Given the record demand for healthcare workers and scarce supply, both staffing firms and their clients find themselves partnering together in an intense effort to attract candidates and fill a record number of job openings. In such an environment, it is paramount to have a keen understanding of how temporary workers are thinking and feeling about their workplace options. Fortunately, SIA conducts an annual survey of several thousand temporary workers to capture insights on attitudes and opinions on a range of topics, and the survey findings of its most recent survey are now available to our corporate members. In this article, we highlight some recently published findings related to how temporary workers initially found their staffing firms, as well as temporary workers’ attitudes about Covid vaccination policies and the evaluation of their staffing firm experiences during the pandemic.
Survey results showed that 43% of temporary healthcare professionals found their staffing firm based on a recommendation from a friend or colleague. The next most-common method was via an internet or social media search, used by 23%. Sixteen percent of healthcare professionals were contacted by their staffing firm, and 12% responded to a job ad. When combining the top two methods, it is striking that two-thirds of healthcare professionals appear to have contacted their staffing firm out of their own initiative, rather than the staffing firm initiating the relationship. This suggests the importance of staffing firm brand and reputation as a strategic driver of candidate attraction. It is also notable that a much higher percentage of temporary workers in other occupational segments said they were first contacted directly by their staffing firm: 60% for computer and mathematical occupations (that is, IT staffing) and 36% for business and financial occupations (that is, finance/accounting staffing).
Relating to Covid, the survey found that 77% of temporary healthcare professionals are supportive of mandatory Covid vaccination policies, while the remaining 23% were not supportive. Among the 77% supportive, this constituted 43% who were strongly supportive and 35% who were mildly supportive.
And in a separate question that asked how the last 18 months of Covid has affected their optimism about working for their staffing firm, 67% of temporary healthcare professionals rated the company a five or six on a six-point scale. Another 25% rated their firm a three or four, and 7% gave a rating of one or two. These findings paint an encouraging picture that healthcare staffing firms were successful in making their workers feel supported while on assignment.
In summary, these findings are a reminder that staffing is a “people business” where reputation matters. Healthcare staffing firms should celebrate the successes they achieved during the pandemic in meeting the needs of their clients and talent, as they work to maintain a brand reputation that will fuel their business into the future.