Adapt and automate — or die.
Automation of the mundane is the key to survival as technology plays a pivotal role in the ability of healthcare employers to attract and retain top talent. This leaves employers with a critical decision: get onboard, or foolishly continue with the status quo.
An industry as competitive as travel healthcare staffing has neither patience nor forgiveness for those unwilling to deliver quality results quickly and efficiently. Hospitals, healthcare clinics, and VMS/MSP’s need qualified candidates faster than ever.
Candidates are expecting to be matched with the right job that meets their needs, on their time, with top compensation. Any way you look at it, the technology-ignorant agency will not be able to limp along for much longer while their tech-driven competitors nip at their heels, eager to replace them.
30-35% margins are not acceptable as the US becomes more and more self-conscious of toxic healthcare waste. Hell, 20% margins aren’t acceptable, either. A well-justified spotlight is finally being placed on the massive margins in healthcare staffing. Why does a hospital pay $90 / hour to fill a critical need for an ICU nurse, and the nurse sees $60? Does it seriously cost this much to run a staffing agency? Many people point their finger at greedy recruiters as the source, when in reality they aren’t the problem at all.
The issues here are far more systemic.
The status quo in travel healthcare looks like this:
- Hundreds of daily cold calls. Smile and dial, baby!
- Many dollars spent on job postings that often go stale before it’s even seen.
- Bulk buying of contact info that healthcare professionals don’t even know is being sold.
- Manually piecing together resumes from multiple sources, into multiple formats.
- Asking Begging healthcare professionals to send sensitive personal info via insecure means.
- Expensive and painfully tedious job applications that qualified candidates refuse to complete
The list of consistent, laborious, inefficient daily workflows goes on. This industry is running on excel sheets and post-it notes. At least it feels like it.
So what IS the solution? Automation, automation, automation. What does automation look like in this space?
Automated marketing systems allow for accurate and precise contact with the right candidate at the right time, and with solutions that are relevant to their wants and needs.
Automated credential management means streamlined, consistent accuracy. The tedious (and expensive) process of compiling, checking, and acting on a credential expiration report every week is a routine we should all be excited to leave behind.
Automated application and onboarding solutions, because no one should be texting and emailing their sensitive documents across insecure channels. It’s 2019. U N A C C E P T A B L E.
Mobile and user friendly applicant portals allow the healthcare worker to upload and store sensitive documents in an encrypted platform to give employers real time access. Data breaches are expensive, and unnecessarily common. Collaboration between the candidate and employer inside an easy to sue portal means less time spent building profiles, and more time building relationships.
Automated job matching, because candidates dictate what they want, verify what they’re qualified for, and algorithms finds a match. In real time.
Automated candidate submission, because when speed to submission is the name of the game, automation is the cheat code.
Where does the recruiter stand in this future of healthcare staffing? Let’s start with what the recruiter shouldn’t be doing in the first place, considering it’s 2019 and all.
- trying to match jobs with candidates that either don’t qualify or don’t want them
- searching endless lists of needs for a job that matches a candidate
- cold calling endless lists to find an interested candidate that matches a need
- twisting arms to get candidates to complete applications and send documents.
- manually competing, editing, and formatting candidate profiles, multiple times.
So where are we headed, and what role will the recruiter of the future play in all of this? The recruiter will use technology and automation to create a stronger relationship with their healthcare professionals.
They’ll be responsible for ensuring accuracy of the contract. With repetitive paperwork behind them, the recruiter will have more opportunity to educate the professional; making new travelers more comfortable, aware of their opportunities, and counsel them on how to lead a successful travel career. With more time to cater to travelers’ needs, the recruiter can clear up uncertainties, negotiate for the traveler, be there when things go wrong, and advocate for the nurse during assignments.
This level of personalized experience will help the recruiter — and their agency — to better retain talent, build lasting relationships, and elevate their agency’s brand as a top tier staffing firm.
Side note: healthcare staffing agencies have an 80% rate of retention. Travelers are moving to other employers after their assignment. When the recruiter’s day is spent cold calling, scraping social media, parsing resumes, building nurse profiles, repeating conversations, they’re not left for much relationship building with their current talent pools. This is a huge part of what drives talent turnover. Automated workflows create opportunities for meaningful interactions and promotes a culture of full-service attention. Providing that needed attention produces loyalty and ongoing employment.
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