Quality patient care is always a healthcare facility’s top priority, so it’s important to partner with a staffing agency that can match your organization’s mission with clinicians committed to the same goals. Finding the right partner starts with knowing the right questions to ask.
It can be difficult to fully understand expectations when entering a partnership with a locum staffing agency. And if you’re trying to quickly fill vacancies in your schedule, you don’t want to waste time worrying about the little things.
Luckily, there are questions that you can ask when comparing locum tenens services to give you a clearer picture of what you’ll be getting and eliminate any reservations you may have.
The answer to these questions will help guide your decision-making process:
Of course, you can and should ask as many questions as you like, adjusting the questions based on your specific needs.
This question may seem like an obvious one to ask. After all, you wouldn’t consider a locum tenens recruiting agency in the first place if it didn’t have what you need. But it never hurts to have the information, in case your staffing needs change down the road.
If you develop a long-lasting partnership with a locum tenens agency, it’s good to know all the scope of their services. This includes the different types of talent and medical workers they recruit. They can then become your go-to solution for a variety of positions when you need medical staffing.
Convenience and responsiveness are very important when choosing a long-term locum tenens agency. Knowing how quickly you’ll have access to potential candidates is great; knowing when they can actually start is even better. Your staffing needs may sometimes be urgent, so being aware of an agency’s turnaround time can help you assess your own timelines and manage expectations.
A reliable locum tenens staffing agency will work to respond around your schedule and be up-front about potential issues. Open communication from both parties ensures a strong working relationship.
You could also use the words “honesty” and “transparency” here. And together they are two of the most important qualities that locum tenens staffing agencies can possess.
Ask any questions you may have up front, and be on the lookout for any red flags. If an agency is evasive or indirect when addressing your questions, that is an indicator of the quality of their service. Leave no stone unturned when it comes to finding out what your wait time and total cost look like.
Also ask about the agency’s candidate pool, and see if you can review it before making a deal. Most agencies shouldn’t have an issue with this, as it allows you to get a better idea of what your options are.
Credentialing hurdles can really flatline the process of bringing in new staff. And with so many different licensing laws between states, it can be stressful trying to sort through eligible candidates.
Find out if the agency has a credentialing team that can support your internal credentialing process. And be clear on whether you are willing to wait on licensure. This will be helpful in identifying candidates to fill your opening. If you can interview and choose a locum candidate with the added confidence of knowing credentialing and licensing are in place, you’ll save a ton of time and headache.
You may not even be looking for a specific answer here. Instead, this gives prospective agencies the chance to provide you with an honest assessment of their services and can give you an idea of what their top priorities are.
What are your facility’s long- and short-term needs? How soon do you need coverage?
If you can find that one agency that specializes in the exact service you need, then you’re off to a great start when you need locum tenens support.
Once your questions have been answered, assess all the information you’ve gathered. Think carefully about which locum staffing agency will best accommodate your unique needs.
The best way to battle vacancies in your medical staffing is through locum tenens. And finding a long-term partner you can trust will help support your commitment to uninterrupted patient care.