The good news? According to a recent study, your clients are expecting to hire 26% more contingent workers by 2013.
The challenge? What are you going to do earn part of that percentage?
As we all know, healthcare staffing is a huge part of the overall staffing industry. One study states that temporary nurses make up between five and 15 percent of hospital nursing staffs in 55 percent of hospitals.
But guess what? Because of baby boomers, the healthcare sector is on the rise. That same cohort, responsible for the rise of diapers (among other things!) in the 1950s, will be equally responsible for the rise of walkers in the latter 2010s- early 2020s. And this growth will bring savvy staffing companies right along with it.
With this in mind, I interviewed a director of HR/business partners at an Eastern US hospital. She uses staffing firms as needed and deals with them on a regular basis.
She had some interesting things to say, but preferred to remain anonymous. Let’s call her Linda.
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Jeff: Can you please describe your job title and responsibilities?
Linda: I’m Director, HR Business Partners. I direct the business partner program for the hospital, overseeing seven staff directly and five staff indirectly. Our group provides recruitment, employee relations and other basic HR functions for a 665-bed hospital.
Jeff: How big is the hospital you work for? In terms of employees/facilities/contract workers?
Linda: We have 5,500 employees and are part of a 2-hospital health system.
Jeff: Do you view any staffing firms as true partners? If so, why? Or if not, why not?
Linda: I personally do not have a relationship with a particular staffing firm. I think there are some very good firms out there, who listen to our needs and are helpful in filling a role. Other experiences have not been positive, when firms send unqualified candidates for positions or try to push someone you have already eliminated.
Jeff: What do the best ones do best?
Linda: They listen and back off when you tell them no.
Jeff: What drives you crazy about staffing firms?
Linda: I think that it is very frustrating when they don’t want to follow our process or won’t negotiate in a contract to hire situation. It leaves a bad taste! Their constant cold calling can get overwhelming and annoying, too. Sometimes I will get more staffing firms that respond to an ad for a position than actual applicants. This becomes hard to manage.
Jeff: Any recommendations for someone trying to get your business?
Linda: Don’t use the high-pressure techniques or try to act like you have done business in the past unless you can back it up. I appreciate the down-to-earth recruiters that simply state their case and ask if you have needs and ask me when a good time is to follow-up. Numbers are good- if they can give me metrics on how many similar positions they have filled and recommendations from other valued sources they will earn points with me.
Jeff: How do you like staffing firms to contact you? Either pre-existing accounts or ones that want to apply?
Linda: I have been using a vendor management site on a consistent basis that manages our contingency postings. This is nice because I don’t have to repeat the information to multiple callers and can respond easily when interested in a candidate. It also allows me to track metrics on how successful a staffing firm has been in filling similar roles and presenting qualified candidates.