Virtual platforms that match employers with healthcare workers through an automated process are becoming a highly utilized alternative to traditional recruitment and hiring.
These digital marketplaces boast a quicker, more cost effective system that allows qualified candidates to find the position they are best suited for, and employers to skip hours of sifting through candidates who aren't a good fit.
These digital solutions come at a time when the industry is struggling to find and retain staff.
One company, Vivian Health, claims its been able to place full-time candidates in less than a week and often helps staffing agencies place contract talent in less than 24 hours.
"We built the experience around this instant connection between an employer and a candidate through a chat-based conversation, which we've seen [has] enabled much faster hiring in the industry," said Parth Bhakta, co-founder and CEO of Vivian Health.
Because staffing shortages can increase costs and cause staff burnout, Bhakta said speed is crucial when it comes to replacing employees.
Vivian Health was created with a goal of allowing healthcare professionals to access insight into the jobs that are available, information about pay and workplace environments, as well as how to get in contact with the right people for a job opportunity, he added.
Nurses using the technology platform Trusted Health can build a profile detailing their work history, references, clinical expertise and preferences for clinic location and shift time, said Dan Weberg, head of clinical innovation at Trusted Health.
"We take that data, and we match it to thousands of jobs available across the country in all 50 states and about 3,500 to 4,000 different facilities," Weberg said. "We do that through a patented algorithm that takes that nurses' preference and expertise and aligns it with job requirements, expectations … from hospitals."
Trusted Health employs nurses on the frontline, rather than recruiters, to foster a clinician-to-clinician connection and help systems hire employees who can be productive immediately, Weberg added.
The automated process is more cost-effective, which allows Trusted Health to pay the nurses more and bill the hospitals less, he said. While the platform itself is free for nurses and health systems, a percentage of the billed time is used to cover the cost of placing nurses.
As a result of the pandemic, 80% of nursing leaders reported an increase in nurse turnover, and the demand for intensive care and emergency nurses grew by 186% over the past year, according to a 2021 study by Incredible Health.
Many employers have faced higher costs in a scramble to decrease vacancy rates by hiring temporary employees and are recruiting by incentivizing work any way they can.
By using custom matching technology to hire high-quality permanent nurses in less than 12 days—compared to the industry average of 90 days—and eliminating costs for travel nurses and human resources, hospitals save at least $2 million over time, said Iman Abuzeid, CEO and co-founder of Incredible Health.
With platforms, employers are applying to see the talent in its healthcare professional marketplace, rather than the other way around, Abuzeid said.
During the pandemic, she said the demand for nursing on their platform grew by more than 200%, and the organization now works with more than 350 hospitals and health systems nationwide to screen and provide talent.
The platform also offers remote interviewing options, an in-app chat for employers and potential hires, free continuing education for nurses, free salary estimators, a mental health service to help with burnout and fatigue, and a virtual community for nurses to interact with one another and give advice and support.
In addition to using technology to recruit more efficiently, Weberg said healthcare systems need to think about long-term retention and worker satisfaction.
To retain employees, employers need to prioritize documented career development, equitable compensation and operational efficiency, Abuzeid said.
"Nurses are wanting to go on travel assignments and have more autonomy over their careers," Weberg said. "So from a healthcare leader standpoint, thinking about not only recruiting and retaining a core staff, but how are you going to create these flexible pools of clinical talent, in order to supplement the ebbs and flows of patient care?"
The most important job of technology in the hiring process is removing the manual burden and poor match-up that often comes with healthcare workers trying to find employment.
"We are very focused on our mission of helping healthcare professionals live better lives, and helping them find and do their best work," Abuzeid said.