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Navigating the Rapid Evolution of Locum Tenens Staffing: Insights and Strategies for Success

For better or worse, the world of locum tenens staffing is changing more rapidly than ever before.  

Surveys show: 

  • 40-60%+ of physicians and providers are doing, or are open to, locums and moonlighting work 
  • 30%+ of candidates do locums work to supplement their income or improve their work/life balance 
  • Up to 90% of all healthcare facilities are using locums within the last year 

To some, these stats are scary, while others are embracing these trends to make the situation work in their favor. Locums are not simply a “necessary evil” or “too expensive,” they offer the flexibility needed today to help across the entire continuum of care delivery. When utilized and managed the right way, these physicians and providers can add significant value to your organization. 

Since HWL is not a locums or staffing agency ourselves, we have been afforded a unique vantage point from our client and agency partners to be able to drive innovation in this space. Historically, the idea of “Workforce Solutions” in healthcare has meant that a healthcare facility would bring in an agency and they would add layers of technology and sub vendors to fill the needs. While this sounds good, that 1.0/2.0 version appears to be waning.  

In those models, essentially an outsourcing model to that agency, the facilities are not receiving the transparency, accountability, or complete control that many are seeking today. What seemed like an easy button, is now proving to potentially just be a perpetuation of the same cycle. 

To truly develop a comprehensive recruitment strategy, there are 5 key questions our partners have shared that you may want to be considering: 

  1. Am I siloed with permanent and locums usage decisions being made by different teams?  
  1. Do I even know who is using locums? 
  1. Am I getting analytics to understand the market rates? 
  1. Do I have any process for approving my usage (tracking)? 
  1. Is there a financial benefit to the coverage? 

By utilizing these 5 questions as a baseline, it can allow for a more strategic approach to usage and management. One final question we have is, do you have the technology to become the system of truth for your process and reporting? 

This is where someone like HWL can come into play. Using a company who is not an agency, can develop a truly SaaS based model, and in our case coupled with a team of former in-house recruiters and other locums' experts, to engage with your agencies and optimize your process. 

We are proud to say we have been chosen to partner to support over 2,500 facility locations across the country and so if you are seeking new ways to drive innovation in your strategy, let’s connect.


Click here to learn more about HWL's Locums management.

September 15, 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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