4 Tactics to Keep Your Locum Tenens Hires Longer
The healthcare industry is always changing, shaped by evolving patient demographics, advancing medical technologies, and shifting reimbursement models.
One notable change is the move away from traditional, full-time staffing models to more flexible, diversified approaches. Gone are the days when a hospital or clinic could simply rely on a static roster of full-time clinicians to meet all its healthcare delivery needs.
Factors like physician burnout, escalating administrative burdens, and the need for specialized expertise are making healthcare managers rethink their staffing strategies.
For these reasons, locum tenens clinicians are no longer an exception — they’ve become the rule. According to the National Association of Locum Tenens Physicians (NALTO), 90% of U.S. hospitals now rely on locum tenens clinicians to fill staffing gaps. This statistic reflects a major shift in healthcare staffing and highlights the integral role that locum tenens have come to play in maintaining the continuum of care.
Once viewed as a stopgap measure for vacation coverage, seasonal influxes, or emergencies, locum tenens are now engaged to meet diverse needs, from rapid scale-up in response to public health crises to specialized expertise in cutting-edge treatments and procedures.
Far from being transient figures who merely pass through a healthcare facility’s revolving doors, locum tenens clinicians are becoming cornerstones in healthcare delivery models. Their adaptability, specialized skill sets, and readiness to hit the ground running make them uniquely suited to help healthcare organizations meet their operational and clinical objectives.
If your facility is one of the overwhelming majority that has integrated locum tenens into your staffing model, it’s critical to understand how to keep these talented professionals engaged and committed for the long haul. To address this pressing need, we’ve distilled four key tactics that delve deep into what motivates locum tenens clinicians to stay at a facility.
1. Competitive Compensation
Locum Tenens is a competitive industry, and the significance of offering attractive compensation to locum tenens clinicians cannot be overstated. Fair and competitive pay is not just an enticement — it clearly demonstrates how much a facility values its clinical staff.
Compensation is often a leading factor influencing locum tenens clinicians’ decisions to accept and continue assignments. Therefore, facilities should conduct regular market research to ensure their pay rates align with or exceed industry standards.
But remember, compensation isn’t just about the hourly rate or salary — it can include other benefits like housing stipends or continued medical education (CME) credits.
Creating a comprehensive and competitive compensation package makes a compelling case for locum tenens clinicians to commit to your facility long-term.
2. Efficient Billing and Timekeeping
A common complaint of locum tenens clinicians is the inefficiency in billing and timekeeping processes.
Inconsistent or delayed payments can erode trust and confidence in the facility. Therefore, you should implement a robust, transparent, and user-friendly timekeeping and billing system to avoid pitfalls. Use automated software solutions that clinicians can easily access for real-time tracking of hours worked.
Efficient systems do more than expedite payments — they also reduce administrative burdens on clinicians, allowing them to focus on patient care rather than paperwork.
Remember, a seamless operational experience can be a decisive factor in a clinician’s decision to extend their contract with your facility.
3. Positive Work Environment
Creating a positive work environment goes beyond just offering an aesthetically pleasing office space — it extends to the very culture of the facility. A culture of respect, inclusivity, and professional growth contributes significantly to job satisfaction, one of the critical factors for clinician retention.
A positive work environment is a crucial stress buffer in healthcare settings, where stress levels are inherently high. Ensure locum tenens clinicians are seamlessly integrated into existing teams, invited to participate in staff meetings, and given opportunities for professional development. A well-established mentoring or peer-support system can also facilitate quicker integration. After all, clinicians who feel valued and included are more likely to remain with you.
4. Effective Communication Strategies
Open and regular communication forms the backbone of any successful relationship, and the dynamic between healthcare facilities and locum tenens clinicians is no different.
Effective communication begins the moment a clinician is onboarded and extends through the duration of their assignment. It involves not just conveying logistical information but also gathering feedback on their experience and needs.
Tools like regular check-ins, anonymous surveys, or even a suggestion box can be invaluable in capturing this information. Make it a point to promptly address any concerns raised, as inaction can lead to disengagement. The goal is to create a dialogue where clinicians feel heard and valued, thereby increasing the likelihood of them wanting to extend their contract at your facility.
Contact us to hire locum tenens for your facility today.