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Webinar Recap: The Rapid Growth of Per Diem Platforms

On Friday, February 24th 2023, ActivateStaff hosted a live webinar on “The Rise of Per Diem Staffing Platforms” to discuss the sudden growth of funding behind mobile staffing platforms in the healthcare space. Leading the discussion was Activate’s CEO Rohan Jacob, who shed light on the meaning behind this surge and shared strategies for small and mid-size agencies to stay competitive in this evolving landscape.

Surge of investment in the per diem and PRN nursing sector

A few weeks ago, we released a blog discussing staffing platforms as the possible remedy to the healthcare staffing crisis in which we discuss the surge of investment in healthcare staffing, particularly in the per diem and PRN sector. The number of mobile platforms that have emerged has increased rapidly as has subsequent funding. ShiftMed, which raised $200 million, ShiftKey, which raised $300 million, and Connect RN, which raised $155 million are just a few examples.

Candidates want to experience the accessibility and transparency provided by staffing apps

In the webinar, Rohan explains that the pandemic highlighted all the inefficiencies and flaws that existed in the healthcare industry. Previously, there had been the misconception that candidates would not want to download an app to find job information. In actuality, candidates want the accessibility and transparency only an app can provide. “You know, the funding is pouring in because the analysts are looking at the  number of downloads that these [agency apps] are getting,” shared Rohan. “And candidates prefer this method.”

An increasing number of staffing agencies have implemented platforms as a strategy and key differentiator to stay competitive. It has been shown that agencies utilizing a platform are growing at nearly 200% year over year compared to traditional staffing agencies.

Per diem nursing is driven by lower bill and pay rates and the gig economy

It’s important to recognize why candidates are on the hunt for more flexible work options. And it goes beyond just the efficiencies provided by platform technology and that the demand for per diem work is driven primarily by the gig economy and inflation. According to the results from a recent study by Gale Healthcare, they found that 65% of their nurses reported only working temporary shifts. 45% of that number are working full-time schedules exclusively through temporary jobs. 

Nurses want those flexible shifts, especially with bill rates and pay rates going down.  Platforms are simply the intermediary, making it fast and easy for nurses to find and pick up extra shifts and for clients to fill the demand at their facilities.

Mobile staffing apps are revolutionizing healthcare staffing

Staffing apps have become an increasingly popular way to connect nurses with flexible work. But what many agencies have been discovering recently is that their nurses, who are already on these apps, become a captive audience. This makes filling short-term jobs seamless, but also enables agencies to offer longer-term placements or even travel assignments for the nurses that have already built a trusting relationship with the platform.

Advances in platform technology have made it easier for staffing agencies to manage credentialing tasks and even compliance at scale. Agencies are even seeing their candidate no-shows decreasing by up to 30%. Ultimately, it streamlines the scheduling and hiring process, reducing friction for recruiters, clients and nurses. 

Staffing platforms are actually easier for smaller agencies to adopt

One of the most common misconceptions we hear from agencies is that adopting a staffing model is much easier for larger organizations with more resources. On the contrary, smaller staffing agencies are often more agile, which makes it easier to navigate change and adjust any processes. Larger firms may have custom legacy tools and robust policies in place and face challenges with change management when trying to transition to new solutions.

While competing with major players with billion-dollar funding may have appeared arduous in the past, white-labelled staffing apps have made it possible for smaller agencies to roll out their own platforms. According to Rohan, it really comes down to the propensity to evaluate new solutions and a “willingness to change”.

Don’t miss out on the latest trends and insights in healthcare staffing. Watch the full webinar on-demand or book some time with our team.

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