Your First-Generation MSP Solution is Failing

By Scott Stone, Senior Director, Global Solutions at KellyOCG

Take action on your healthcare talent strategy now or risk being left in the dust.  

Every day, I speak to healthcare organizations about talent strategy. And, almost without exception, those who are relying on a first-gen MSP or VMS solution are struggling. They often have really great reasons for entering into the program that is now causing them a headache. Perhaps it provided them with standardized pricing, a single invoice, greater visibility over their labor pool, or a more streamlined requisition process. But, at some point, that do-everything solution stopped pulling its weight. They are 5 years down the line and things are a mess. The savings have trickled, the quality of candidates has declined, and they are struggling to find the people they need to meet their goals. The business has evolved, the market has transformed, and, to put it bluntly – the program is struggling to keep up.

 

I take a look at the limitations of some of these first-gen programs and what healthcare organizations can do to change that picture, below.

 

Single Supplier. Narrow Priorities.

One of the problems with choosing a single supplier MSP or VMS solution is that healthcare organizations can end up with a very narrow view of their talent options. They choose one of the leading suppliers – someone who can maybe fill 50 or 60% of their clinical roles – and then they pass over all control to this same supplier. What is the motivation for that supplier to support their evolving business goals? Or to carefully review program performance and suggest new ways to offer better value? The truth is, often, these suppliers aren’t motivated to think innovatively, because doing what they have always done is providing them with significant rewards. They fill orders that could be better filled elsewhere because that is what’s best for them – not your organization. It also means that there is little motivation to scrupulously examine and refine the program as your business needs change.

 

Habit is The Death of Strategy

A lot can happen in just a few years. Your healthcare organization could grow, diversify, or acquire other organizations. I was speaking to a provider a little while ago that had gone from managing 5 hospitals to 15 in that timeframe! This means that your talent strategy can’t be static; it has to provide personalized support that flexes around your current state. But despite this, it’s easy to get into a rhythm, a habit of sticking with what you know rather than what you need. Rather than moving from strategic position to strategic position, sticking with a first-gen program often means that those habits become absorbed into your operational behaviors. To build a talent strategy that really delivers, you have to challenge the status quo.

 

Building a Forward-Thinking Talent Program  

Ok, so I’ve done a pretty good job at describing what’s wrong with some of these first-gen talent programs. But’s what’s next? I believe that a vendor-neutral solution is the only way to truly expose your program up to ongoing scrutiny and evaluation. To ensure that you are always asking, ‘How does this approach support our goals?’ A great vendor-neutral program should be providing you with detailed, data-driven insight, not just a few arbitrary KPIs. It should constantly be evaluating what you need over what you want. This, in turn, drives innovation. Perhaps you need an RPO to help drive down nurse augmentation numbers and build your permanent staff base. Or maybe an FSP could help you to outsource some of those time-hungry tasks that are stopping you from concentrating on your core organizational goals. The point is, by engaging with a highly agile program, you can navigate not only disruption in your business but disruption in the wider marketplace.

The pace of change within the healthcare industry shows no sign of slowing. By choosing a one-dimensional service provider, you risk not only being left behind on talent but left behind entirely. Are you brave enough to make a change?