Roger Ross

Cost Containment Corner - Temp to hire

December 11, 2014
By Roger Ross

Temp to hire, a strategy utilized in other fields for decades, has become a recent trend in health care staffing. It has been used effectively to hold down hiring costs, improve company retention, and gives employers as well as potential employees, an opportunity to hire / be hired with minimal risk.

Generally, a new hire doesn’t have many options if a position doesn’t work out but to resign. Yet, a short time at one place of employment sends up a red flag to company hiring personnel.

Temp and temp to hire allows each party to evaluate each other, usually over a three month duration without restrictions or obligations. At the completion, a perm offer is often made. This has become a huge focal point in health care staffing.

IT, nursing, MD . . . even executive and Cleveland staff can be hired in this manner. Employers get to see the work ethic of the employee and quality of their work while the employee gets to experience the work environment and interact with coworkers. In some cases, employers only looking for temp help may find it beneficial to bring the temp on full time and an employee with excellent credentials, who only wanted a temp position, may be so smitten with that they rally for a full time permanent position. Here are some tips for those looking for temp to perm positions:

• Register with a reputable medical temp and permanent staffing agency. Ask if they are Joint Commission Accredited, work with teaching university hospitals, have been featured on TV or have published articles. Some hiring is completely done “virtual” and you can Skype or Google Hangout and may not even have to meet in person.

• A fee is an arranged upon payment for placing a professional. It could be 20% of the first annual salary. Make sure that the temp agency only charges the fee to the company that you are being placed with. Although it is rare in NY, there are some agencies that charge the applicant as well as the company.

• Flexibility is key. If you are available to work different shifts, evenings, nights, weekends, do some light travel — anything that shows you’re somewhat flexible, it makes you more desirable and more likely to be considered for the position.

• Be open to listening to the temp recruiter’s ideas. They may have something that is perfect for you that you never thought of. Remember that they sometimes interview and hire hundreds of people, they listen to many company hiring directors’ requests and are often experts with the job /career paths.

• Remember that the agency negotiates a bill rate with their clients. The agency is paid an hourly bill rate and in turn, will pay you out of that bill rate. There is usually room for some flexibility in your pay rate to your advantage here. If you have great skills, the agency will want to get you in, and that may include increasing your hourly rate to entice you to take the post. So don’t be afraid to ask for more.

• If the position goes perm, there is no one better equipped to get you the best and most competitive salary than your temp recruiter — their commissions rely on it.

• Some agencies have many temps that have worked with them on multiple top client accounts for years. Perhaps the temp wants extra income or wants to try something different than their fulltime position.

• The agency recruiters will know what the market ranges are for hourly rates and salaries in your region and specialty, which also helps to negotiate the best rates of pay for you.

I still hear back from many successful placements I have assisted over the years. Sometimes in turn, they become the hiring force and call me with future temp orders! Lastly, here are my two most important tips to take to the interview and through life:

• Always dress your best and professionally when you are interviewing and at work.

• Always remember to bring up during the course of an interview (and mean it) that of all your skills and in addition to being a hard worker, the most important tenets are ethics, honesty, and integrity — that should always be your very foundation.

About the author: Roger Ross, former CMO for Guidance Medical Personnel, Inc. for 22 years. The firm is the first Joint Commission Accredited Healthcare Staffing Company in N.Y. State history.