What Facilities and Practices Should Ask Locum Tenens Staffing Firms

Healthcare executive pondering questionsYour medical staff is stretched to the limit, you are trying to fill two open positions, and you need assistance, stat! As you scramble to finalize the schedule through the end of the month, you are hard pressed to imagine how you will also find time to screen candidates, let alone coordinate supplemental staff for the interim.

Partnering with a locum tenens staffing company could be just what the doctor ordered (pun intended). Once you have decided to collaborate with an outside source, you will want to find a respected firm that can accommodate your organization’s needs in the most effective, fastest way possible. You may begin the process by contacting a few locum tenens staffing companies and posing important questions such as these:

  1. How many offices does your company have?
    Locum tenens staffing companies with several locations across different time zones are often able to pull from a more extensive network of clinicians. This can be especially advantageous to your organization if you have been unable to find candidates in your area.
  1. Do your recruiters solely represent physicians and advanced practitioners in a given specialty?
    At some companies, recruiters are generalists. Each represents providers in a variety of specialties, from anesthesia to urgent care. Firms with recruiters—and departments—dedicated to specific areas of practice likely have teams that are more informed about trends, certifications, and other issues relative to the specialties they represent. They are bound to have a better understanding of your needs, as well as a deeper talent pool of the provider(s) you seek and the ability to better evaluate candidates to get you the right match.
  1. Does your firm also have a permanent placement division?
    By working with a company that provides both locum tenens staffing and permanent placement services, you will have greater options and a more complete solution for your staffing requirements. Still, be aware that permanent placement divisions can differ in terms of their offerings. For instance, many companies offer a contingency-based solution and/or services on a retained basis. Others present their clients with even more alternatives—such as a fusion of services—to give them a more customizable experience and increased flexibility.
  1. Can your company meet all of our supplemental staffing needs?
    Many hospital systems, facilities, and medical practices work with several locum tenens staffing agencies instead of partnering with a single company. While they believe it will ensure they have more options, oftentimes they unwittingly end up competing with themselves and losing valuable time when two (or more!) staffing firms ultimately present the same candidate(s) for a position. Partnering with one full-service resource that can assume responsibility for your entire schedule can save you time and money, and help you ensure continuity of high-quality care.
  1. Do you visit your clients on site?
    Technology is a marvelous thing. It makes it possible to work with the best people and companies, whether they are situated in an office across town, another part of the country, or a different corner of the world. And thanks to Skype, voicemail, email, and text messages, it’s easy to communicate with them in as much time as it takes to click “send.” But face time (not to be confused with FaceTime) is important, too, when building relationships. When speaking with companies’ account managers, ask if they travel to any of the healthcare organizations they serve to meet with clients in person.
  1. What differentiates your company from other locum tenens staffing firms?
    A knowledgeable company representative should be able to tell—and show—you how his or her agency sets itself apart from the competition. For instance, in addition to providing locum tenens staffing services, does the company offer consulting? How about project and resource management services? Does the firm encourage innovation, performance, and customer-centricity within its organization? If so, how … and how do they benefit you? Find out as much as you can about a company’s services, philosophies, and policies before you give the company your business.

Finding the answers

As you screen locum tenens staffing companies, other questions to pose include, “How do you recruit the clinicians you represent?” and “How quickly can you provide our organization with coverage?” You also should request references and testimonials, and ask them to tell you about one of their toughest placement challenges and how they met it. A thorough checklist can help you find the company that will best provide the services you need.

To learn about Medicus Healthcare Solutions and how our locum tenens staffing, consulting, and project and resource management services could benefit your organization, call 855.301.0563 to speak with one of our experienced representatives today.

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