Over the last few months, we have seen a substantial increase in the number of job requisitions sent to FocusOne on a weekly basis. As I am traveling around the country meeting with our clients, I’m hearing similar reasons for the increase in requests: increased census, new service lines being offered, new units being opened, and my personal favorite – the directive to eliminate supplemental employees (travelers) has actually resulted in a staffing crunch at your facility and now you’re being given the approval to bring in more help!
As we continue to experience record low unemployment rates, paired with the start of the holiday season and a flu season that’s forecasted to be one for the record books – we’re looking at a perfect storm for an increase in demand for experienced travelers! Do not be afraid – FocusOne is here to help!
According to the American Hospital Association, there are more than 5,564 registered hospitals in the United States. With thousands of travel requests posted at these facilities nationwide, what can you do to set your request apart from other facilities?
- Interview quickly – I cannot emphasize this enough… as soon as you receive the candidate submission from your Operations Consultant – CALL THEM RIGHT AWAY! If you do not reach the candidate, please let your Operations Consultant know as soon as possible. Candidates are not only submitted to multiple facilities with one staffing company – they’re working with SEVERAL staffing companies! If you are like me and stuck in meetings most days, please let your Operations Consultant know if there is someone who can interview on your behalf. It’s a highly competitive industry, and as a result staffing companies will send candidates to facilities who interview that day over facilities who have higher bill rates.
- Longer assignment lengths – Who wants to start a new position every three months? The majority of requests we have posted in FocusOne Connect are for 13 weeks. Posting your request for a longer length, such as 16-20 weeks, will set your request apart from others. Keep in mind that your agreement with FocusOne contains language that allows you to give notice, should you no longer have a need for the traveler to complete the full length of the agreed upon assignment. Ask your Operations Consultant if you have questions!
- Offer flexible scheduling – Are you able to accommodate requested time off around the holidays, can you offer block scheduling, or are you willing to offer overtime to travelers? If so, please communicate this to your Operations Consultant. While we don’t recommend putting the scheduling requirements of our traveler above that of your staff, any accommodations that can be made will set you apart from other facilities. Lastly, are you willing to consider a start date that’s a bit further out instead of waiting for that perfect candidate who can start ASAP? As we enter the holiday season, we see quite a few travelers align their contracts to end prior to Christmas, which means we have several candidates looking for January start dates!
- Look at your requirements – Review position requirements with your Operations Consultant to determine if there are items that are no longer applicable, or may be preventing you from receiving candidate profiles. While we do not recommend sacrificing quality, you may want to look at removing requirements or skills that are preferred, but are not necessary to work in the position. For example, decreasing the years of experience a candidate must have in order to be submitted, or considering candidates who may not have the state license, but are willing to obtain prior to their start date.
- Look at your bill rates. Are they competitive? While a bill rate increase is not the first option we recommend, it’s important to speak with your Operations Consultant to see if your rates are aligned with the market in your area. Did you know FocusOne sends a survey to our staffing companies bi-annually to determine the rate for your area? We conducted a survey a few months ago and would love to discuss those results with you.
Rest assured, we’re monitoring the candidate flow for each request we receive and will be reaching out in the weeks ahead to proactively discuss solutions for increasing candidate flow. If you have questions, concerns, or would like to discuss the status of open requests, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of your dedicated FocusOne team. We would love to hear from you!
Mandy has 14 years’ experience in healthcare staffing and throughout her tenure at FocusOne Solutions has worn many hats – Onsite Coordinator, Operations Consultant, Operations Manager and most recently as Director of Operations for the past 5 years. In her spare time, Mandy relaxes at the lake, enjoys spending time with friends and family, and shopping at Macy’s whenever she has the chance!