Workplace Diversity Improves Healthcare: How to Foster Greater DEI

Workplace Diversity Improves Healthcare: How to Foster Greater DEI

A major Human Resources (HR) initiative is overseeing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) – a component that lends itself critically important within healthcare. Diversity refers to the varying demographics of people within a workforce that can include differences in race, ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical abilities and disabilities, political beliefs, religion, language, socioeconomic background, education and culture. Equity entails fair treatment, opportunity, and advancement for individuals of any background. Inclusion determines whether an organization cultivates a culture of respect for individuals from varying backgrounds that allow members to participate and contribute without fear of discrimination or bias.

Current Workforce Diversity Trends

Though patient communities display a wide range of diversity, healthcare systems fall short in reflecting a similar diverse workforce of the communities they serve.

Healthcare Diversity Trend Charts

Promoting diversity within healthcare is imperative, with increased diversity having several ethical and strategic advantages that benefit minority employees, minority patient groups, and healthcare organizations themselves. Greater diversity, equity and inclusion helps deliver effective healthcare outcomes by promoting:


  1. Greater understanding among associates and patients
  2. Increased employee morale and retention
  3. Sparks creativity
  4. Improves team problem-solving
  5. Helps eliminate health disparities
  6. Increases patient outcomes and satisfaction
  7. Improves brand reputation
  8. Enables greater career advancement

Diversity in Healthcare Systems

What is cultural competence?

Cultural competence entails the set of knowledge, skills, and behaviors that equip healthcare practitioners in effectively understanding and interacting with patients from varying sociocultural backgrounds. This ensures culturally sensitive and respectful interactions towards patients, while also providing optimal care and effective communication.

Maintaining a cultural competent workforce yields a wide range of benefits to healthcare organizations from increased employee wellbeing and productivity, to improved patient outcomes and brand reputation.

1. Greater Understanding

Healthcare workforce diversity has direct impacts among coworkers and patients. Exposure to workforce diversity can help create an environment of understanding, compassion and empathy towards those from different backgrounds. Being within a diverse environment itself changes behavior and mindsets. Studies demonstrate that those in the presence of diverse individuals showed greater empathy, as well as a greater capacity for being openminded

A greater understanding toward work associates and patients from various social backgrounds builds an environment of inclusiveness and belonging, both of which have positive effects on team morale, workplace productivity, employee retention, and patient outcomes (discussed further below). 

Exposure to varying backgrounds can also help reduce biases while strengthening relationships between coworkers and patients. Biases refer to internalized prejudices towards someone or something. Biases can be overt or subconscious and can often result in unfair treatment. By acknowledging biases and learning from different cultures, greater team cohesion and patient interactions can be achieved. 

2. Higher Employee Morale

Creating a diverse workplace fosters a sense of belonging and inclusiveness for healthcare employees, which in turn creates a stronger workplace culture and community for organizations. Nurturing a safe environment for all employees of diverse backgrounds improves team morale, increases productivity, and improves employee retention. 

3. Enhanced Creativity

Diversity enables enhanced creativity in addressing complex problems. A culture-friendly environment that embraces diversity allows minority employees to feel included, accepted and empowered to share ideas while reducing the feeling of being rejected. People with varying perspectives, experiences, and knowledge can contribute their unique input in crafting creative solutions. Adversely, lacking a diverse workforce can cause minority employees to conform. The fear of rejection inhibits employees to contribute their unique talents, creative approaches, and valuable input.

When people are surrounded by those similar to themselves, they tend to assume that everyone holds the same perspectives. This prevents people from challenging viewpoints, limits the range of information exchanged, and creative solutions that would otherwise be reached based on a diverse set of input. 

4. Problem Solving

In conjunction to enhanced creativity, diverse perspectives, opinions, and unique information fuel better problem solving and decision-making processes. An array of varying inputs enables teams to identify and reduce blind spots and come to creative solutions to complex problems. Studies frequently demonstrate that teams composed of diverse individuals are greater problem solvers and outperformed their homogenous counterpart teams.

5. Eliminate health disparities

Health disparities among minority groups is a persisting issue. Healthcare providers exhibiting explicit or unconscious biases towards patients of various backgrounds affect the quality of care groups receive, furthering unequal treatment. Some evidence suggests that health providers from various racial groups tend to hold biases unconsciously that display positive attitudes towards white patients and negative attitudes towards people of color. This often results in a distrust of minority groups toward their healthcare practitioners, negative interactions with health providers, and overall reluctance in seeking medical attention.

A key approach in minimizing health disparities is developing a diverse healthcare workforce that reflects the community it serves. Having employees that represent varying groups enables positive patient relationships, establishes trust, and increases positive patient outcomes among minority groups. Additionally, a diverse environment allows practitioners of all backgrounds to better understand and relate to culturally diverse patients and employ culturally competent interactions.

Pregnancy deaths for Women healthcare disparities chart

6. Increase patient satisfaction and outcomes

With a diverse patient population, fostering a culturally-safe environment is imperative for successful health outcomes. Lacking diverse employees can run the risk of patients feeling misunderstood, create distrust, as well as compound language and cultural barriers.

Having diverse practitioners can help patients feel represented and understood. This allows patients to feel safe, less anxious, and more confident about the care they receive. Feeling safe and understood also empowers patients to seek medical attention, speak up, ask questions, discuss treatment plans, and comply with medical advice, allowing for successful patient outcomes and satisfaction.

Diversity among healthcare professionals also allows for communication and cultural barriers to be appropriately addressed for the correct treatment. Language and communication barriers can lead to adverse effects such as a misdiagnosis, poor care, unequal treatment, and noncompliance – all leading to negative patient outcomes. It is essential to have employees that can effectively and accurately communicate all related health information, services, treatment and outcomes.

Lastly, diverse input from a workforce with varying backgrounds, experiences, and knowledge helps creatively problem-solve patient issues. Having limited perspectives can cause teams to overlook critical information regarding patient diagnosis or medical history which negatively affects patient care.

7. Improved Reputation

Fostering a culturally-friendly environment that welcomes varying backgrounds and embraces differences positively improves reputation for healthcare organizations. While strategically it’s wise to include diverse groups in terms of the endless benefits diverse individuals contribute to organizations, it’s also ethically imperative to do so. Having a diverse environment attracts like-minded candidates to join your organization, as well as draws patients from various backgrounds as well. This allows organizations to connect with its community internally and externally in a powerful and meaningful way.

8. Employee Advancement

Greater representation within high-level positions is critical in avoiding tokenism and gives institutions the opportunity to practice inclusion. Simply having a workforce consisting of different people is not enough. In order to truly cultivate and embrace diversity, healthcare organizations need to empower programs and opportunities for career advancement among minority groups. Research consistently demonstrates that businesses and corporations with greater diversity in high-level positions outperformed competitors that lacked any diversity in similar positions.

Furthermore, greater representation in high-level positions allow minority healthcare practitioners to identify with a role model and mentor. Mentorship is an essential component within healthcare as professionals often seek guidance from mentors to help further their careers. Lacking diverse representation can impede employee career trajectories.


Improving Workplace Diversity

Often, HR is tasked with managing diverse teams, promoting a diverse workplace culture, and sourcing diverse skillsets. Increasing diversity is a major initiative and there are several ways to promote and maintain a diverse workforce within healthcare organizations including optimizing recruitment processes, creating a safe and welcoming environment, furthering opportunities for employees, and measuring results to further refine DEI opportunities.


Optimize Recruitment Processes

Auditing talent acquisition strategies is an essential step in understanding how candidates are sourced and how diverse the talent pool is. First, evaluate how job descriptions are written – this may seem trivial, but its content can affect who applies. Create job descriptions that don’t deter a group of people from applying and encourages diverse applicants and perspectives. This helps position your organization as diversity-inclusive and welcoming.

Developing an effective recruitment and hiring strategy that outreaches to a diverse talent pool can boost DEI inclusivity. Utilizing managed service providers or external recruitment agencies can significantly bolster efforts in reaching greater candidates from different backgrounds. Often, external agencies have a large pool of applicants, networks, and resources to source diverse candidates. Additionally, having a third party source candidates on your behalf can help eliminate implicit bias present in current recruitment processes. 

Another measure healthcare organizations can consider is standardizing the interview process. Standardizing the interview process so that it is consistent and equal for all candidates helps minimize hiring bias and gives all candidates equal opportunity. For institutions conducting in-house recruitment create a set of standardized questions and processes that all candidates must equally follow.

For organizations using vendor management technology, consider utilizing virtual interview tools that allow a set of standardized questions to be prompted to all candidates. Furthermore, virtual interview tools, such as StaffBot’s, allow several hiring members to have access to virtual interview videos at any point in time. With inputs from several different people, hiring bias can be reduced than when a single person is conducting an interview. 

Welcoming Environment  

Creating a safe environment that promotes diversity is fundamental in nurturing workplace happiness and long-term retention. Encouraging an environment that promotes inclusivity, support, and valuing all employees helps build a healthy workplace where people can feel they belong. Furthermore, a workplace that takes immediate action in instances of bias and discrimination further helps promote a safe working space for all individuals.


Providing opportunities, resources, and programs for advancement and leadership that is equally accessible, empowers individuals from various backgrounds to join and stay with organizations. It’s critical to go beyond having diverse employees, but to actively include members in greater opportunities that contribute to employee and company wellbeing.

Training Programs 

Investing in training resources has several benefits in educating employees and enabling greater understanding. Trainings on cultural skills, cultural differences, bias awareness and effective communication equips teams with essential education and cultural skills in working with members from various backgrounds. 

Measuring Results

Creating constructive, fundamental changes in promoting greater DEI for your healthcare workforce is ethically important and positively impacts employees, patients, and your brand. Implementing changes to promote DEI necessitates consistent monitoring and measuring in order to understand whether efforts are working, or if changes need to be made.

Vendor management technology, whether through the use of an MSP or directly utilized by your organization, provides insightful data regarding DEI initiatives (and many more reporting capabilities). With all sources of data integrated within a single source of record, along with its AI capabilities, a vendor management system collates all data from your organization to create real-time custom, standard, and ad-hoc reporting. Such analytics provide powerful insights to institutions with varying business goals. Use powerful insights to monitor progress or pinpoint areas of inefficiencies to create better processes and results.


Let StaffBot help with your HR initiatives

With extensive knowledge on talent acquisition, StaffBot’s multi-faceted recruitment services help source a diverse candidate pool for your healthcare workforce. From MSP services to providing vendor management technology, StaffBot’s total talent solutions works alongside your organization to customize a tailored approach in addressing your organization’s pressing recruitment needs. With StaffBot, we aim for a true partnership. Connect with an expert below to find out how we can boost your healthcare recruitment strategy.

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On Becker’s Healthcare Podcast: Building Self-Reliance in Hospitals Using Automation

On Becker’s Healthcare Podcast: Building Self-Reliance in Hospitals Using Automation

Becker’s Hospital Review hosted StaffBot’s President, Steve Swan, on their Becker’s Healthcare Podcast to discuss empowering healthcare systems and restoring trust through the use of vendor management systems. Steve highlights how organizations no longer need to rely on outdated, misinformation given by external agencies – and can now have greater control and data to make transparent purchasing and hiring decisions.

With several unique features from market rate analysis to automated compliance, this episode demonstrates the shifting landscape in healthcare recruitment to better empower organizations through technology.


Listen to the podcast now


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Improving Compliance Management for an External Workforce

Improving Compliance Management for an External Workforce

Within the healthcare sector, compliance management is a non-negotiable touchpoint within the hiring lifecycle, particularly when it comes to managing contingent labor. Healthcare compliance ensures legal, ethical, and professional practices by requiring legal and technical standards to be met by workers. With healthcare facilities cycling through numerous contingent workers throughout the year, tracking their credentials is a top priority – and no easy feat.

Successfully tracking compliance can be a daunting and extensive task for any healthcare organization. Several factors hinder compliance management, putting organizations at risk for not meeting standards. Failure to fulfill legal compliance standards often entails heavy consequences including costly fines, penalties, lawsuits, and damaged brand reputation.

Common compliance management challenges HR leaders face include:

  • Constantly changing requirements and regulations
  • Inefficient processes
  • Scaling external workforce operations

Requirements and Regulations

The ever-evolving nature of healthcare compliance means that laws and regulations are constantly changing. This makes it difficult for hiring teams to continuously be up-to-date on all new requirements necessary for external workers. Healthcare compliance encompasses a large scope of areas that include classification, onboarding, data privacy, policies, health and safety, as well as local labor laws. Monitoring changes within these various facets of the compliance process can be overwhelming, in addition to subsequently tracking all individuals meeting these changing standards.

Inefficient Processes

Tracking compliance manually is a mistake for healthcare organizations. Manual use of spreadsheets, documents, and utilizing several different platforms to credential contingent employees inherently fragments all processes, creating inefficient, slow compliance tracking that could be riddled with human error. With numerous employees starting and leaving, high turnover rates, a large volume of employees, and several hospital locations, the documentation for each individual becomes too extensive to manually track and increases the risk for compliance oversight.

Scaling Operations

Navigating shifting policies, as well as inefficient compliance processes makes it difficult for healthcare organizations to scale their contingent workforce program. With talent shortages rising, scaling labor programs is a high priority to meet labor demands within many healthcare systems. Organizations strive to grow – and scaling operations efficiently and accurately starts with improving compliance practices.

Improving Compliance

For institutions conducting their own in-house staffing programs or directly sourcing their candidates, technology is necessary to keep programs compliant. Common technology solutions used to oversee recruitment and manage compliance are vendor management systems (VMS)

A VMS creates an automated and efficient credentialing process that significantly improves compliance management. A VMS enables greater efficiency and accuracy by:

  • Creating a single source of record
  • Tracking expirations
  • Automating onboarding and training

Single source of record

A VMS integrates all sources of data within its platform, creating a single source of record. Rather than conducting compliance tracking through various platforms, spreadsheets, and documents, everything is stored within a VMS and is easily accessible to all hiring teams.

The automated nature of a VMS means that credentialing can be done at scale, organization-wide, with a greater level of accuracy and quickly. This helps ensure there is no compliance oversight and risk of penalties, while enabling quicker fill rates.

Additionally, a VMS will integrate with existing software commonly used within your organization to help create a streamlined process. For example, StaffBot’s VMS integrates commonly used healthcare platforms, such as Nursys and the American Heart Association (AHA), to streamline healthcare credentialing. Ensure the VMS you have or are considering is flexible enough to integrate other commonly used compliance platforms, such as background checks.

Expiration Tracking

A key advantage of a VMS are automated features for expiration tracking. Automated alerts notify all parties of upcoming expiration dates, existing expired items, and upcoming deadlines. A VMS will track all licenses, certifications, background checks, trainings, and items specific to your needs to ensure programs are up-to-date on all compliance items. Customize items within a VMS that are specific to your organization, location, or position.

Automated onboarding and training

Compliancy doesn’t stop with having the right documentation. Proper onboarding and training is an essential component in the compliance process. Successful onboarding and training ensures that oncoming labor is equipped for the position, encourages professional engagement, and sets the expectations of the role. Ongoing training also ensures that employees are properly made aware of any changing practices reflective of shifting healthcare regulations and policies. A VMS allows organizations to customize their own onboarding and training process, automate notifications, and halt further processes until training completion. This allows for seamless onboarding and communication between all parties involved.

Service Providers

For organizations using external resources to meet recruitment needs, such as service providers, it’s essential to evaluate the capabilities of their credentialing process to ensure an inflow of qualified talent. Trusted healthcare service providers are well versed in healthcare regulations and are on top of changing requirements, ensuring your organization is up to legal standards. Additionally, service providers have extensive experience in compliance and onboarding and will oversee these processes on your behalf to guarantee qualified talent. Outsourcing recruitment and compliance can be a cost-effective measure in acquiring talent quickly and efficiently without having to deal with nuances of compliance management.

A Healthcare-Tailored VMS

Finding the right VMS provider that meets the changing needs to healthcare recruitment can be an overwhelming task. It’s important to understand the value of a VMS to contingent workforce programs and what makes a VMS the right solution to your organization.

From an easy-user interface to advanced recruitment features, learn how StaffBot offers a competitive advantage to health institutions. StaffBot’s tailor-made VMS addresses healthcare-related recruitment challenges – see for yourself with a complimentary demo! Sign up below to connect with an expert.


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A healthcare-tailored vendor management system vs. a standard VMS

A healthcare-tailored vendor management system vs. a standard VMS

Not all vendor management systems (VMS) are built the same. In fact, it’s these differences between VMS’s that are key. Of course there are fundamental qualities and features all VMS’s should exhibit, however how a VMS differs from others can be key in aligning with your organization’s objectives. 

Finding compatible technology solutions and features are dependent on industry, size, and overarching goals. Within the healthcare sector, finding top-tier talent quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively is a major challenge organizations face. Healthcare systems are financially strained and experiencing an ever increasing skills gap, expected to persist through 2030. 

Healthcare facilities are utilizing diverse workforce solutions to address an ever growing staffing crisis, with a popular solution being direct sourcing and internal staffing. Many facilities are turning to in-house staffing programs in order to meet their immediate and long-term staffing needs. In-house staffing and direct sourcing through the use of VMSs offer healthcare systems several competitive advantages including:

  • Mitigating and reducing costs
  • Autonomy throughout the recruitment cycle
  • Creating a pool of qualified talent to tap into
  • Recruiting, retaining and recapturing long-term staff
  • Improving healthcare system consistency and experience
  • Anticipating trends and averting shortages

This StaffBot blog curates 5 key VMS features healthcare organizations want to pay close attention to when it comes to researching and investing in a VMS for clinical needs. Learn how StaffBot stacks up to the competition and how these 5 key areas impact your healthcare staffing efforts.

StaffBot vs. a Standard VMS


StaffBot vs. a Standard vendor management system (VMS)

1. Reporting and Analytics

Reporting is at the core of any workforce program. Data gives valuable insight into all facets of any contingent workforce program and allows companies to identify areas of inefficiencies for greater growth and data-driven action. Ensure your chosen VMS has several reporting capabilities accessible to your organization. For example, StaffBot VMS allows users to access custom reports, real-time reports, and out-of-box standard reports.

Healthcare-specific use cases:

  • Take control of rogue spend by utilizing rate intelligence. Market rate features allow for visibility into actual rates of open job positions specific to healthcare occupations.
  • Track compliance data to understand who is working for you and who is compliant
  • Track organizational spending habits
  • Monitor health facility trends, demand, and seasonal fluctuations
  • Monitor labor usage within facilities, departments and units to better understand labor needs

2. Compliance

Organizations can often struggle with proper classification and compliance. Improper credentialing within a healthcare setting can jeopardize your brand, incur penalties, and threaten patient wellbeing. Ensuring qualified talent is a top priority for healthcare organizations. Ensure a VMS integrates with commonly used healthcare compliance software to seamlessly notify your organization on compliance documentation.

Healthcare-specific use cases:

  • Integrations with the American Heart Association to easily tracking AHA certifications (a qualification for the majority of healthcare professionals) 
  • Integrations with Nursys to track and monitor registered nurses’ licenses. 
  • Transparent insights into documentation and credentials of all employees
  • Automated notifications of upcoming expiring documents or currently expired documents

3. Customization Capabilities

Understand the customization capabilities of a VMS, as all VMSs vary greatly in their flexibility. Some VMSs come as a standard solution. This can be problematic as inflexible solutions may restrict workflow operations, or even worse, dictate how you must operate based on its limitations. Invest in solutions that are easily customizable and integrate to your current software to create a seamless workflow.

Healthcare-specific use cases:

  • Integrations with compliance tracking software such as Nursys and the AHA
  • Integrations with Kronos time management
  • Custom technology to scale along with business growth

4. User Experience

Integrating technology into daily workflows is a major commitment. Not only does your organization want functioning technology that tailors to your needs and goals, but it has to be user-friendly. Technology is the heart of any modern contingent workforce management program, it’s what drives day-to-day workflows and are the solutions your employees will be interacting with daily. A difficult user-interface runs the risk of low adoption rates, which can lead to a VMS falling short of expectation. 

Healthcare-specific use cases:

  • Intuitive layout to create and distribute job requisitions
  • Adheres to healthcare staffing standards
  • Easy to troubleshoot
  • Easy interface to navigate 

5. Recruitment Capabilities

Recruiting top-quality talent can be a time-consuming and costly process. Automating important touch points throughout the recruitment life cycle helps create an efficient, cost-effective process to source and recruit candidates. This in turn can create a strong workforce program that allows for profit and growth. 

Healthcare-specific use cases:

  • Virtual interview capabilities compatible with healthcare hiring staff’s schedules
  • Automated onboarding and offboarding
  • Automated sourcing, candidate-matching, shortlisting, and credentialing
  • Automated invoicing and time management

Strengthen your contingent workforce

StaffBot is an experienced healthcare VMS provider and workforce solutions consultant that optimizes healthcare contingent workforce management unique to each healthcare organization. We understand the challenges healthcare facilities face and the need for efficiency, quality, and cost- effective solutions.

Contact us or sign up below to connect with an expert and determine if your contingent workforce program can be better strategized for optimized growth.


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7 Key Features for the Right Vendor Management System (VMS) and Provider

7 Key Features for the Right Vendor Management System (VMS) and Provider

What makes a vendor management system (VMS) the right vendor management system? How do you know a VMS provider is the right partner for you? These questions are fundamental when looking to invest in new technology. Imagine, after financially investing in new technology, implementing new software, training your team, and disrupting business operations, you find out that your new VMS solutions fall short of expectation – this is an understandable concern, particularly for healthcare facilities already dealing with constant shortages.

Deciding on the right VMS will look different for each organization as each facility has their own unique challenges and objectives, however, when researching a suitable VMS for your organization, it is important to keep in mind that there are certain features that all VMS and VMS providers should exhibit. This StaffBot blog outlines 7 key features every vendor management system should have in order to invest in the right VMS and maximize your contingent workforce strategy.

1. Centralized Database

The primary capability of VMS technology is the ability to centralize all information into a single, centralized database. Centralization allows your organization to store and organize all data, contacts, and documentation within a single platform that is easily retrievable for everyone. Long gone are the days of outdated manual data keeping methods, such as files and spreadsheets, which siloes important data, slows workflow, and leaves room for error. To stay competitive in today’s workforce management landscape, automated and centralized data is essential as centralized data allows for efficient, accurate record keeping. 

2. Automated & Streamlined Workflows

A defining component of a VMS is an automated and streamlined workflow, particularly across the recruitment lifecycle. A quality VMS will make the process from requisition, credentialing, interviewing, invoicing, and timekeeping, easy and efficient rather than adding difficulties. For example, StaffBot’s VMS automates critical touchpoints throughout the recruitment lifecycle, such as timekeeping, virtual interviews, onboarding and healthcare-specific compliance tracking. Automating these critical touchpoint helps increase fill rates with skilled talent seamlessly. Search for a VMS that specializes in automating these processes specific to your industry and workflow.

Vendor Management System (VMS) automates recruitment lifecycle

3. Compliance Tracking

A reliable VMS will monitor and track critical information and compliance items. By managing and tracking compliance documentation, such as on-and-off-boarding items, position-specific requirements, certifications, licenses, vaccinations and contract renewal dates, you can ensure your organization is up-to-date and adhering to healthcare employment standards.

Real-time compliance tracking is a must in healthcare. Organizations cannot afford to oversee onboarding under-qualified healthcare staff as it jeopardizes patient safety and your organization’s reputation as a healthcare facility. Invest in a VMS that specializes in tracking healthcare-related compliance items. For example, StaffBot’s compliance tracking integrates with Nursys and the American Heart Association (AHA) to notify your team who is qualified, expired documents, and any upcoming expiration dates to stay ahead. 

4. Analytics and Reporting

Detailed, customizable reporting and analytics is essential for an effective VMS and tracking your goals. Ensure the VMS you are considering has robust reporting capabilities specific to your business objectives. Powerful reporting capabilities yield oversight into job market demand trends, organizational spend, and hospital trends. Important analytic features that should be included in a VMS include:

  • Custom reporting
  • Scheduled and automated reporting
  • Ad hoc reporting

5. Customizable Technology

The VMS you choose should be customizable and flexible to your business model and workflow. Contingent workforce management varies from the use of managed service providers (MSP’s) to in-house staffing or a hybrid model of both and a VMS should adapt to your organization’s established business models, technologies, and processes. Successful VMS’s are tailored to the needs of your organization and existing structure, it should not dictate your overall workflow. Additionally, keep in mind that contingent workforce management models evolve, industry trends change, as well as job market demands so investing in technology that is flexible with ever changing factors is imperative.

6. Implementation and Support

Implementation is a major component in partnering with the right VMS provider and would be a costly mistake to overlook. Implementing a new technology requires ongoing strategizing, communication, training, and support. A reliable VMS provider will outline a streamlined implementation process and methodology with your organization and stakeholders. After implementation, importing data, training and testing the VMS with stakeholders, a VMS provider should maintain contact, quarterly business reviews and one-on-one support long after integration. 

7. Increased Collaboration 

The ability to unite collaboration between various facilities and departments handling contingent staff is enabled by VMS solutions. A VMS unites all departments together and notifies each person within a department when they are needed in the process. This maximizes time and efficiency for all involved. Search for a VMS that strengthens communication and enables greater departmental engagement.

Strengthen your contingent workforce

StaffBot is an experienced healthcare VMS provider and workforce solutions consultant that optimizes healthcare contingent workforce management unique to each healthcare organization. We understand the challenges healthcare facilities face and the need for efficiency, quality, and cost- effective solutions.

Contact us or sign up below to connect with an expert and determine if your contingent workforce program can be better strategized for optimized growth.


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Overcome In-house Staffing Challenges with a Vendor Management System (VMS)

Overcome In-house Staffing Challenges with a Vendor Management System (VMS)

In early June 2022, Staffing Industry Analytics (SIA) reported how an 85% increase in healthcare temporary staffing led to $39.8 billion in expenses for 2021. In response to increased demand for skilled workers, use of contingent labor, steep hourly wages, and anticipated healthcare shortages well into 2025, many healthcare institutions are turning to internally operating their own contingent staffing programs.


An 85% increase in healthcare temporary staffing led to $39.8 billion in expenses for 2021.

Shifting staffing efforts into internally operated processes offers several competitive advantages to healthcare systems, as well as traveling workers. Turning to an in-house sourcing system is appealing to many organizations due to the ability to manage staffing, mitigate costs, and avert shortages. As enticing as these factors are, in-house staffing models face several challenges that can make or break internal staffing efforts if overlooked.

Fortunately, obstacles in-house staffing models face can be facilitated with proper technology to ease the transition and set healthcare systems up for long term success.

What is the In-House Staffing Model?

The in-house staffing model means that in lieu of relying on service providers to fill staffing needs, healthcare organizations are designing their own travel programs and recruitment efforts to deploy workers to their own affiliated hospitals in need of clinicians.

For example, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) launched its own in-house staffing model in late 2021. With 40 facilities scattered throughout 3 states, UPMC’s internal staffing agency will send traveling staff to where needs are greatest within their own network of healthcare systems.

This strategic approach is powerful not only in saving costs and managing all steps of the recruitment process, but it provides a mechanism for facilities to gain reliable employees for the long-term – a main objective of UPMC’s initiative to turn in-house.

Many healthcare systems shifting to in-house models offer beneficial wages that are both sustainable to the institution and still appealing to caregivers. UPMC is also offering travel stipends, benefits, and in some cases, tuition reimbursements. Furthermore, such institutions are also rewarding their own permanent staff to encourage morale and retain their long-term workers, rather than losing them to travel opportunities.

As tempting as it is to jump on the in-house trend, it’s essential to acknowledge the many challenges internally operated staffing agencies face in the healthcare industry, along with solutions to mitigate these obstacles.

In-house Staffing Benefits for Healthcare Organizations

1. Reduced Costs

The onset of the pandemic saw a large demand for healthcare workers, with shortages stemming from several causes including retirement, burnout, and population shifts. This led to exorbitant rates for clinicians amounting to almost three times pre-pandemic rates in certain cases. In-house staffing agencies can experience reduced labor expenses and take action in mitigating costs. For example, UPMC claimed that through their in-house staffing initiative, they were able to hire two of their own clinicians for the price of a single contracted candidate.

2. Pool of Staff

In-house staffing models have the benefit of building a pool of staff that serve as a safety net in unexpected events or addressing shortage fluctuations. Having a retainment of skilled talent means that in the case of future pandemics, crises, or seasonal fluctuations of hospital staff, institutions are prepared to allocate and deploy staff on hand to avert shortages. Additionally, with clinicians on hand, there is less time to wait on screening, credentialing, and training when transitioning from flotation locations.

3. Recruit, Retain, and Re-Capture

Proper recruitment is one of the most difficult factors healthcare organizations face. The ability to recruit quality candidates and subsequently retain skilled workers is a major competitive advantage for internal staffing programs. Many factors contribute to employee retention and by empowering employees with work flexibility to pursue travel opportunities, career growth, and short-term commitments, organizations can enable greater retention. Travel employees can explore several niches professionally and geographically that suit them, which can potentially convert staff into long-term employees for your organization. Additionally, re-capturing previous employees who left in favor of travel opportunities is a competitive opportunity in-house staffing agencies can leverage.

4. Values & Dedication

Travel staff hired internally understand company values, practices, and culture. By incorporating staff into travel programs, you’ll have a workforce that has greater dedication and loyalty to your organization than external, temporary staff might exhibit.

5. Healthcare Consistency

With staff frequenting different locations, there is opportunity for travel caregivers to identify areas that healthcare systems fall short in comparison to other locations. This allows for greater improvement and consistency between locations, boosting your organization’s brand reputation.

Benefits to Healthcare Employees

Work Flexibility

Greater work flexibility is an appealing factor when it comes to travel nursing and related healthcare professions. The ability to have shorter commitments and a change of scenery provides travel workers the opportunity to explore regions and clinical positions they may better thrive in.

Competitive Pay

The greatest component to travel nursing are competitive wages. Travel staff benefit with hourly wages reflecting travel demand and efforts, as well as stipends and benefits. Furthermore, institutions turning to in-house staffing models are rewarding permanent staff for remaining in permanent positions rather than opting to travel.

Professional & Career Advancement

Internally managed travel programs offer professional advantages to travel workers by enabling career growth and allowing workers to retain their seniority within their organization. Traveling to different locations gives the traveling workforce opportunities to network and build professional connections. 

Challenges in Internal Staffing & VMS Solutions

Internally operated staffing programs provide organizations with numerous competitive advantages. Without a proper contingent workforce program foundation set in place, many facilities run the risk of in-house staffing programs deterioriating quickly. With expert guidance and a well-crafted strategy, healthcare organizations can avoid the common challenges in-house operations face which include:


  • Implementing improper technology
  • Balancing pay between travel workers and permanent employees
  • Greater coverage gaps created for traveling opportunities
  • Monitoring demand and anticipating future needs
  • Seamlessly transitioning contingent staff into healthcare facilities
  • Crafting an improper strategy unique to your organization

Improper Technology

Traditional HR methods and manual processes for contingent recruitment are inefficient in addressing the growing needs and nuances in contingent staffing. With multilayered processes involved in recruiting, effective, fast, and accurate technology is paramount for efficient and quality staffing. 

Organizations may consider implementing vendor management systems (VMS) to centralize siloed data and spreadsheets into a single location. This allows for quick access to records, documentation, and data between departments. 

For Human Resources and hiring managers, a VMS facilitates a seamless requisition cycle in which all steps of the recruitment process can be completed through a single platform. This includes automating requisitions, matching candidates, interviewing, onboarding and credentialing, as well as time management and consolidated billing. Automated solutions mean quicker fill rates and maximized productivity.

Additionally, a VMS empowers in-house staffing programs by alleviating unnecessary spend. This is because a VMS provides transparent oversight into an organization’s spend, but also visibility into actual market rates that inform your organization on real-time rates for specific occupations. Furthermore, a VMS with geographical capabilities, such as StaffBot’s rate intelligence tools, will ensure you mitigate costs based on market rates by region – an important factor as many healthcare organizations have facilities scattered throughout multiple regions.

Balance of Pay

Balancing pay that is sustainable for the organization while maintaining appeal to travel candidates is a challenging task when market rate visibility is low. Furthermore, pay disparities between permanent staff and traveling employees is a source of contention. Finding a balance between market rate wages with rates that reflect fair compensation for travelers uprooting to cover shortages is not a simple feat.

A powerful way to overcome pay discrepancies is the ability to see market rate analytics. Vendor management systems are equipped to analyze geographical market rate to help organizations determine fair, informed wages. With visibility into real-time rates for specific healthcare positions, your organization can seize the opportunity to mitigate and save immense costs. In fact, according to the SIA, 76% of companies reported experiencing cost reductions and increased overall savings through the use of a VMS.

Coverage Gaps

The appealing advantages offered in travel healthcare run the risk of healthcare workers migrating from permanent staff to travel opportunities. Sudden shifts could leave facilities in low capacity causing gaps in coverage. A major concern is the loss of labor in smaller, less attractive facilities for more favorable opportunities.

Correspondingly, travel employees are concerned with the burden of being excessively sent on travel opportunities to cover severe shortages if the healthcare facility has too much control on their schedules.

A VMS can help minimize these risks by providing oversight into staffing needs and individual staff history. Detailed reporting allows organizations to identify current gaps and determine potential upcoming gaps that help healthcare facilities better anticipate needs and areas of low capacity.

Monitor Demand

Understanding the varying facets of demand at each hospital is a challenge internal workforce management face. Understanding the behavior of each hospital, clinical specialty, and seasonality of workforce demand can enable your organization to be prepared in addressing fluctuating job market demand.

Access to AI-powered reporting can help provide insight into spotting trends to understand demand. The ability of VMS technology to report on customizable factors that provide oversight into trends at varying levels of each hospital is imperative in strategizing recruitment and averting workforce shortages. Ensure the VMS technology has capabilities to not only create custom reports, but also ad-hoc reporting, templated reports, and out-of-box reporting.

Seamless Transitions

With travel workers constantly rotating between facilities, a seamless integration between facilities can be challenging. Efficient transitions between locations are key for consistent experiences. Internal staffing agencies want to ensure their travel workforce are properly trained and updated for the specific location they’re assigned to.

VMS solutions help alleviate inconsistent transitions between travel assignments by providing tools to standardize and remind employers and employees of necessary trainings required. A VMS enables easy communication between facilities, departments, employers, and employees allowing for quick, easy interactions, as well as notifying necessary parties of required trainings, expiring documentation, or any other messages required for travel.

Improper Strategy

Installing VMS technology doesn’t ensure success for internally operated staffing facilities if there isn’t a strategic approach set in place on how the recruitment process operates in conjunction with VMS technology.

Find a provider that not only seamlessly implements technology, but acts as a consultant in the beginning stages, throughout implementation, and long after integration. For example, StaffBot consults and implements a strategic workflow in regards to the VMS solutions for organizations, but also partners you with our service provider affiliates to ensure successful coaching on how to operate internal recruitment with the technology. Partner with a provider who knows how to maximize your efforts to successfully run and manage internal operations.


The use of contingent workforce is a trend expected to rise, with 83% of global executives reporting an increased use of contingent workforce in companies. This sentiment is particularly applicable to the healthcare workforce, an industry that has suffered severe shortages and greater reliance on contingent labor.

Transitioning staffing operations into internally managed processes offers several competitive advantages, however many organizations fail to address the challenges associated with in-house staffing, resulting in wasted efforts, resources, and time. With proper technology and guidance, in-house staffing models have the potential to thrive and improve return on investment, as well as recruit, retain, and re-capture employees to create a sustainable workforce ready to address current and future shortages, crises, or future pandemics.

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