Gaining Competitive Advantage
Vovk says the pandemic also changed LocumsMart’s sales structure: “Before the pandemic, all presentations were in person; now clients prefer Zoom calls, which allows us to present our solution to at least double the number of clients we could previously. Our revenue tripled from 2019 to 2021 from pre-pandemic levels as well, and it continues to grow.
“I believe the locum staffing industry will follow the same path travel nursing did from 2000 to 2010. The number of agencies went from 20 to 2,000 and, in the same breath, the number of VMS / MSP solutions being utilized went from 0 to 80%.
“I sense more agencies are adding their own tech capabilities to be competitive and trying to find strategic partners as opposed to being everything to everyone. IT solutions will only grow until locum tenens as we know it becomes as obsolete as the encyclopedia someday.”
[Locumpedia bets the other experts quoted herein would love to debate this point, 🤔 Hmmm, maybe we can make that happen one of these days…]
For example, Morris believes the new digital staffing platform Aya Locums will introduce next month will boost the company’s ability to “disrupt” the status quo: “Locum tenens has always been about relationships, so our recruiters were a bit hesitant about the concept at first,” she says.
“With our new ‘My Aya’ platform, physicians and advanced clinicians can access all the jobs and pay rates without a recruiter being involved.” While providers will be able to apply to jobs directly, a recruiter will intercede in presenting candidates to healthcare-facility clients.
“Essentially, this transforms a recruiter into more of a career coach” than a salesperson for a position that needs filling, Morris says.
She shared that Aya Healthcare “hired like crazy” during the pandemic, growing from some 1,800 associates pre-pandemic to almost 6,000 today. Aya’s teams aren’t specialty-focused now which allows recruiters to have comprehensive knowledge and experience. Morris says they seem to appreciate the variety of challenges that a broad focus allows.
In fact, “What we’re seeing across the board–among clients, clinicians and employees–is the desire for greater flexibility.”
“The era of flexibility is here.” Lee says, pointing out that, “In most cases, facilities are grateful to have the relief; they’ve become more comfortable bringing in contingent workers. And the more locum agencies educate clients about how to incorporate locum tenens into their staffing plans strategically, the more they appreciate its advantages. They realize we can help them solve problems.”