Revamping Healthcare’s Talent Supply Chain

Updated on April 17, 2024

Healthcare is facing a myriad of labor challenges to begin 2024: an aging population with rising patient care needs, widespread burnout among existing staff, and a shortage of new qualified talent entering the workforce. Compounded at scale, it’s a perfect storm that could put the stability of our U.S. healthcare system at risk – with ripple effects impacting patient health, financial health, and more. 

It’s clear that new approaches are needed to revamp healthcare’s talent supply chain. Bridging the skills gap cannot be accomplished with traditional hiring practices. 

Leveraging the contingent workforce is a flexible, efficient, and cost-effective solution for addressing the talent supply chain. However, healthcare’s traditional approach of simply hiring contingent workers on an ad-hoc basis is no longer enough for impactful results. Adopting a data-driven, AI-enabled contingent workforce optimization strategy is critical to harnessing their full power and alleviating healthcare labor issues plaguing the industry. 

Developing a Comprehensive Contingent Workforce Strategy

While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to building a contingent workforce program, there are several steps that organizations should take to ensure it aligns with specific labor challenges and budgetary constraints, amongst other key considerations. 

Establishing clear goals is the first, and one of the most essential building blocks to developing a successful contingent workforce strategy. To do this, organizations need to fully understand their short- and long-term talent needs. They also need to know what specific skills are required for open roles. 

Once goals are established, leadership must determine the best technologies for sourcing and managing contingent talent. It’s important that program owners and IT teams carefully evaluate tools to understand what’s currently available and determine how they tie into their developing talent strategy, as well as which resources are needed to seamlessly integrate these tools into existing systems.  

It’s also necessary to ensure that organizational leadership is aligned with and in full support of the proposed strategy. Consistent and transparent communication around how the program is progressing, as well as designating a dedicated program owner, will also help to ensure that key program goals are being worked toward – and eventually met.  

Lastly, while some organizations leverage a managed services provider (MSP) to oversee their contingent workforce program, others may not currently be ready for or ever need that type of service. Faced with staffing shortages and rising costs for traditional external staffing agencies, healthcare systems are increasingly creating their own internal staffing agencies for contingent labor. 

Successfully Incorporating Contingent Talent Into Overall Workforce Strategy 

Developing a forward-thinking contingent workforce strategy is just the start. Healthcare organizations must also holistically integrate contingent workers in a way that drives improved efficiencies, cost savings, and talent sourcing. Modern solutions enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI) can help. 

When incorporating contingent workers into existing workflows, enhancing visibility can enable organizations to better measure their performance, productivity, and impact. AI-based solutions can help organizations accurately report headcount, continuously evaluate internal processes and strategies, and better understand the factors that are driving successes and challenges within contingent workforce programs. 

These modern management and analytics tools also provide organizations with the insights they need about the market. For instance, AI-based tools can collect labor market data and insights – including industry-specific information – in real time, and help organizations determine which outcomes will deliver the greatest success today and in the future. Staying on top of current market rates and salary data, especially when hiring talent in various locations, helps immensely with setting informed bill rates, allowing organizations to provide competitive offers for top talent while also saving on worker compensation costs.

In addition to enhanced internal and external visibility, modern analytics tools also bolster contingent worker integration by improving expense tracking and cost savings, reducing compliance risk, and elevating the overall worker experience. AI-based tools can optimize the payrolling capabilities that best support key goals and enhance the efficiency of billing, time, and tracking functions. Further, they ensure proper employee classification throughout the duration of the contingent hiring process – from recruiting and sourcing to managing existing workers – and help to foster more supportive and streamlined work environments for all employees, including contingent talent. For elevating the worker experience, it’s also important to remember that DE&I initiatives should extend to contingent talent as well, particularly when it comes to promoting it across the organization. AI-based tools can support this by automating workforce data analysis to identify inclusion gaps and generate actionable insights for DE&I programs to assist in continually diversifying the talent supply chain.    

Mitigating the Healthcare Labor Challenge

By offering flexibility in staffing, specialized expertise, and cost-efficiency for organizations across the enterprise, contingent workers provide a unique and effective solution for navigating ongoing healthcare staffing challenges – both today and in the future. However, for contingent talent to bring maximum value to their roles, it’s crucial to ensure this cohort of workers meshes seamlessly within the organization’s existing labor structure. With AI-enabled contingent workforce optimization tools and a forward-thinking holistic strategy, healthcare organizations can effectively secure the talent they need to provide exceptional patient care.

Maria Luoni
Maria Luoni
President at RightSourcing by Magnit

As RightSourcing by Magnit’s President, Maria has orchestrated the evolution of its high-touch services and innovative technology solutions to meet the needs of clients navigating the workplace of the future. Her efforts have enabled healthcare organizations to enhance talent quality, reduce costs, mitigate risks, and bolster their contingent workforce program effectiveness.

Her visionary approach extends beyond transactional interactions, as she forges deep client relationships that position RightSourcing as a trusted advisor aligned with clients’ strategic objectives. Her dedication to adapting to market dynamics is evident in her commitment to reshaping workforce programs for future success.