March 07, 2022 | 5 min read
Considering A Healthcare Staffing Partner? Ask These Questions


Whether you’ve just begun or are in the middle of the hiring process for a key search, you may be considering partnering with a healthcare staffing firm. In today’s competitive and ever-changing market, healthcare recruiters can mitigate your operational burden and help you navigate critical staffing challenges.

Other benefits include:

  • Extensive healthcare industry expertise
  • Large talent pipeline
  • Unique sourcing strategies + tools for hard-to-fill roles
  • In-depth candidate screenings
  • Quick and reliable placements

While the benefits are clear, the decision on when to officially engage in a partnership with a healthcare staffing firm isn’t always an easy one. “Some healthcare facilities will work with a recruiter from the get-go, while others prefer to take a first pass at the search themselves,” says Steffanie Ngo-Hatchie, a Managing Director within our Healthcare division. “While there is no right or wrong approach, there comes a critical time in every search where the benefits of using a staffing partner outweigh any of the financial costs.”

When you are reaching this critical point, your first step should be to identify the right healthcare staffing firm for you. When you feel confident you’ve found the right partner, here are the questions to consider when determining if it’s the optimal time to get started:

What is your recruitment budget?

A detailed recruitment budget can drive an efficient hiring process. “Calculating your estimated recruitment costs and determining your budget is an important exercise, even when not working with a recruitment firm,” advises Steffanie. “And if you do ultimately choose to work with a recruiter, having this information readily accessible can help start the partnership on the right foot.” To plan your budget, Steffanie recommends taking these factors into account:

  • The total number of hires and their salaries
  • Basic recruitment costs, including job boards and employer branding efforts
  • Other fixed costs, including recruiting events, partnerships with industry institutions and universities, employee referral incentives, background checks, and external recruiter fees
  • Miscellaneous expenses, including video interview technology, relocation incentives, etc.

What is the recruiting timeline?

For most health facilities, time is of the essence when bringing on new talent. “This is especially true when hiring for clinical roles,” warns Steffanie. “The longer the position goes unfilled, the easier it is to lose track of your goals and budget.”

To avoid this, Steffanie recommends that you carefully compare your recruitment budget to your profit margin. She says, “figure out how long the position can remain unfilled until you’re in the red.” At some point, it may make more financial sense to pay the fees associated with a healthcare staffing firm and have them handle the search. Due to their resources and network, they’ll likely be able to find you a qualified hire faster.

What’s the impact been on the rest of your staff?

Letting a position remain unfilled not only impacts your ability to bill, but also requires the rest of your team to pick up the slack. According to our 2022 Healthcare Hiring Outlook, employee burnout has been the top challenge to retention for healthcare facilities.

The added pressure of an unsustainable workload can contribute to even greater levels of burnout and employee turnover—creating the perfect storm for your organization. As a result, utilizing a healthcare staffing firm to speed up the hiring process (or at least put a contractor in place) can help you manage your staff’s workload.

Read also: Healthcare Hiring: 6 Steps To Improve The Process

What are your top hiring priorities? What positions are hardest to fill?

If you do not have a large recruitment budget, you can still work with a healthcare staffing firm to help ease some of your burden. Rather than having them work across the board, identify your top hiring priorities and most challenging hiring needs. It might be worth the additional investment if they can help you in some of these areas.

Are you able to get candidates excited about the role or your facility?

As clinical shortages reach critical levels, you may be so focused on applicant screening that you lose sight of the overall candidate experience. “Healthcare professionals can be very selective when making career decisions in today’s job market,” says Steffanie. “To attract top talent, you need to sell yourself! What makes you a great place to work? Why are you a top employer? What is exciting about the role?”

A healthcare staffing firm can help you improve the candidate experience in a couple of ways. First, they can take over much of the pre-screening process. This way, you can feel more confident knowing you are interviewing qualified candidates—allowing you to shift some of your focus to getting to know your top applicants as individuals.

The second way your recruiting partner can help is by coordinating most of the interview process. From initial outreach and status updates to the offer stages—they will keep your top candidates engaged for you.

And finally, your recruiting partner will continue to sell your culture throughout the process. “Think of your recruiter as an extension of your TA team,” says Steffanie. “Every interaction we are having with a candidate is on your behalf. We want to find the best match for both you and our candidates, so ensuring both the right skill and personality fit is key. To effectively do this, we need to understand your culture, mission, and values.”

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