How to Fix Your Leaky Talent Bucket

Client, Client Featured

A qualified candidate is presented to your facility to fill a key role but is scooped up by another healthcare organization before you can extend an offer. Does that scenario sound familiar to you? If so, then you have a leaky talent bucket.

Talent leakage remains one of the most pressing hiring challenges healthcare organizations face today. It has only intensified during Covid-19. Why? A look at recent history offers some important context.

The 2007-2009 Recession

The 2007-2009 recession was the last time the U.S. healthcare staffing industry experienced negative growth. In 2009, year-over-year revenue was down -24%.* A more anecdotal characterization might sound like this: An abundance of candidates competed for a single job and healthcare organizations hired without the need for lean processes, enticing pay rates or fear of missing out on talent altogether.

Back then, a healthcare HR Director might have been overheard saying, “Filling jobs is like fishing in a barrel.”

The COVID Recession

As the economy recovered, the clinical labor market shifted and the resulting imbalance in supply and demand began to favor the talent. Unlike a market contraction typically observed during a recession, the healthcare segment in the U.S. temporary staffing market grew 8% as the COVID recession of 2020 emerged. *

An anecdotal characterization might sound like this: More healthcare organizations than ever are competing to fill an all-time high number of open clinical jobs from a talent pool that, for numerous reasons, is nowhere near deep enough.

Today, a travel nurse might be overheard saying, “Finding a great assignment is like fishing in a barrel.”

Demand > Supply + Pandemic

Sourcing and managing temporary labor in an environment where open jobs outnumber candidates is markedly different than when the opposite is true. Adding a pandemic to the equation only exacerbates the insufficient supply. Candidates have so many choices, and the upper hand.

Healthcare organizations are racing against local, regional and national competitors to lock down candidates who are submitted to multiple, high-paying jobs at the same time.

Even with crisis pay in hand, healthcare organizations without lean hiring processes still lose out on candidates because competitors move faster.

Fixing the leak…

The first step to filling the talent bucket is casting a wider net, which is why a staffing partner with a broad panel of engaged staffing affiliates makes the most sense.

Second, you must be able to move quickly. Once identified, candidates who are a good fit for your organization must be filtered from those who only look good on paper. The longer this process takes, the more likely it is for a candidate to accept a job elsewhere.

The objective is to accelerate the time it takes from pre-screening to offer, but without sacrificing quality or foregoing steps that leave your organization vulnerable to a bad hire. A big bucket of talent can help fill needs, but high fill rates lose their luster when candidates fail to complete assignments. This is a primary reason Medical Solutions integrates clinical expertise in the hiring process, including live, clinician-to-clinician pre-screening interviews. We know an accelerated hiring process can’t come at the expense of sound clinical screening.

Easier said than done?

Yes, this is easier to say than to do, especially when most healthcare staffing offices are already trying to keep their heads above water. For most, the extra bandwidth to take on process improvements, even those that can drive a more competitive hiring advantage, simply doesn’t exist. This is an obvious way for healthcare organizations to differentiate between the vendors that can only send candidates versus a solutions-oriented partner willing to provide the clinical expertise and operational resources frequently needed to secure those candidates.

If a leaky talent bucket sounds all too familiar, then it makes good sense for you to have a conversation with Medical Solutions. Fixing these leaks is something we do best.

*Source: US Healthcare Staffing Market Assessment – 2021 Update | April 27, 2021, p. 29


Mike Daeges

Mike’s experience combines more than a decade of business development responsibilities for healthcare organizations with his role in the OR as an orthopedic representative. His perspective on patient care, cost, and quality has helped Mike become an asset to Medical Solutions over the last five years. As a Senior National Account Executive, he helps hospitals reassess their approach to supplemental clinical staffing and provides customized solutions to managed services clients. Mike earned his BA in political science from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln and has been playing drums since the third grade.

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