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Getting Strategic about Contingent Workforce Management

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Getting Strategic about Contingent Workforce Management

Jim Davis, Senior Vice President, MSP and Strategic Accounts

How do you more strategically manage contract labor?

  • Gain enterprise visibility
  • Focus on what’s core
  • Leverage technology
  • Be deliberate in sourcing and marketing pricing strategies

The single overriding mission of every healthcare provider is to ensure the best possible patient care. The key to achieving that mission is the people who provide the care—an incredibly diverse mix of traditional FTEs, travelers, per diem, hourly, contingent and contract staffers. Yet many healthcare organizations struggle with limited visibility into their contingent workforce. Knowing how many people are on-site at any one time, who they are and how they were sourced, hired and on-boarded is an ongoing challenge. A continually increasing level of management focus and operational resources is needed to source, engage and manage today’s complex healthcare workforce.

Complicating an Already-Complex Challenge
Compounding the workforce challenge are external trends:
  • A high rate of healthcare jobs growth
  • Changing demographics — large population moving toward retirement
  • Scarcity of specialty skills — heightened need to engage contract labor
How Do You More Strategically Manage Contract Labor?

Gain enterprise visibility. Employ a strategy that allows for trending and forecasting, so that you can make data-driven decisions.
Focus on what’s core. Focus your resources on critical internal operations and patient care. Outsource vendor management and supplier issues. Partner with an expert in the contingent labor engagement process who can serve as a natural extension of your existing supply chain management and talent acquisition teams to provide market intelligence, improve operations and cut expenses.
Leverage technology. Use VMS technology to handle the heavy lifting and multiple touches to provide a 100% traceable and trackable financial system of record for all transactions.
Be deliberate in sourcing and market pricing strategies. Your sourcing strategy should focus on maximizing quality, cost savings and efficiency, while minimizing risk. Base your sourcing model on complexity of both spend and supply base and continuously assess the market to ensure optimal market pricing, aligned to labor demand and supply.

  • Take advantage of more than your own spend; leverage your strategic workforce partner’s total spend to reap higher savings and vendor focus.
  • Establish a sourcing model with vendor neutrality at its core.
  • Engage all forms of contract labor through a single program for total consumption and expense visibility.
  • Design a flexible sourcing model specific to location, skill type, volume and complexity of need (one size doesn’t fit all).
  • Understand the talent market and where you buy (and constantly reassess).
  • Consistently review and assess your supplier panel, focusing on quality over quantity.

  • Determine whether you want to be above, below or at market and how often to refresh your aims.
  • Use multiple data sources to validate and support market rate positioning.
  • Understand that in a sellers’ market, paying less this year than last won’t typically happen; successfully filling demand and delivering quality care is the big win.
  • Evaluate market-driven bill rate increases in terms of the broader implications for patient diverts and inferior patient care.

A More Strategic Approach to Contingent Workforce Management Drives Better Outcomes

Taking a more focused and strategic approach to workforce management can positively impact operational effectiveness, productivity and performance.

To learn more, contact jim.davis@parallon.com.

About the Author Jim Davis is a talent acquisition and supply chain professional with more than 20 years of experience in the healthcare and professional services outsourcing and staffing space. Over the course of his career, Jim has designed, deployed and managed multiple complex and highly evolved programs, delivering complete visibility into contract labor consumption and spend, and significant cost savings, as well as increased customer and vendor satisfaction.