It’s hard to respond to high census periods during a time of staffing shortages. During COVID, we know that FTE staff reduced by 3% yet at the same time patient acuity increased by almost 6%. These two numbers meant that hospitals simply didn’t have the staff to serve patients during COVID surges or at any other time when the census elevates. There is evidence that healthcare facilities are increasingly relying on temporary workers to shore up staff during the peaks of their patient loads. During the pandemic traveling and temp health workers, as well as direct placements from recruiting firms, filled an urgent need at our nation’s hospitals. How can these supplemental employees continue to help organizations in the coming years?
Working with Staffing Agencies During Times of High Census
The latest data shows that more healthcare executives are considering a partnership with healthcare staffing agencies. Fewer nurses are a huge driver of these relationships. By 2030, another one million baby boomer nurses will retire, placing even more of a burden on healthcare providers. Rural communities will feel the strain more than their urban counterparts. Since these locations may be less desirable, healthcare teams will have trouble filling the seats on their bus with high quality talent. Healthcare organizations are trying a number of tactics to reach their hiring goals:
- Sign-on bonuses.
- Tuition reimbursement.
- Increased compensation.
All of these tactics lead to rising expenses. But it’s an expense that hospitals have to pursue; these days, they simply have no choice. A recent national poll of healthcare organizations showed how they were planning to fill their job openings (most are pursuing multiple tactics):
- 78% are targeting new grads.
- 66% are increasing their advertising budgets.
- 76% are using internal recruitment tactics.
- 36% are offering sign-on bonuses.
- 34% are using staffing agencies.
- 28% are Improving compensation.
In 2019, we saw an 8% increase in healthcare providers who rely on staffing agencies to recruit talent over the prior year. Expect that number to continue to increase. Third-party healthcare recruiting firms work to provide the talent when their hospital clients cannot. Healthcare recruiting firms can streamline the staffing process by focusing on the more passive candidates that internal recruiters simply don’t have time to ferret out.
FQHCs face an even tougher recruiting environment, which makes the partnership with a third-party vendor even more critical. Because FQHCs are required to meet certain federally-set demographic criteria for their patients, the recruiting challenges are acute, including:
- Difficult to fill positions, from nursing leaders to physicians and psychiatrists.
- Funding and budgetary constraints that make it harder to pay a competitive salary.
- Underserved rural locations that may not be as attractive as the allure of a city environment.
How Can a Recruiting Firm Solve These Problems?
UHC Solutions is focused on providing community healthcare organizations with the recruiting support they need to fill even the toughest roles. We have strong candidate networks because we’ve been proactively building them for years. UHC Solutions brings an extensive candidate database and has the ability to target candidates with the specific FQHC experience you need.
Don’t wait to experience another high census without the trusted support of your UHC Solutions team. We can help you improve your time to hire numbers. Call on us.