The pandemic might be over, but that doesn’t mean that nursing facilities are out of the woods yet when it comes to the ongoing staffing shortage.
The on again, off again recession that we’ve all heard about is certainly not helping the situation. If you’re like many facilities, sourcing the talent you need to keep your beds full and give your patients the quality of care they deserve has become harder and harder.
When you’re not focused on healthcare recruiting, you’re trying to figure out how to manage your facility’s ledgers and avoid the red ink — which is a challenge in and of itself thanks to rising costs across the board. To top it off, you have to find ways to manage the burnout that nurses and other healthcare professionals experience in their day-to-day roles, or else face the possibility of yet another position becoming vacant.
To put it simply: the way things are going aren’t sustainable. In fact, it’s been estimated that if facilities can’t find a way to improve their healthcare recruiting and retention, 50% won’t financially survive the year.
You know that a single, unfilled bed can cost your facility upwards of $100,000 a year in revenue, but the current method of managing staff to bed ratio simply isn’t sustainable. While using a staffing agency to fill the gaps in your coverage is a temporary solution, it is an expensive one as well. By taking control of your own hiring process, you can fill those empty beds while cutting costs. Every hire that you make through a staffing agency comes with a higher markup than if you were to recruit healthcare workers yourself — a cost that you could eliminate if you made the hire yourself.
Dig into the details of how healthcare recruiting and retention impacts your facility’s bottom line below.
Why are costs rising for facilities?
Inflation has touched every facet of this economy — and healthcare is not an exception. At the simplest level, the cost of goods and medical supplies have risen over the past couple of years. But there’s more to the financial story here than just increased prices for medications and supplies.
If you remember, there was a period of time during the pandemic when facilities couldn’t hire and keep enough staff to meet federal regulations about patient to nurse ratios. In an effort to keep facilities open and provide those who need care the most the help they need, the government chose to overlook compliance regulations in a rare instance of compassion — and all was well, until recently. Now, facilities are being hit with fines for compliance regulations that were skipped during COVID-19 times; now, all of the paperwork that was overlooked is required to be submitted. As you know, there’s a fee associated with each submission and that doesn’t even cover the fines that facilities are accruing if they don’t have enough staff currently to be compliant.
The government might have decided that the pandemic was over, but the healthcare recruiting industry has not recovered. The compassion fatigue that came with the incredibly difficult times has not gone away or unnoticed, leading to fewer qualified nurses to take care of patients at facilities. This staffing shortage has led to unfilled beds and a massive loss in revenue for facilities nationwide.
To compensate for ineffective (or nonexistent) healthcare recruiting, many have turned to staffing agencies to bridge the gap. These agencies, however, come at a price — an expensive price, at that, for a temporary staffing solution.
All of these factors are collectively responsible for the rising costs that facilities face daily in their effort to provide the best care possible for their patients.
The cost-effective solution
The best way to manage the bottom line impact of healthcare recruiting and retention efforts at your facility is to create a pipeline of talent that you ultimately control, instead of reactively scouring the market for new hires. By proactively and continuously recruiting, there is less pressure on you when the time to hire arises — which, in this market and with the rate of turnovers, is nearly always. The key is to build this pipeline in the most efficient and effective way possible, which can be accomplished with the right software.
By using an applicant tracking system (ATS) that doubles as a candidate relationship management platform (CRM), you have the ability to refine your healthcare recruiting processes for best ROI. You’ll be able to identify bottlenecks in the process where you’re losing out on top talent, whether that’s because your candidate communication isn’t meeting their expectations, your team is wasting time on unqualified applicants, or what have you.
Oftentimes, these programs cost a fraction of what you’re already paying to staffing agencies for temporary fixes, so by choosing to invest in your own hiring process you’re ultimately saving money!
The outcome of a facility-controlled talent pipeline
There are plenty of benefits to creating a talent pipeline that your facility controls.
For starters, you can give employees what they really want — a “home.” Workers in the healthcare field want to work at places that will support them, their lives, and offer the flexibility they need to balance their personal needs with their work duties.
You can also choose to offer employees that you hire outright perks that you can’t or don’t offer your temporary workers. For instance, some facilities have found success offering workers who pick up extra hours the opportunity to order food from the kitchen to take home to their families at 50% less than the cost of picking up a pizza on the way home. Other brands offer their gyms and fitness centers to staff after patient hours, which helps the workers cut out the cost of a gym membership and keep them physically healthy.
The key to these perks is making permanent employment at your facility more attractive to applicants than working for you via a staffing agency.
When you use an ATS to manage your talent pipeline, you increase operational efficiency, as we hinted at earlier. Your facility takes control of the hiring speed and process, all while limiting costs and managing the need for employees that you feel. To put it simply: your facility is more motivated to hire than a staffing agency is, so you have more urgency to fill these open roles — and with more oversight on your hiring process, the power is back in your hands to make this happen.
Additionally, you can break the ongoing cycle of delivering poor care due to a lack of staff, fewer maintained beds leading to loss of revenue, and then receiving a lower government rating and ultimately decreased government funding. With an ATS and a backlog of talent that you can reach out to when you need to, you have the ability to positively impact quality of care, increase the number of beds you fill, and improve your government rating so you can receive more funding.
Are you ready to break the cycle at your facility?
All of this sounds well and good, but when it comes down to brass tacks, seeing is believing. If you’re ready to increase the quality of care your facility delivers and fill more beds, let’s connect to show you how Hireology can help you hire better talent faster!