What constitutes healthcare staffing from a recruiter’s perspective hasn’t changed much over the last several decades. Recruiters, whether working independently or as part of a staffing agency, have had one of two ways to approach what they do: recruit for permanent placement positions or fill locum tenens staffing needs. Many staffing agencies still do both.
The unpleasant news for the staffing industry these days is that the market is changing. Between tighter budgets, changing patient demographics and new tools for managing facility staffing, the need for traditional recruiting is starting to soften. Smart recruiters will begin looking now at the next gen strategy destined to keep their businesses afloat.
What is that strategy? The managed service provider (MSP) model. MSP staffing is going to be the norm sooner rather than later. MSP programs and complete vendor management systems are going to dominate the healthcare staffing landscape of the future.
Demand is Changing
Every paradigm shift in every industry has its root causes. So what is going on here? A change in demand. According to a Modern Healthcare article published in the summer of 2019, staffing companies are beginning to feel the downward pressure of that changing demand.
Modern Healthcare cites the fact that healthcare facilities are being more selective in their recruitment and staffing. They are doing so as a result of both external and internal forces. One of the external forces mentioned was the decline of emergency department volumes. Internally, facilities are beginning to leverage predictive analytics to help them better measure demand in advance.
All of this is to say that recruiting demand is moderating. Yes, we still face a sizable shortage of clinicians. And yes, staffing agencies still have a lot of work to do. But healthcare facilities are starting to see their staffing shortages as less dire. The less dire the shortages become, the less need there will be for traditional recruiting and hiring.
The MSP Solution
Let us assume for the sake of argument that the clinician shortage is brought under control within the next five years. We could even go as far as to assume that the severity of the shortage declines. This would indicate that the work staffing agencies do would not be in such high demand. Those agencies on the low end of the proverbial food chain would likely be forced out of the market. Everyone else would be left competing for their pieces of a smaller pie.
What if some agencies changed their business models? What if some of them started offering MSP programs? They would be the survivors. Some staffing agencies are already thinking in that direction, which is why we are starting to see MSP programs pop up.
The MSP Principle
Vista Select is one example of an MSP staffing solution. It is designed around the principle of helping healthcare facilities manage all of their staffing needs through a combination of technology and expert support. The service provider offers a vendor management system that acts as a cloud-based hub connecting staffing agency, facility, and staff members.
With such a system in place, the agency is no longer just a recruiting partner. It becomes a managed service provider to take on the core responsibilities of meeting staffing needs. The services provided within that relationship are ultimately dictated by healthcare facility needs.
All indications suggest that the need for traditional recruiting and placement are starting to weaken in the healthcare sector. Staffing agencies and hiring facilities hoping to stay ahead of the game should start thinking about MSP programs now. They represent the next generation of healthcare staffing.