saves you both time and money.
Do They Have a Strong Reputation?
As with any type of employer in today’s world, reputation is vital. When you’re assessing a new potential partner (or even reevaluating a current one), consider asking yourself the following questions:
- How long have they been in business and is their focus in your organization’s niche?
- What type of fill-rate does the firm have and what is their average retention rate?
- Would a nurse or physician give a glowing recommendation of the firm to a colleague or friend?
- Does the staffing company continuously improve its methods to identify and place top talent?
Are They Passionate About the Healthcare Sector?
The most successful partnerships are the ones in which your healthcare staffing partner serves as an extension of your team. You want someone in your corner who not only takes pride in their work, but is passionate about the life-affirming impact medical professionals bring to everyone they serve.
Implementing a powerful recruitment strategy and leveraging a healthcare staffing firm can mean the difference between just treading water or boldly steering your healthcare facility to brighter horizons.
At Polaris, we aim to be a strategic partner, providing customized solutions in areas like attracting and retaining talent, satisfying diversity goals, mitigating employment risk and meeting compliance standards – all designed with your success in mind.
Ready to get started? Contact us today!