How To Create an RFP to Find the Right Workforce Solutions Partner


Your health system, hospital, or post-acute facility has decided to get outside help with staffing, but where do you start? The labor market remains tight, and the industry is full of companies that vary significantly in scale and capability. Many systems and facilities are turning to the request-for-proposal (RFP) process to improve clarity on what they want and better understand which partner best fits their needs.

An RFP is an open request for bids and proposals, meant to foster healthy competition, but the responses are only as good as the questions you ask. If you’re not familiar with what questions to include for a comprehensive request for healthcare workforce solutions, read on for guidance and tips for creating a successful RFP.

Internal Organizational Questions

Step one is to start with yourself and ask the right internal questions. Nearly all effective RFPs start with a thorough needs assessment. Fundamentally, what staffing problems do you need to solve and how would you prioritize them?

If you’re already using vendors or suppliers to help with staffing, have those results to use as benchmarks. Do you know their completion rates? What about on-time starts? Compliance completeness? Is there variance in any metrics like the time it takes to fill an open role?

Next, try to envision your future considerations. How could things look different one, three, or five years from now? Will your needs or resources change? Once you have a thorough understanding of your needs and your potential future, you can better assess potential partners for the right fit.

Consider the Relationship

Next, what do you want from a staffing partner? Clear expectations are key, and a core question always remains – what are you expecting from them?

Do you want a relationship that is transactional? Or are you looking for a partner that can not only meet your staffing needs, but one that can advise you on how to best source and manage contingent labor based upon qualities unique to your organization? You can assess this by not only asking them about their core staffing capabilities, but also their service level, references, and Net Promoter Score (NPS). The service-minded partners will become much clearer.

Once you’ve thoroughly reviewed your own needs and considered the type of partner you want, you can get into the detailed questions concerning the quality of staffing services. Questions to ask often fall into four areas.

Fill Staffing Gaps

  • Will we receive an adequate number of submissions for our open needs?
  • What is your fill rate? What is your average time to fill?
  • How long does it take to get candidates interviewed?
  • Are the rates we go to market with competitive? How do we know?

Evaluate Clinical Quality and Performance

  • What is your completion rate?
  • What is your extension rate?
  • Do you have clinician-to-clinician interviews prior to sending to us for review?
  • What is the most common reason for incomplete assignments (clinical, professional, or cultural issues)?

Minimize Risk

  • How often are we forced to push start dates due to compliance?
  • How confident is our organization if we were to be audited today?
  • How much time does it take to collect, maintain, and access compliance?
  • Are our suppliers running background updates on travelers while on assignment with us?

Increase Efficiency and Control Costs

  • How much time is our staff spending on sourcing and managing contingent labor?
  • Are there different rates for the same position? Are our rates standardized?
  • Do we receive any form of rebate on the use of travelers? If so, how is the rebate financed?


The roughly two dozen questions posed in this blog are by no means completely inclusive of all the questions to consider or include in a thorough workforce solution RFP. That’s why Medical Solutions has created this Sample Request-for-Proposal (RFP) Questions to Select a Workforce Solutions Partner, which is full of detailed questions that can provide a framework for your proposal request. Download your copy today.

If you want additional professional guidance in evaluating a workforce solution, reach out to Medical Solutions today, and our experts can help you start to assess your needs.


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