Tips on How Not to Lose Your Temp Healthcare Staff

Economy-wide, hiring remains a significant challenge. There was an acute shortage of staff when the whole world was grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. Most healthcare organizations turn to contingent workers to mitigate the gap and serve patients. Still, the physician and nursing shortage continues, and organizations continue to depend on temporary or contingent workers; they face a constant struggle. Attrition is a significant challenge with contingent workers. This blog will discuss how you can retain and nourish your temporary workforce.

Before delving into the topics more, lets us ask ourselves a question. Why do most companies hire temp staff to fulfill their short-term and long-term staff requirements?

There are many advantages of hiring temp staff. Contingent workers fill staffing gaps without the employer having to provide benefits or pay employment taxes. Some of the benefits that permanent employees have but contingent workers do not have are – health, dental, vision, or life insurance, paid time off, sick leave, vacation pay, etc. Thus, many employers prefer temp employees over permanent employees.

In the healthcare industry, there are three common types of contingent workers: temporary contractors, consultants, independent contractors, or freelancers.
Retaining a contingent workforce and keeping them engaged is even more challenging than retaining permanent employees.

The contingent workforce is larger than ever and continues to grow daily. With that growth coupled with a tight labor market, staffing and talent management agencies are working smarter than ever to improve the candidate experience while maintaining positive client relationships. High-quality contingent workers are becoming a commodity, yet that’s the opposite of how they want to be treated. To engage and retain contingent workers, staffing agencies and employers should work together to keep the pot sweetened. Let’s understand how you can achieve this.

Retain your employees through a comprehensive employee retention strategy
With the cost of replacing an employee being as high as 2x the annual salary, it’s become critical to have an effective employee retention program.

Recognition and rewards program positively affects retention
We found that what temporary workers most desire from staffing firms is sufficient availability of meaningful work, a trustworthy environment, supportive co-workers, and quick resolution to their problems. Contrariwise, contingent workers abandon staffing firms that fail to maintain regular and transparent communication, firms that offer low salaries and/or fail to pay as committed, firms perceived as incompetent/non-trustworthy, firms whose clients/healthcare organizations have unpleasant work environments, and firms that cannot provide enough suitable assignments and growth opportunities.

According to a study, the two leading reasons for leaving a firm were an opportunity for better pay and job dissatisfaction. While for cross occupations, these factors vary in importance; for healthcare support workers, healthcare practitioners, and workers in computer/mathematical occupations, the opportunity for better pay was the most common reason for leaving their old staffing firm. Lack of available work (good work) ranked second as the reason to quit the job. 
For workers in production, business/financial, and office/administrative roles, lack of work was the most-cited reason, followed by pay. For all occupations, poor communication by employer or talent management firm was the third-most-common reason for quitting an employer/staffing provider.

Engage your contingent workers in training and communications. 
Training programs help show employees you are invested in their success. Whether working as a regular or temporary employee, candidates want to know if they can grow in their careers working with you. Thus, one sure way to help attract and retain contingent employees is by providing thorough training and skill development opportunities. There are numerous benefits experienced by organizations that offer a robust learning & development program.

  • Lower turnover rates.
  • Be transparent about the scope of the job opportunity and further growth opportunities.
  • Show prospective employees a glimpse of your company’s culture.
  • Recognizing and addressing things that may be an issue, such as transportation, food, benefits, etc. 

Invest in employee collaboration tools 
Modern workforce has become acclimated to using advancing technologies & tools such as using team collaboration tools, productivity-enhancing tools, and employee management solutions. By investing in these solutions, you can make it easier to source the right employees and further keep them engaged and committed.

Encourage innovation and sharing of ideas 
Another powerful way to keep your contingent employees engaged is by creating an environment that encourages innovation and sharing ideas. Workers feel happy in a competitive working environment and are satisfied when their opinions are heard, and viewpoints are valued. It helps them stay passionate and motivated about their role within the organization.

Offer growth and learning opportunities
While most contingent employees know their positions are temporary, there are often opportunities for permanent placements down the role. Temporary employment is an excellent way for employers to test the abilities of their employees. Over time, it may be a worthwhile investment to find a permanent placement for them in your organization. Giving your contingent employees the potential for a permanent position at your company can help ensure you maximize their value while training them for permanent jobs.

Check the pulse of your temp-staff with surveys
Conduct an “Employee Satisfaction Survey” for contingent workers. Reach out to them and ask, “What can we do better?” to make them stay longer and keep them happy and motivated.

If adequately managed, contingent workers can significantly assist your organization. They help you survive uncertain times and thrive in them. Hence, it is essential to go the extra mile to make them feel valued and engaged with your company. You can maximize the value they bring to your company with the right approach, plan, and tools. Managing them in addition to your permanent workforce is the winning formula.

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