Why Staffing Firms that Integrate Locum Tenens with Direct Hiring are a Hospital’s Secret Advantage

Posted by:
Cory Kleinschmidt

Full staff coverage is essential at any hospital, from the operating room to radiology and every department in between. Having the right medical professionals in the right place at the right time ensures seamless operations and continuity of patient care. Chances are, you are charged with balancing diverse staffing needs, from locum tenens to permanent providers, whether they are physicians, nurses, radiologic technologists, pharmacists, or any role in your purview.

While many locum tenens firms excel at providing temporary providers, and permanent placement firms specialize in wooing full-time candidates, a rare breed of healthcare staffing firm combines the best of both worlds.

If your job duties include sourcing a wide array of job types and durations, your best asset may be a boutique firm that excels in both temporary and permanent placement. Read on to find out why.

Why Siloed Staffing Models Fall Short

Rural hospitals typically serve smaller, less dense populations than their urban counterparts, but the range of medical issues they encounter can be surprisingly broad. Practitioners in these settings often must act as generalists, capable of handling everything from primary care to emergency treatments and even some specialties on occasion. Staffing these facilities requires finding healthcare professionals who are not only highly skilled but also adaptable and ready to handle diverse medical situations with limited resources.

Locum Tenens: Potential Disadvantages

Locum tenens firms are adept at filling temporary vacancies with highly skilled physicians and advanced practice providers. They offer a rapid solution to staffing shortages that can arise for a litany of reasons. However, their singular focus on temporary staffing often comes with limitations:

  1. Sustainability: To enjoy the benefits of rapid shift coverage, hospitals pay a premium rate, an accumulated set of fees that could exceed a hospital’s budget if not managed carefully.
  2. Limited continuity: Less strategic firms may only cover a few shifts. This can lead to frequent turnover of temporary staff that can disrupt continuity of care, affecting patient outcomes and staff cohesion.
  3. Niche focus: Most purely locum tenens firms concentrate only on high-demand specialties, leaving your less common specialties with fewer potential candidates for temporary coverage.

Permanent Placement: Some Downsides

In contrast to locum tenens agencies, some of which can deliver “locum to perm,” the only candidate that matters to permanent placement recruiters is the one ready to commit to a long-term position. These firms excel in finding candidates who fit your organizational culture and local community. However, like pure locum tenens firms, they represent only half of the equation for facilities with diverse coverage needs. Some of their drawbacks include:

  1. Lengthy hiring processes: Recruiting permanent physicians and advanced practice providers is usually time-consuming and involves extensive vetting, cross-country flights, multiple interviews, and negotiations.
  2. Fixed resources: Permanent placement agencies lack the flexibility to address sudden staffing shortages that often require immediate coverage by any means necessary.
  3. Specialty constraints: A physician staffing firm specializing in permanent search excels at sourcing doctors in certain specialties such as cardiology due to focused expertise and networks, but this limits their ability to find doctors in other specialties.

The disadvantages of siloed agencies are clear. But what is the alternative?

Enter The Integrated Healthcare Staffing Firm

In your role, finding skilled medical talent is crucial. You don’t need more business cards or contacts from yet another staffing firm. What you truly need is an integrated solution that streamlines operations and reduces complexity, allowing you to enjoy peace of mind.

A healthcare staffing firm that offers demonstrated proficiency at delivering locum tenens and permanent providers offers an invaluable solution to your recruitment needs. Let’s explore how an integrated firm can be your greatest staffing asset.

Flexibility and Continuity

An experienced firm that provides locum tenens and permanent staff can seamlessly bridge gaps in your workforce whatever your need or urgency. This flexibility ensures that your facility maintains uninterrupted patient care during unexpected absences or peak periods. At the same time, the firm’s ability to recruit permanent staff means you experience continuity and stability within your team.

Comprehensive Talent Pool

A one-stop shop offering locum tenens and direct hiring has access to a larger, more diverse talent pool. Whether you need a locum tenens anesthesiologist to cover a sudden absence or a permanent respiratory therapist to join your full-time team, an integrated firm can provide carefully selected professionals tailored to your requirements.

Streamlined Processes

An integrated firm can streamline the hiring process, reducing your facility’s administrative burden. They can handle the entire spectrum of recruitment, from initial sourcing and vetting to onboarding and follow-up, ensuring a hassle-free experience.

Strategic Partnership

More than a mere service provider, a dual-competency firm becomes your strategic partner. Their breadth of experience allows them to offer bespoke solutions, whether you are experiencing seasonal fluctuations in patient volume or planning for long-term growth. This partnership fosters trust and ensures your staffing strategy aligns with your facility’s core objectives.

Covelo Direct: A Comprehensive Solution Provider

As our loyal facility clients have come to know, Covelo Direct is more than a staffing firm – we are their trusted locum advisors and concierge partners. Our team is dedicated to providing tailored staffing solutions that enhance the quality of patient care and support the smooth operation of your facility.

With more than 15 years of experience staffing healthcare providers in virtually any role and a sterling commitment to excellence, our firm offers unparalleled expertise in locum tenens and direct-hire placements, as evidenced by these recent successes.

A remote rural hospital had difficulty securing permanent cardiologists for its ER and inpatient units. Initially relying on multiple large agencies, it experienced frequent mismatches and contract terminations. Our team was tasked with providing full-time coverage, including holidays, and within two weeks, we identified three highly qualified providers. This placement allowed local residents to access cardiology services locally and provided the hospital with an on-call cardiologist for after-hours care.

In rural Arkansas, a critical access hospital urgently needed to fill multiple last-minute shifts after losing several moonlighting physicians. While other agencies imposed inflated rates, our team quickly found an ABEM-certified physician within 24 hours at a fair market rate. The physician covered all required shifts and integrated seamlessly with the staff, becoming the hospital’s preferred choice for future coverage.

Our firm also placed a chief medical executive at a critical access hospital in California, a position vacant for over a year. Within three weeks, we presented three highly qualified candidates, and the hospital hired our top recommendation. Nine months later, she has significantly improved healthcare quality and reduced staffing costs, working with us to source additional direct hires and develop cost-effective locum solutions.

If you are ready for a strategic staffing partnership to handle both locum tenens and direct-hire placements, our staffing experts are ready to connect you with our network of vetted, qualified healthcare professionals. Do let us know how we can help.