Healthcare Travel Contracts Questions

One of the reasons I became involved in the medical staffing industry was to lead a better brand of recruiting services. One of the issues I have heard about consistently is the discrepancy in the advertisement of pay to a medical worker compared to they receive in their actual paychecks.

Not to call into question the actions of other agencies, I would like to share how healthcare professionals looking for contract work can ask pertinent questions about their assignment before they even start. Some assignments have quick starts, where the credentialing process is shortened; but this does not mean that the interview process should be rushed. There are good questions to ask not only to the recruiter but also the hiring manager.

Guaranteed Hours – How many hours a week are scheduled in the contract? The posting may indicate outrageous pay, but how does that relate to each week. An understanding of the total amount of hours is clearly needed.

Guaranteed Contracts – Most contracts are 13 weeks, but some are guaranteed for a shorter length of time. This is especially pertinent as we go from winter into spring and the weather and overall health conditions improve. The contractor may not be needed for the entire 13 weeks and may only get a 7-week guarantee. In short, the facility may only guarantee the shorter time length.

Holiday Pay – Not all holidays are paid. There should be defined days in the contract for pay and which specific hours.

On Call Requirements – Some facilities require that contracted travelers work on call. This is something that should be asked, especially if you are planning to be at home or away from the area on other days.

Overtime Hours – In some cases, recruiters will combine overtime hours with pay in their advertising. Overtime may be needed for certain weeks; but again, they are needed for the entire length of the contract.

Reimbursements – This should also be outlined in the contract and when they will be paid. For example, some remote hospitals will offer a perk that housing will be provided. It may be a hotel or an apartment. In every case, the candidate should ask who is paying for the housing upfront and if there are any out of pocket expenses (like parking or cleaning ) to pay for.

These questions can clear up critical things about the assignment and prevent frustration over the first paycheck. It is also good to set expectations in the beginning; that way you understand the role, term, pay, hours, and if anything else is needed regarding the job.

I want to be a trusted resource for traveling healthcare workers, so if there are questions, please feel free to call.

Dane Flanigan

Recession –Accessing the Temporary Workforce

For Hire

With gasoline at an all-time high, warehousing stockpiling and inflation rising, hiring new employees may be needed yet could be risky long term. Let’s talk about accessing the temporary workforce.

Contract workers come in all forms and segments/niches of the markets; various levels of experience will dictate the range of pricing. Finding the correct person for the job means someone who will thrive in your company culture.

As ultraHealth Agency is a staffing and recruiting company, I am asked all the time about temporary workers: their cost, commitment, and quality. Although every business need is unique there are some basics to consider in assigning a contract:

Cost: about 1.5 their hourly salary. If that person is making $100 an hour as a temporary employee, you will be paying the agency $167 per hour on the contract. There may be overtime, shift differentials, as well as other costs. Weighing these costs against hiring a full-time employee is suggested. The true benefit of cost is most agencies are taking care of their insurance and benefits. If the work starts to slow down, you will let people go, often with compensation. There is also an emotional business cost to laying people off.

Term: The average contract is 13 weeks. Contracts for less than a month can be tough. Although contractors may not be looking for long-term stability, securing contracts in general can be a tedious task. Six months is normally the maximum timeframe for a temporary contract. The idea is to have the temporary person come in and accomplish the job. You will get a chance to see how they fit within the organization. If it is mutually beneficial to extend the terms, then it’s a good match. On the other hand, If things slow down and you don’t need the worker any longer, there is nothing wrong with letting the contract expire. The cost benefit analysis can be done before the contractor comes into work.

Quality: The way to get the most qualified talent is to think about the exact person needed for the job. It also pays to determine what the contractor needs to accomplish. It would help if the client gives the personality traits they desire such as an upbeat person or a quiet worker with a serious demeanor – whatever is the best culture fit. The key to finding quality is knowing what will make this particular person successful.

After the pandemic, companies went on a hiring spree as. They faced low unemployment and fewer candidates. It is always good to have options, and none of us can predict the future.

Walk the Talk = Leadership Style

There is a philosophy about the sergeant kick-ass leadership style of management. It goes like this: don’t question me, do as I say, you are grateful to have a job, while peering over your shoulder, hard and relentless – you know who I mean.

That attitude only lasts for so long and people get tired of the humdrum and nagging, so they quit. What you have in the interim is a tired, beleaguered workforce that does not like their manager. Therefore, they do not like their jobs and for them, work is about punching in and out to earn a paycheck. They handle co-workers like the manager treats them, and the customers are treated even worse.

For Christmas, my parents sent me a Chick-Fil-A gift card, not on my normal routine, but there is one in Pasadena. It is always busy with a drive-through line winding down the street. I did the unthinkable during those cold, COVID winters in Southern California: I got out of my car and went inside…

My expectation was to enter a busy maelstrom only to be greeted by a disheartened worker who wanted more than anything to get his fifteen-minute break and get away from sergeant kick-ass. While it was busy inside, the real traffic was in the drive through.

The first person who greeted me in front of the counter was the manager. He flashed a smile bigger than that of Magic Johnson as he asked, “How are you?”

Was this a joke? Where was the roaring confusion and yelling along with the sad people who hate their jobs? Why was this nice gentleman with a southern accent taking my order with a pleasant demeaner, disrupting my fast-food stereotype?

I thought I would trick him and send him back behind the counter. “I’m having a stressful day, and I’m too hungry to wait in the drive through…so I need a chicken salad.”

“Give me one minute,” he replied.

He quietly asked the worker behind him for a chicken salad; and in almost twenty seconds, there was a vibrant green, chicken salad. Was this salad pre-made for people like me on the go. What was going on? I knew this could not be possible since fast food restaurants do not have green salads. Taken aback, I ordered a chocolate shake.

The manager said this would take a few minutes as he had to have one prepared for me. While waiting, I had to ask about his accent, and he told me he was originally from Texas. Then I asked him if he ever had Blue Bell ice cream. He said that he loved and missed it, and from time to time would have a container shipped to the store for the employees to enjoy.

This was not the sergeant kick-ass philosophy at work; in fact, it was the direct opposite. It was the positive, lead by example, greet the customer with a smile, do business in front of a desk, ask politely for something and have the team prepare it, then reward the group leadership style. During stressful times, this is a lost art form.

Which one do you think works best?

Why Some Companies Aren’t Struggling to Hire

A Friday night bad habit had my tastebuds struggling to fight the urge for a cheeseburger, animal fries, and large strawberry shake. So, I dodged the drive-through line and decided to order at the counter of my local In and Out. I was sitting on a bench, waiting for them to call out my number when I took the machine operation. From ordering to cooking, the production process was tremendous; I could not believe how many people worked there. Aren’t we in work shortage, I thought? Especially in the food and beverage industry, there have been great staffing shortages because of the pandemic. But this In and Out was buzzing with people and atmosphere.

In and Out is known for paying workers on a higher pay scale, specifically their management. They are among the highest paid in the fast food industry and the best benefits. Pay matters! For someone in high school, a dollar or two more makes a big difference. For someone supporting a family, it is stressful to work a job, where you are not well compensated.

This enterprise has a winning environment. Have you ever been to a place where the staff is yelling at each other. Well, it is the last place you want to be. A positive work environment is key to success, one where people are always having fun, and customers want to stay and come back. This is an essential but sometimes forgotten element of customer service.

Always Hiring is the sign on the door.  As I came into and exited the place, I saw that both had “Now Hiring” signs for $$ per hour. It was a direct advertisement for people in the neighborhood looking for work. As a recruiter, I cannot imagine that a high-volume establishment like this has heavy turnover. Sure, most restaurants do, yet you don’t always see signs encouraging people to come in and apply. Marketing is key.

Staffing starts with people; that’s why they have a department called human resources. The people dealing every day with customers should be compensated fairly. The environment they work in should be filled with positive energy. we should always be looking to add good people to the organization.

Dane Flanigan CEO

ultraHealth Agency

ultraHealth Agency is Helping in Texas

ultraHealth Agency is a medical staffing company based in California that is fighting the COVID pandemic in hospitals in Texas. The Texas rate is climbing primarily because of the Delta variant. Tasked with finding compassionate, credentialed health care providers, ultraHealth Agency looks to recruit some of the best the country has to offer both locally and those looking to travel.

The Texas Department of State Health is reporting 13,457 new confirmed cases (7-day avg) with 100 fatalities reported (7-day avg) and 12,402 current hospitalizations. With ICU rooms quickly becoming full, the healthcare community is starting to suffer from overwork. This is very reminiscent of the pandemic peak in 2020 when the colder climate dictated that more people would flow indoors and the “flu” season would be upon us.

Recent Texas Healthcare News

ultraHealth Agency is looking to place resident nurses and respiratory therapists for contract work. The skillset needed for these positions is at least two years of experience in a hospital in an intensive care unit and three years in the healthcare field.

In a statement by the CEO of ultraHealth Agency, Dane Flanigan, said, “There is a sense of urgency not only in Texas but also around the globe. We are here to help and become a part of the solution.” ultraHealth Agency is recruiting for several positions that can be found on their corporate website.