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Roger Ross

Cost Containment Corner - Temp to hire

By Roger Ross
This first appeared in the December 2014 issue of DOTmed HealthCare Business News

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.

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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.
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