Time is money. And, this couldn’t be more true when it comes to recruiting and retaining healthcare professionals. With the rise of the gig economy and growing value for personal time, one of the most valuable perks physicians and nurses can receive today is flexibility.
According to the American Staffing Association, more than three million contractors worked for staffing companies on an average week. Of these contractors, about three in five say that scheduling flexibility is the key reason for choosing temporary and contract work.
As a result, staffing agencies are growing their networks of certified nurses and physicians, who are opting for work-life balance. This flexibility is a win-win for both employers and healthcare professionals — here’s why.
A growing shortage for U.S. physicians and nurses means raising the perks.
The U.S. physician shortage is expected to reach between 34,600 and 88,000 in 2025. As for nurses, the U.S. will need more than 1 million new nurses by 2022 to meet the growing demand.
This high demand and short supply of nurses and physicians is now forcing employers to rethink the benefits that they offer to better attract talent: compressed workweeks, alternating days off and even unlimited paid time off.
This trend comes from two main demographics: men nearing retirement and women who are at the early stages of their career — likely starting a family, raising children or wanting to travel for their profession.
Trusted staffing agencies, such as Prosperity Medical Group, offer physicians and nurses who are looking for flexibility with a wide range of temporary and locum tenens opportunities. This promotes a work-life balance. Prosperity Medical Group also offer hospitals and healthcare facilities a broader access to talent and the ability to fill vacancies in a short period of time.
Flexibility is a win-win for employers and healthcare professionals.
By offering flexible work schedules, hospitals can cast a wider net and attract talent at all life stages. It’s also an opportunity to mitigate staff burnout and turnover.
Nearly 85% of physicians reported moderate to severe stress levels in the 2017 Physician Wellness and Retention survey*. Burnout often results in poor patient care, low employee morale, and increased turnover. Physician vacancies can be extremely costly — amounting to over $1 million in a given year.
To avoid this, more hospitals are partnering with staffing agencies, who offer a broad access to talent looking for temporary, traveling and locum tenens opportunities.
With 71% of clinicians reporting work/life balance to be an “extremely important” attribute in their wellness and retention*, “smart staffing” is a critical approach that will prove to be advantageous in the healthcare industry.
Flexible work in a high-stress, scheduling-intense environment like healthcare is beneficial. Here are three actions that hospitals and healthcare facilities can take to promote a flexible work environment:
1. Establish culture carriers. Nominate stand-out nurses and physicians to be the voice and ambassador of your culture. These “culture carriers” should hold regular pulse checks with staff to gauge pace of work, but more importantly, solicit ideas for building culture and gaps in staffing.
2. Broaden your search for diverse talent. Consider enlisting a trusted medical staffing agency to diversify your staff with new skill sets and schedule preferences. This creates a more balanced work environment — reducing burnout and turnover.
3. Create open lines of communication. Establish new orientation, onboarding and mentoring programs for your staff. Consider “office hours” and listen-and-learn sessions to create transparency among providers and staff across departments.
*2017 Physician Wellness and Retention Survey