Healthcare Contingent Workers Encourage Healthcare Hiring

Healthcare is experiencing a hiring boom.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recently released a report in which they cited healthcare had added 46,000 jobs in May 2016, increasing the number of jobs added in 2016 to 486,000 more than 2015.  After years of talent shortages due to a healthcare skills gap, health systems are again feeling confident in their hiring decisions.  This has been driven in part by the use of healthcare contingent workers. Their use has afforded health systems’ patients immediate accessibility to care and flexibility for the health system to make the right hiring decision.

Across over 250 large health systems, RightSourcing has seen a 41% increase in the use of contingent workers and a 34% increase in conversions of healthcare contingent workers to full time payrolled employees. This trend shows no immediate signs of slowing in the healthcare industry as more workers are expected to retire this year.

Hiring Benefits of Using Healthcare Contingent Workers

All healthcare hiring decisions have the same goal in mind- increasing patient safety and care.  With increased patients due to regulatory changes, enhancing patient safety and care has become more difficult when staff is lean.  To compensate, health systems have turned to using healthcare contingent workers.  Consider the following ways in which health systems are using healthcare contingent workers and finding a hiring benefit:

  • Trying out new talent before an expensive hire. Hiring can be an expensive process- from the hours required of existing staff to source, interview, onboard and train new hires to benefits and perks.  When a new hire doesn’t work out, studies have shown an ROI as high as -298% or the loss of an investment approaching $240,000.  Facing smaller budgets and less reimbursement, health systems have opted instead to use healthcare contingent workers to evaluate  a potential new employee prior to making a significant investment.  This has encouraged more healthcare hires by giving hiring managers more confidence in their hiring decisions.
  • Discouraging workplace accidents and sick time. With leaner staff, many health systems have opted to use healthcare contingent workers to relieve many of the already overburdened staff.  When staff is running lean, burnout can occur quite quickly when the number of patients is high.  This can lead to increased use of sick time or worse, a workplace accident.  By using healthcare contingent workers to increase staff, there is less money wasted on productivity losses and accident claims.  This leaves more money in the budget for healthcare hiring.
  • Profitable projects drive more healthcare hiring. Many health systems use healthcare contingent workers on Statement of Work (SOW) projects.  Often, these projects are carefully tracked with detailed reporting and strategic analytics.  When profitable, these programs get expanded, increasing the need for staff.  The use of healthcare contingent workers can drive healthcare hiring in this sense.

The BLS predicts job growth may be slow this year across the nation, but healthcare has been able to increase the number of new hires significantly compared to other industries.  Despite a lingering sense of a skills gap, healthcare hiring is expected to increase as many workers prepare to retire.  Many of these hires will be conversions from healthcare contingent workers. If your health system would like to learn how to manage this process effectively, contact RightSourcing for a free workforce analysis to begin the conversation.

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