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To Break Down the Hiring Barriers in Locums, it is Vital to Be Prepared

Medium shot of doctors in a row

Utilizing multiple locum agencies with individual contacts for each specialty can easily become overwhelming and impossible to manage. Due in part to a lack of advancement and modernization in locum tenens staffing over the last decade, many organizations are now seeking new ways to streamline the process. 

The burning question though is often, “But where do I start?”


Evaluate Your Process

Before understanding how to refine the process and secure locum tenens more effectively, you want to break down your process to identify potential areas of opportunity that cause bottlenecks or delivery challenges along the way. Are you approving your needs? Is your credentialing process causing delayed starts? Are you simply focusing on rate vs doing a true cost benefit analysis? Are you overly reliant on a single agency or two?

In today’s environment, the number of locum staff used is growing for almost all healthcare organizations due to labor shortages — that comes as no surprise. With strategic foresight into why and how you utilize them you can create a plan. By gaining access to rates, supply, and specific challenges (i.e., licensing, credentialing, conversion fees, etc.) among your local, regional and also a national level; it is truly possible to streamline the process. 

For these critical insights, HWL has reviewed our clients best practices to develop a checklist that might help.

Evaluate Your Contingent Labor Hiring Process

[View Detailed Hiring Checklist]


Process Areas to Consider & Review

  • Sourcing Process - What are your resources? Do you have an ATS, Excel Spreadsheet, VMS, etc.? Without a way to track your process, you will never get off the hamster wheel.
  • Data Insights - Are you making data-driven hiring decisions or are they reactionary? Utilizing data is critical in understanding how to refine hiring strategies.
  • Contracting & Rates - How transparent are your labor spending habits? Being able to analyze market rates can help you stay competitive without overspending.
  • Utilization - Do you know why and how often each service line is using staff? This data provides keen insights into your staff utilization and allows potential predictive forecasting for future needs..
  • Compliance - How do you collect documentation on your candidates and how are credentials managed? If this is not a standard process, there are possible delayed starts, non compliant providers, etc. 
  • Organizational Impact - Have you analyzed what the amount of usage is doing to your organization? Without knowing the financial implications, it is impossible to make key hiring decisions for both locums and permanent staff.

According to a report published by Ardent Partners, only 53% of high-performing organizations are able to convert contingent labor data into actionable intelligence. This is one of many reasons why more healthcare organizations are choosing to partner with Vendor Management System (VMS) and Managed Service Providers(MSP) solution providers.

HWL has been pioneering these programs within healthcare innovators across the country for many years and is proud that our partners constantly share their best practices and help us drive innovation in the market. To that end, here is one example of how we partnered with an organization, utilized the above checklist to lay our foundation, and build a years-long engagement.


Discover how HWL partnered with Hartford Healthcare to standardize locum contracts for time savings and transparency.

Read: Hartford Healthcare Case Study


Benefits of Partnering with a Healthcare Workforce Solutions Provider

  • Can use more agencies and broaden your reach
  • Greater competition for your business
  • Time savings for recruiters and hiring managers
  • Greater transparency into screening and onboarding process
  • Efficiency gains for all parties including agencies
  • Lower costs through open ecosystem bidding model
  • Improved visibility into costs and locums utilization by facility, agency, Locum type, etc.


Related reading, ‘Are You Paying Too Much for Locum Tenens?’


HWL's Distinct Locum Tenens Advantages

HWL’s client controlled  solutions leverage proprietary technology to develop a customized  program to source and onboard locums while mitigating against unrealistic premiums or additional fees that can sometimes be charged.  HWL standardizes contracts, provides true rate transparency, and allows you the ability to run as much or as little of the day-to-day as you desire. By automating the process, your team and ours are able to create unmatched efficiency whether you utilize a few agencies or 50+. 


Technology Features:

  • Easy online or mobile order entry
  • Custom built to your specifications down to a department level
  • Automated name clearing and known-provider process
  • Manage interview schedules and conduct screening steps online
  • Use online assignment confirmations with electronic signatures for provider, agency and health system
  • Collect and store all provider documents and credentials online
  • Approve all time and expenses electronically
  • Receive and pay one e-invoice for all locums agencies per pay period
  • Track costs, quality and vendor performance with dashboards and custom reports.

Managed Services:

  • 24/7/365 dedicated staffing support
  • Pre-screening of profiles and interview coordination
  • Standardized contract management and administration
  • Ongoing active rate management
  • Vendor and user onboarding and training
  • KPI reporting and vendor performance management
  • Consultation, guidance and industry best practices.


Balancing Locums with HWL

HWL works with clients to help them achieve a healthy balance of locums usage, while also identifying areas of potential overuse to help in permanent hiring strategies. With demands on health systems, departments, and the providers themselves ever-changing, it is more important than ever to have a clear line of sight regarding your locum tenens utilization. healthcare labor market.

For more information about locums management or to request our services contact us.


Additional Resources

September 01, 2023/By Trevor Strauss, FACHE
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Author: Trevor Strauss, FACHE

Trevor Strauss serves as a Vice President for HWL and has been designing new solutions and driving go to market strategy within healthcare workforce and human capital delivery for organizations since 2008. His expertise comes from having lead deal teams from inception through implementation across the entire labor continuum from search to enterprise-wide workforce and technology solutions. His passion is helping organizations reposition themselves to create the future they desire to meet their operational and financial goals, while ensuring patient care delivery. He received his BS from Lock Haven University, MBA from East Carolina University, and is Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. He is based out of Atlanta, GA and can be reached at tstrauss@hwlworks.com or 770-298-0122.
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