Standard economic wisdom says that the real estate industry leads the way out of recession. This time, though, I think the healthcare sector might be taking real estate’s place.

Based on recent numbers, staffing analysts are saying that demand for nurses and other health professionals has increased by almost 50 percent over the previous quarter, accelerating a trend that has been going on all year. A recent report from The Conference Board, an international economic think tank, noted that online healthcare job listings posted the largest gain of any other economic sector in October – over 26,000 more jobs, in fact. The report also states that health care vacancies outnumber job seekers 2 to 1.

This is good news for healthcare professionals, to be sure, but I am always wondering: What does this mean for staffing professionals?

According to Mary Kay Hull, Vice President of Recruitment for American Traveler, a large travel nurse job agency headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, greater demand and tighter budgets have led more healthcare employers to turn to staffing agencies like American Traveler than ever before. Hull encourages hospitals and other large healthcare institutions to form good relationships with healthcare staffing agencies so that they remain full and competently staffed for the long term.

My question: do healthcare institutions have the staffing software to keep up with the complications of having full-time, part-time, contract, and agency employees all on the same payroll? Do they have staffing software that can help them make long-range staffing plans that minimize turnover and maximize efficiency? If so, does the staffing software have the requisite flexibility to make one-time and longer-term changes as unforeseen events and budget changes arise?

In other words, do human resources professionals at large healthcare institutions have the staffing software they need to meet the employment needs of the institution? If they don’t, they may end up with perpetual problems like over-staffing, under-staffing, and using staffing agencies only to mitigate crises – not to mention financial problems from an inefficient use of human resources.

Visit the eEmpACT staffing resources section for more about staffing software and other tools for improving human capital management.

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