Healthcare Challenges Conquered

HR Outsourcing
Five ways RPO providers are helping organizations find the talent they need to deliver the best in patient care.

By Travis Furlow

Healthcare is an ever-changing industry and organizations are experiencing extreme hiring challenges for clinical staff. Factors include:

• an increasing complexity of patient care;

• a severe clinical talent shortage;

• early retirement trends; and

• the enforcement of the Affordable Healthcare Act, which was enacted to increase the quality and affordability of healthcare while providing affordable insurance and reduce healthcare costs.

As more people become insured and have the ability to seek healthcare, demand of healthcare professionals is bound to outweigh supply. In fact, according to findings from the American Nursing Association, labor shortages are forecasted to extend into 2020. However, recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) and other workforce solutions are helping to ease the burden on healthcare organizations to fill positions. According to the National Hospital Discharge Survey, the average cost in the U.S. per day per patient stay in a hospital is $2,214 in nonprofit hospitals and $1,747 in for-profit hospitals. These estimates underscore the need to have high occupancy in hospitals, and the staff needed to support it. Since RPO providers have access to talent, they can help fill critical positions in a short timeframe while maintaining quality patient care and managing operational costs. Customized workforce solutions can make a significant difference.

RPO providers also understand the unique hiring changes facing the healthcare industry. There are five approaches that can help healthcare organizations overcome their hiring challenges:

1. Specialty recruiting. The healthcare industry faces talent shortages with an ever-expanding user base, due to a growth in people with healthcare coverage as a result of the Affordable Healthcare Act. More people reaching retirement age is another factor—this will increase the need to fill OR, ER, and L&D positions. RPO providers can support these specialty recruiting needs through vetted databases of qualified professionals that identify candidates with skillsets and areas of expertise.

2. Candidate relationship management (CRM) technology. With a focus on proactive talent pooling, healthcare systems will benefit from the use of qualified CRM technology. CRM systems help organizations remain compliant with the definition of an applicant, as defined by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, while allowing their teams the ability to collect and pool talent for future needs. Tools such as LoopWorks, Avature, and Telemetry will become more critical. The cost of these tools should be factored into the budget— and they usually are not. RPO providers can offer budget-friendly CRM solutions for talent pooling.

3. Marketing mindset. Talent acquisition has become more of a marketing function than a human resources function. Healthcare systems benefit from team members who can brand, story tell, and market a culture. RPO providers offer expertise in employer branding: how to use story telling to help attract qualified clinical talent who might not have previously considered your health system or facility. The ability to share employer brand more consistently and more frequently is an example of how RPO provider today act like a marketer to the talent community.

4. Scalability. Mergers and acquisitions create instability for healthcare systems and facilities, and the need to manage large demand spikes can put strain on budgets.
Infrastructure changes—like reassessment of physical spaces and investment in new technologies— impact the hiring process. When large hiring practices are needed, RPO providers, which are built for scalability, can support the ebbs and flows of demand within talent acquisition.

5. Business outcomes. Creative compensation packages, shorter shifts, and increased base pay all require business cases before implementation. This process takes a substantial amount of time. RPO providers can gather and report data to help achieve business goals.

With an ever-evolving healthcare industry and the recent changes facing hiring, a workforce planner provider may be the way healthcare organizations can streamline their process and close the gap on the talent shortages.

Travis Furlow is the president of Clinical Magnet.

Posted April 12, 2016 in Healthcare Workforce

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