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Temporary staffing services are a boon to the medical field when there aren’t enough qualified nursing staff to go around. Once the go-to for those companies in need of manual laborers, or administrative personnel to fill in during short-lived gaps, temp services are fast becoming the source for hospitals to supplement staff, and avoid the risks associated with short-staffed shifts.

Across the US, in as many as 75% of urban and rural medical facilities, the need to utilize staffing services has long been apparent. These agencies benefit medical facilities in many ways, from freeing up administrators to perform more pressing duties, to providing skilled back up when hospitals and medical centers are experiencing a higher than planned-for census.

Temporary to Permanent

Many times these temporary positions continue past the expected end date due to ongoing increase in patients, or a lack of qualified candidates to fill positions. In some cases the temporary staff is asked to move into a permanent position with the hospital or care facility. And why not? The candidate has proven him, or her, self as a dedicated member of the team and is working out well.

Finding the right supplemental employee and having them turn into a productive asset to your facility can underline the reason why so many hospitals and clinics choose temporary staffing as a means to qualified personnel. There are several benefits to using temp-to-hire staffing for your medical facility. Four of the top advantages are:

  • Allows potential temp-to-hire to learn how your facility operates under on-the-job conditions.

Staffing services are usually called upon when the facility is experiencing a high volume of patients, and a shortage of nurses. If that’s the case, your temporary hire will need to hit the ground running. As he or she rises to the occasion, your procedures and staff protocol will have to be learned on-the-job. Temp-to-hire strategy eliminates the need for pulling already-busy nursing staff away from patient care to provide training. OTJ training not only equips the temp-to-hire candidate, but also allows him or her to discern whether the position is a good fit.

  • Opportunity to vet potential staff hire(s)

Temp-to-hire staffing allows you a trial period before you hire, in order to make sure your candidate is right for the position. You can observe the experience your candidate has as it is put to the test. Temp-to-hire strategy also allows you to assess the potential new staff member’s ability to interact with in-place staff as well as patients and their families. Job interviews, no matter how thorough, only provide you with insight into the candidate’s ability to perform, based on a one-on-one meeting. With a temp-to-hire strategy, you’ll witness the candidates performance, garner feedback from permanent staff, observe patient care and interaction.

  • Provides more control to facility administrators

There is no more stressful task for medical facility administration than overseeing the hiring, and dismissing, of staff. When you cut hours, due to a low census, you risk losing good nursing staff. When the time comes that more nurses are needed, you have to go through the process of vetting potential candidates. By using a staffing service, you actually have more control over the people you hire. If you see a need to increase nursing staff, you can do so without the commitment of full-time employment. Should you find you need to cut your staff, that’s also easily accomplished. Temp-to-hire strategy gives the administration the utmost control over hiring.

  • Staffing agency provides for easy transition

When you work with a staffing agency that promotes temp-to-hire opportunities, you’ve had most of the “grunt” work done for you. Your candidate will have a clear idea of his or her duties and what is expected of them. The temp-to-hire staff will have been evaluated based on the specific needs of your facility. Also, when the position does become permanent, the staffing agency will communicate any concerns you may have, or those concerns of the candidate, resolving potential issues before you add that candidate to your staff. Such subjects as salary, benefits, overtime and PTO will have been discussed via the staffing agency so there is no confusion on these often delicate matters.
Using temp-to-hire staffing strategies to increase personnel at your medical facility is the most efficient way to prevent short-staffing and the risks that can arise from having too many patients and too few nurses. Staffing services can increase your team of skilled and qualified nurses, and help you avoid offering a permanent position to someone who simply is not a good fit.

Photo credit: Libelul via Visualhunt / CC BY

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