Addressing Staffing Emergencies: How Strategic Staffing Saves the Day

COVID-19 was the perfect example of healthcare staffing in crisis. But Time magazine reports staffing emergencies are becoming the norm, as healthcare organizations face chronic labor shortages that regularly affect care delivery. It’s affecting every area of healthcare, including patient outcomes, employee turnover, and the provider’s bottom line.  

However, with strategic staffing practices, organizations can mitigate the impact of these emergencies and ensure smooth operations. Here’s how strategic staffing can save the day. 

Understanding Staffing Emergencies

A staffing emergency occurs when there is a sudden and unexpected need for personnel that cannot be met by the current workforce. This crisis could be due to: 

  • Unexpected absences: Employees may fall sick, take emergency leave, or face personal crises that prevent them from coming to work. 
  • High turnover: Sudden resignations, especially in critical roles, can leave gaps that are difficult to fill immediately. 
  • Seasonal demands: Certain industries experience seasonal spikes in demand that require a temporary increase in staff. 
  • Project-based needs or healthcare crises: New projects, patient demand, or a crisis like COVID-19 can necessitate additional expertise or human power on short notice. 

The Role of Strategic Staffing 

Strategic staffing is a proactive approach to managing an organization’s workforce to ensure that it can meet its operational needs efficiently and effectively. It involves careful planning, forecasting, and flexible staffing solutions to address predictable and unexpected staffing requirements. 

Key Elements of Strategic Staffing

  • Workforce planning: This initiative analyzes current workforce capabilities, predicts future needs, and plans for various scenarios. Organizations can develop a talent pipeline and prepare for potential emergencies by understanding the skills and competencies required. However, to put these plans into action requires a strong partnership with a healthcare staffing solutions provider
  • Employee cross-training: Cross-training allows employees to perform multiple organizational roles. This flexibility ensures that other staff members can step in and cover critical tasks in an emergency, minimizing disruption. 
  • Maintaining a talent pool: It’s critical to develop a pool of pre-screened, qualified candidates who can be called upon at short notice. This effort can include temporary workers, part-time employees, or freelancers who are familiar with the organization’s operations and can quickly adapt. While most healthcare HR teams don’t have the time to build and maintain candidate networks, staffing agencies specialize in proactive pipelining. 
  • Leveraging technology: Modern staffing software and platforms can help quickly identify and deploy talent. These tools can match the right candidates with the right jobs, streamline onboarding processes, and maintain up-to-date records of available talent. 

Benefits of Strategic Staffing

  • Operational continuity: With a plan, organizations can ensure that critical functions continue uninterrupted even during staffing emergencies. 
  • Reduced stress on existing employees: Strategic staffing prevents the remaining staff from becoming overburdened, which can lead to burnout and further absenteeism. 
  • Cost efficiency: While upfront costs may be associated with strategic staffing, the long-term savings from avoiding productivity losses and overtime payments can be significant. 
  • Improved employee morale: Knowing that there is a plan in place to handle emergencies can boost employee confidence and morale, leading to a more engaged and committed workforce. 

Strategic Staffing with Supplemental Health

Staffing emergencies are inevitable, but their impact can be significantly reduced with strategic staffing. Partnering with a reputable, experienced recruiting firm like Supplemental Health Care provides access to a broader network of qualified candidates. Our agency can assist in quickly filling vacancies with temporary or permanent staff as needed. Find out why more healthcare organizations choose our team to save the day—call us. 

search content

subscribe to
the shc blog