Three staffing issues for nursing agencies

Recruiting and retaining great staff is always a challenge. Great staff can be the difference between keeping satisfied clients and losing dissatisfied ones.

In working with our nursing agencies’ clients, a number of staffing issues keep popping up:

Staff recruitment. Many agencies are struggling to identify and find suitably experienced nurses. In any business, getting good people yields positive results: lower recruitment costs over time, better hiring efficiency and a strengthening of your reputation in the nursing market.

Employee retention. Average employee tenure appears to be falling. To help address that, many of our clients are focusing on a culture that supports employee growth and development. Other agencies are assessing non-salary benefits as part of their retention strategies.

Peak period workloads. Every agency has busy periods – it’s called ‘winter’. Managing your team’s workload during these times is challenging. The willingness of your internal staff to work extended hours for extended periods is questionable. The potential for work quality to suffer is certain.

In addition to those issues, the skillset necessary to succeed as a nursing agency in Australia has changed:

  • Clients are looking for value add. As the health sector has corporatised, client expectations of what value their agencies will provide have changed. Having competent staff is a ‘table stake’. Clients are increasingly valuing the ability to help the client deliver their own KPIs and outcomes.
  • Just providing ‘people’ is not value adding. This critical but repetitive ‘grunt’ work is difficult to support in an Australian labour cost environment.

If your local staff are performing work such as checking availabilities and filling after hours shifts, their ability to develop and deploy the skills that your clients do value is limited. Limited opportunities for development and growth will also impact on your ability to retain those internal staff.

An offshoring partner can help. They can provide a streamlined scheduling solution such that client needs are addressed promptly and professionally. They can assist with peaks and troughs in workflow. They can help free up your local staff’s time to focus on developing value-adding skills and assisting clients.

« Go back