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Healthcare Recruitment Strategies to Optimize Cost Cutting Measures

doctors in a meeting shaking hands

The healthcare recruitment landscape has changed drastically over the last decade; even more so in the last few years. With talent shortages, particularly in specialized practices, as well as an aging population, increasing demand for health services, and an ever-increasing skill gap, it comes as minimal surprise that the vast majority of healthcare facilities— around 84% — have used contingent labor/locum tenens at some point in the past year.

Naturally, contingent workers tend to come at a higher price point than their full-time counterparts, meaning overreliance on them has led to overspending on staffing and recruiting across the board.

With years of experience helping organizations cut contingent labor costs, increase quality of workers, and providing transparency into recruiting processes, HWL is uniquely positioned to share the following healthcare recruiting strategies to help contain recruitment costs.


Build an Internal Agency

Typically, contingent workers are employed by a third-party staffing agency that sends them to various jobs whenever they are requested — typically in times of higher-than-normal patient volumes, in cases of turnover contagion, or even if a full-time staff member decides to take a vacation. However, between base pay, travel stipends, housing, etc., the expenses for travel staff add up quickly.

That's why so many healthcare organizations have decided to cut out the middleman and start their own internal staffing agencies. This may sound like a massive undertaking at first — establishing a new entity often is. But with the help of healthcare recruiting experts, it's never been easier. Plus, the long-term benefits it provides far outweigh the upfront expenses. 

HWL recently helped a client establish their own internal agency and they were able to lower overall contingent staffing costs by 30%. By helping them leverage their current brand assets to attract workers through a branded landing page, job boards, and more, they drove candidate leads within job boards, social media, and search engines, and were able to attract top talent at a fraction of their usual costs. Plus, the results were immediate. Within just a few weeks of the site launch, the client was able to establish local, regional, and national talent pipelines that continue to grow to this day. 


For more information on how you can start your own internal agency.


Managed Service Programs (MSP) and Vendor Management Systems (VMS) are Your Best Friends

MSPs and VMSs have become ubiquitous in the healthcare industry as of late. On the one hand, an MSP can help your organization ensure that contingent labor is recruited at competitive market rates, assist with time collection and invoicing, conduct interviews and screening calls, and more. 

On the other hand, a VMS helps centralize all aspects of a contingent labor force's day in one place. This includes communication, schedule access with customizable shift filters, documentation and credentials, real-time performance analytics, and much more all within a user-friendly platform. HWL's VMS, for instance, allows for custom workflows, easy integration with current systems, and robust business intelligence mechanisms that allow for enhanced workforce visibility.

To illustrate, one of HWL's recent clients historically relied on manually processing  Locums requisitions, tracking, and spending through spreadsheets and emails. After they enlisted the help of our VMS, they were able to speed up and streamline manual processes as well as glean new insights into where they were overspending across the entire health system.

Another health system enlisted the help of HWL's MSP services because, as they put it, 

"I had drawn up a standard contract that hiring managers were supposed to use with agencies, but of course, this did not happen all the time. So, I would occasionally get a call of distress from a hiring manager who wanted to hire the locum permanently but had signed a contract with a clause promising to pay above market fees to the agency in such a scenario. The inconsistencies created a lot of problems.” 

MSP services were able to establish a seamless process for all locums sourcing, credentialing, onboarding, scheduling, and payments. This, in turn, allowed recruiters to focus their attention on hiring full-time staff, saved hours of time, and eliminated non-standard fees and inflated rates.


Prioritize Retention

Modern problems require modern solutions; and the fact that staff retention is a major issue facing healthcare companies in the coming year is an indicator that retention efforts should be prioritized. High turnover rates have been affecting the industry for years and even now, despite post-COVID normalization. These have led to significant cost increases, increases in 30-day hospitalization rates, and have led to talent shortages in critical staff.


Read more on how high turnover threatens quality of care.


However, by addressing the root causes of turnover, you can achieve wonders in retaining key staff and ensuring they are dedicated to your organization for the long haul. Here are just a few ideas to get started:

  • Ensure competitive benefits and compensation: This may be easier said than done, but hopefully by now you have learned ways the organization can cut staffing costs. The savings you do achieve can be reinvested into your dedicated staff to ensure long-term satisfaction.
  • People over profits: With a fulfilled workforce, profits come naturally. By ensuring you prioritize each worker's work-life balance, acknowledge their achievements, and hire supportive management teams, staff organization-wide will recognize that you prioritize their livelihood over short-term gains. The loyalty that such actions foster is critical in staff retention.
  • Continuing education: No two employees are the same, but they do have one thing in common: the yearning to grow both as a person and as a professional. By providing education and training opportunities, you not only help them on their career journey, you can reap the benefits of said training directly. It's a win-win.


HWL Works to Develop Winning Healthcare Recruitment Strategies

HWL has helped organizations just like yours develop winning healthcare recruitment strategies that have tangible impacts both on the bottom line and company culture. Whether through developing an internal agency, VMS, or MSP services, or advisory services, our team of seasoned professionals is ready to help you navigate the complexities of workforce management and provide tailored advice that aligns with your unique goals and objectives. 

To learn more about how you can start implementing smarter strategies, get in touch today.

November 29, 2023/By Melissa Evans
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Author: Melissa Evans

Melissa Evans is a seasoned sales professional with 25 years of staffing industry experience. She excels in business development, strategic planning, and workforce solutions. With a robust professional journey, Melissa has consistently surpassed her sales goals, closing impressive deals and managing MSPs aligned with organizational objectives and her extensive experience has shaped her into a sales powerhouse. With a strong educational background and widespread experience, Melissa has a remarkable track record in the staffing industry and has earned accolades like Top Business Development Director and Champion's Circle Winner.
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