Buffy Stultz White, Group President, Workforce Solutions, Cross Country HealthcareBuffy Stultz White, Group President, Workforce Solutions
Recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) organizations today offer businesses worldwide a set of robust services that excel at creating efficiencies, augmenting and optimizing the talent acquisition and management lifecycle, and enhancing an organization’s brand reputation and employee-employer relationships. A quintessential example of this important partnership is the growth of RPOs in the healthcare industry, where they have evolved into an incredibly sophisticated service offering that helps address many challenges in an organization’s recruitment and employment functions.

Commonly, there is a lack of scalability within in-house recruiting and sourcing infrastructures that can create gaps in a healthcare institution’s ability to fulfill the changing needs of the market and effectively manage the fluctuating cycles of patient care. While the war for talent persists, this past year in particular emphasized the need for healthcare organizations to have highly agile, turn-key, and cost-effective staffing services that complement their talent and HR teams in response to demand, growth, or other changes. There are under-developed workforce strategies, visibility constraints into workforce trending, and suboptimal investments toward improving the throughput performance. In addition, in-house functions can lead to the inability to gain economies of scale in sourcing investments and ensure the broadest reach for talent across sourcing channels. The pandemic of 2020 only helped solidify the necessity of external healthcare RPOs as critical partners. Tasked with ensuring the efficient allocation of highly specialized talent across the healthcare industry in the post-pandemic age, RPO Specialists are currently focusing all efforts toward filling the gaps in coverage due to ongoing physician and nursing—or overall clinical—labor shortages. The pandemic has exacerbated the importance of RPOs in a successful workforce management strategy, helping caregivers recover from the aftermath of COVID-19, while providing healthcare providers the staff that they need to continue to provide a high level of patient care.

One leading RPO organization with domain expertise, Cross Country Healthcare, excels in partnering with health systems in the US advising on optimal talent needs with its best-in-class workforce solutions. As soon as the pandemic began affecting how hospitals operated, the company stepped in and offered the market extensive advisory and strategic workforce services that successfully bolstered a health system’s ability to manage the emergency. Cross Country Healthcare stood firm as one of the torchbearers that led the charge against COVID-19. For 35 years, the company has provided the best clinical insights on talent acquisition best practices with flexible solutions designed to bridge the gap between health systems and medical professionals.

Buffy Stultz White, Group President, Workforce Solutions, comments on how the pandemic deepened preexisting labor market challenges faced by recruitment professionals as the industry faced the fear of a turnover tsunami. “If this year has taught us anything, it is about reimagining a workforce strategy and then building a flexible, scalable, custom solution to meet subsequent healthcare institutions’ unique market needs,” she adds.

Balancing the Labor or Staffing Equilibrium

Cross Country Healthcare’s vast experience and track record enable it to help health systems overcome complex labor issues in a highly strategic and advisory manner that drives results. Over the last 35 years, Cross Country Healthcare has built a broad portfolio of services to solve critical workforce solutions, designed to achieve the optimum labor or staffing equilibrium: a phrase used by White and her team to resolve staffing challenges, where RPO serves as one critical component of the workforce ecosystem. “We partner with our clients on a personal level to thoroughly understand their objectives, priorities, and vision,” expresses White. Following this holistic process, Cross Country Healthcare’s veteran medical HR experts custom design a workforce strategy, advise on a pragmatic plan with compatible solutions and anticipate and overcome immediate labor gaps.

The organization’s ethos is structured around supporting hospitals and alternate care providers in the clinical space and beyond, where Cross Country Healthcare provides high quality talent a across the career as well as care continuum - from nursing and allied health professionals to advanced practitioners, locum tenens and physicians. “Be it contingent staffing, direct hires, or RPO-based recruitment on a short- or long-term basis, we seamlessly deliver clinical excellence for healthcare professionals to drive exceptional patient care,” states White.

We intend to cultivate partnerships with all our clients and always be able to modify, customize, and provide solutions for them as they continue to evolve

Strategic Staffing Fueled by Clinical Insights

With 35 years of market leadership, being a pioneer in RPO innovation, Cross Country Healthcare employs the latest digital technologies, data-driven approaches, and a portfolio of honed solutions to meet each client’s unique labor requirements. The organization is passionate about the part RPO played and continues to play in pandemic recovery. A critical advantage for the organization is its clinical leadership and experience in the industry. David Bach, Vice President of Cross Country Search, says, “Our offering greatly contrasts from other RPO organizations that may offer healthcare as a vertical. They typically design their service delivery mechanism for multiple industries, whereas we concentrate solely on healthcare.” The company dedicatedly offers workforce solutions for health systems across the US as an integrated, holistic business partner. Its three-decade-long experience in the field solidifies Cross Country Healthcare’s credibility where, for all those years, it has successfully brought about high-quality outcomes. In fact, the staffing firm has a longstanding history of investing in the development of incredibly diverse and inclusive strategic initiatives, with a mission to create a better future for its workforce and the healthcare community at large.

The company’s end-to-end talent management solutions include contingent staffing, permanent placement, and other consultative services explicitly designed to boost the performance of the talent acquisition or HR organization in any healthcare institution. After having conducted comprehensive consultative sessions with health systems across the nation, Cross Country Healthcare strives to alleviate the internal pressures a hospital may face, typically concerning technology integrations and unwarranted staffing expenses.

Assisting Clients with Superior Staffing

With White and Bach’s expansive industry know-how, combined with the company’s culture and ability to provide actionable clinical insights, its clients are always supported with the most effective staffing strategies and consultations. “We lead with people, and in doing so, I think it is important that we all operate with a common set of core values like honesty, transparency, and trust in mind,” expresses White.

Bach shares the story of how his company has been supporting a for-profit acute-care facility based in the Northeastern region of the US for the past 18 months. “This particular client’s needs are often stable, but they do have a tendency to vary widely at times,” he says. The sudden variations can revolve around positive growth such as expansions, yet also from medical emergencies, viral outbreaks, and other similar situations that would demand more staff and resources. Cross Country Healthcare’s staffing workflows resonated positively with the client, which paved the way for a highly cooperative, open, and long-term partnership between the two. The acute-care facility built their internal talent acquisition staff to cover immediate floor needs while Cross Country Healthcare provided quick and cost-effectively staffing resources whenever the client required supplementary assistance— regardless of general or specialty positions.

Kevin C. Clark, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Their relationship only strengthened over the course of 2020 to the point where the client’s hiring leaders cannot differentiate Cross Country recruiters from their own internal staff. “Their hiring managers work with our recruiters very closely. We’ve adopted their branding and integrated it into their systems to the point that they would never know any different,” says Bach.
  • If this year has taught us anything, it is about reimagining a talent strategy, and then building a flexible, custom solution to meet subsequent market demands

Cross Country Healthcare hardly faces any resistance from a client’s existing workforce; otherwise, a common problem that persists in the field. Often, questions like ‘why would they go hire third parties for such a critical function that involves building their core staff?’ or ‘will it displace roles or functions in an organization, and will they lose their strategy?’ arise. To which White replies, “We help develop a client’s vision and strive to work as an extension of their talent function. We strengthen their position and expand their reach all under their name and brand.”

To continuously deliver on their clients’ expectations, the company constantly invests in digital marketing and referral programs to build a strong talent pool. It also leverages technologies that conduct extensive screening processes to ensure the procurement of the best candidates. “Our organization focuses on consistent improvement because what we do is provide the talent that helps healthcare systems enhance their delivery of patient care,” says White.

Growing with an Air of Optimism

Moving forward, Cross Country Healthcare expects a lot of positive patient care results from hospitals as the world recovers from the effects of the pandemic. The global emergency has taught healthcare organizations worldwide to place significant emphasis on their recruitment and retention strategies. RPOs need to be thoroughly revisited in 2021, and Cross Country Healthcare is the perfect example of the benefits one can enjoy when in lack of immediate and efficient staffing. “We intend to cultivate partnerships with all our clients and always be able to modify, customize, and provide solutions for them as they continue to evolve,” adds Bach.

Cross Country Healthcare believes that, while offering the best staffing for medical institutions is a science, as it involves data analytics and such, it is also an art. “Candidate and client experience is the top priority, and we make sure to evaluate and gather feedback to keep improving both,” explains Bach.

Cross Country Healthcare is rightly leading the charge in RPO for health systems throughout the nation with such strong values, beliefs, and services. The company will continue to balance the art and science of recruitment on its experience-hardened shoulders and effectively meet every staffing requirement for a medical institution of any specialty.