Contingent Staffing Challenges Faced by Healthcare Staffing Agencies

Introduction 

In contingent staffing it is more crucial than ever to have an agile, flexible workforce. Hence, talent can be applied rapidly to meet the constantly changing market opportunities. Plus dangers in today's unpredictable economic climate. For this reason, non-employee talent which already makes up almost 50% of the workforce at the average company is being used by organizations more and more.   

Change is a constant for staffing companies. Whereas, accepting new technology, a shortage of skilled workers, unstable economic conditions, the trend toward remote work, a high employee turnover rate, etc. is also difficult. Additionally, these are a few of the most significant problems that hiring managers and staffing professional firms encounter every year. Hence, healthcare staffing agencies learn about all of these problems of contingent staffing from the candidates.    

An Overview of Healthcare Staffing Agency in the USA 

The healthcare staffing sector is ablaze with revolutionary trends that are transforming the workforce in the year 2024. Thus, it is imperative for allied health workers, including travel nurses, to stay abreast of current trends. The Healthcare Staffing Market Growth Research for the 2023–2031 period provides a thorough examination of the current trends. This includes obstacles, dangers, and constraints that leading industry participants must contend with.    

It explores in great detail industry revenues. The state of Compound Annual Growth Rates (CAGR), the current level of demand, and geographic segmentation. In addition to offering a global assessment of market share values, this study on the healthcare staffing market includes various things. Like qualitative and quantitative insights into firm profiles, investment opportunities, strategic growth strategies, and industry aspects.  

Definition of Contingent Staffing in Healthcare 

The term contingent staffing describes the practice of hiring contract or temporary workers as needed instead of full-time permanent employees. In case you're wondering how a contractor and a contingent worker vary. Since they both provide work as needed. Moreover, these workers usually don't have the long-term commitment of traditional employment. Instead, they are hired to perform certain tasks or finish projects for a set amount of time.   

Importance of Addressing Challenges in Contingent Staffing 

Change is a constant for staffing companies. New technology, a shortage of skilled workers, and unstable economic conditions. Plus the trend toward remote work, a high employee turnover rate, etc. These are a few of the most significant problems. The hiring managers and staffing professional firms encounter every year. We learn about all of these problems from our candidates for employment.    

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Importance of Addressing Challenges in Contingent Staffing   

You might be wondering what difficulties to anticipate if you have never used contingent staffing. You must work with many clients on their workforce management strategies, and when you work with new clients, typically observe the following issues. 

  • Employment Law Compliance 

The Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) wage and hours regulations do not cover contingent workers. For example, you incorrectly label one of your workers as a contract employee. Moreover, you fail to pay them overtime or the minimum wage. In that scenario, you will be liable for the sum of those unpaid wages as well as liquidated damages and legal costs.  

Employers may face criminal charges if they knowingly break wages and hourly regulations. Particular laws have been put in place to address contingent laborers. Contingent workers are not covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) wage and hours regulations. For many firms, keeping up with these ever-changing legislation and regulations might mean investing a substantial amount of time and money.   

  • Employee Engagement 

It might be difficult to recruit and retain contingent workers. They are not as ingrained in the company culture as your regular staff members are. Hence, they are typically less protected by labor regulations and do not receive the same perks as permanent employees. Thus, it might be challenging for them to collaborate with long-term company members. Therefore, it increases turnover and decreases productivity.   

Employers need to develop a communication plan that works with their contingent workforce to address these difficulties. Thus, by putting this plan into practice, you can make sure that temporary employees feel appreciated and included. Hence, higher levels of performance and production will follow from this.    

  • Cultivating Culture Fit  

Making sure that temporary and permanent employees blend together seamlessly is only one of the many difficulties that come with integrating temporary workers into an organization's culture.  

Maintaining productivity and morale within an organization depends on achieving organizational harmony, which calls for a proactive commitment to inclusivity and collaboration. A seamless integration into your company's culture is crucial, even for temporary positions. It's a fine balance, but it's attainable.  

Challenges Faced by Managers 

Managers of contingent workforces frequently face challenges such as managing a diverse set of people with a range of work styles Including fostering collaboration and communication among remote workers and guaranteeing a constant standard of work. 

Other challenges that managers can encounter include keeping an eye on the productivity and development of temporary employees. Moreover, addressing any labor law-related regulations. Plus, integrating them seamlessly into the existing team environment.    

Healthcare Employment: By the Numbers            

The number of workers in the healthcare sector is 21.7 million, or 14% of all American workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These are significant figures that are anticipated to rise.  

Between now and 2032, the BLS predicts that employment in the healthcare sector will rise at a rate significantly faster than the average for all industries, creating 1.8 million job vacancies annually. Some are being replaced by new hires, while some are the result of the industry’s expansion. 

In fact, it’s estimated that 45% of all newly created jobs will be in the healthcare industry. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) projects that by 2034, there may be a shortfall of up to 139,000 physicians in the United States. 

It is anticipated that employment of registered nurses would increase by 6% by 2032, creating 193,000 new positions annually over the ensuing ten years. The majority of industry segments are expected to see job growth, while home healthcare is expected to grow at the largest rate between 2019 and 2029 by 34%. 

Fifty percent of final-year medical students receive over 100 job offers, indicating the intense competition for young physicians. Due to companies’ preference for selecting DEI candidates, the competition is even more fierce for female and minority graduates. Despite a decline from the all-time high of 2021, healthcare quit rates are still 29% higher than they were prior to the epidemic.   

The Increasing Demand for Healthcare Professionals in the USA 

To fulfill demand in the upcoming years, there will need to be a significant increase in the number of healthcare staff. So, according to a report conducted by consulting firm Mercer, there will be a severe shortage of healthcare workers in the United States for the next ten years. Hence, the company projects a deficit of 29,400 nurse practitioners and over 400,000 home health aides by 2025. There will be a scarcity in other medical specialties as well.    

The worry about a shortage is not new. Ten years before the Mercer report, a 2009 National Academy of Sciences symposium on the oncology workforce summarized worries about a physician, nurse, and allied healthcare professional shortage. 

This problem has no simple answer. Healthcare providers are unable to acquire new employees from the street since these employees require specialized training and considerable qualifications. The lack of healthcare workers has prompted a variety of reactions and strategies. 

Overcoming the Challenges of Healthcare Staffing 

One of the sectors most severely impacted by the epidemic and Great Resignation was the healthcare sector, where record-breaking personnel shortages are expected to persist for at least ten years. It's not the only one, though. 

The industries with the worst labor shortages are transportation, green energy, hospitality, and technology. Moreover, The Great Resignation and The Great Retirement have been responsible for nearly all the labor force deficit. Here are a few ways through which you can deal with healthcare shortages:     

  • Increase Employee Visibility and Maintain Flexibility  

The healthcare staffing agencies frequently struggle to scale, maintain, and quickly modify their workforces in response to changing labor market conditions. Using an integrated workforce management (IWM) platform can help businesses overcome these obstacles by giving them quick and simple access to information about the demographics and behavior of their workforce as well as the ability to forecast their future labor needs, including shifts associated with seasonal work. 

  • Ensuring Compliance in Contingent Staffing Is a Challenge 

The issue of compliance rises with the use of contingent labor. For tax and benefit purposes, governments want to make sure that workers are appropriately classified. Companies also need to make sure that their non-employee involvement and hiring rules are effectively implemented. 

The consequences of incorrectly identifying independent contractors (ICs) or contingent labor can be disastrous if proper procedures are not followed. Litigation, penalties, costly financial settlements, and reputational harm are possible outcomes. Moreover, program managers for contingent labor can reduce compliance risks. Thus, by making sure that they have followed all applicable laws, regulations, and corporate rules, and by documenting those procedures.    

  • Worker Misclassification Can be Challenging 

Many employers have been faced with challenges due to updates to classification criteria. If non-employee labor is misclassified, there may be fines, penalties, and even legal action. When hiring managers are in charge of managing the contingent labor, their organizations are particularly vulnerable to violations by regulatory agencies.  

It is not appropriate for these hiring managers to be specialists in worker classification. Moreover, employers may find themselves with ticking time bombs in their contingent labor programs if there is no expert available to make decisions about worker classification.    

Conclusion  

To guarantee a successful and seamless operation, every obstacle demands attentive attention and aggressive management. Managing cash flow, adhering to compliance and employer obligations. Plus, building connections with temporary employees, managing applicant expectations, and striking a balance between speed and quality in the hiring process. These are just a few of the difficulties that come with managing temp and contract recruitment.  Hence, you need to contact a professional team to deal with the challenges faced by healthcare staffing agencies. 

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