Will a Recession be Good Medicine for Facility Staffing Ills?

Are nursing homes recession proof?

Are Nursing Homes “Recession-Proof?” 

In past recessions, nursing homes were considered “recession-proof,” as the reduction in consumer spending and lack of access to staff didn’t have nearly the same negative impact on long-term care as it did on other industries.  

During a recession, there is traditionally less competition in hiring and a decreased reliance on temporary staff across all industries. For nursing homes, this has meant it was easier to keep full-time staff and reduce their reliance on agency staff. This trend has contributed to the sentiment that “recessions are good for nursing homes,” because facilities, historically, have been in a better position to be fully staffed with internal employees. For nursing homes, cutting agency usage has been a welcome result of past recessions. 

In today’s economy, GDP is low, hinting that another recession may be ahead of us. However, unemployment is low too. So, for those dreaming of a recession with a low employee turnover and a decrease in job mobility, the reality in 2022 may look much different. 

Could the Next Recession be Different? 

Beyond the public health and economic impacts that COVID brought upon the population, it also changed how the workforce values their occupation compared to other things in their lives. Work/life balance, boundaries at work, and flexible working models have become of the utmost importance to workers across all industries, including (and perhaps, especially) in nursing. 

All nursing professionals rank work/life balance as a top concern and more are demanding flexibility in their schedules. Pre-pandemic, 18% of the long-term care nursing workforce preferred flexible work. Today, that number is 40%. If the long-term care industry is essentially recruiting only 60% of the nursing workforce available for full-time work, how then can nursing homes use a recession to recruit more staff and eliminate agency? The answer lies in float pool management. 

Watch Webinar Replay of IntelyCare’s Founder and CEO, David Coppins and VP of Economics and Data Science, Ben Tengelsen presenting on the current state of the Long-Term Care Industry sponsored by McKnights

But Traditional Float Pool Management Doesn’t Work 

Managing an internal float pool the “traditional” way, with spreadsheets and phone calls, is inefficient. Scheduling or payroll systems are not built to manage a float pool – it is difficult to properly size them with fluctuating demand, and open shifts can’t be easily viewed or planned for in advance. Facility schedulers who hear the term “float pool” likely think about the hours spent calling the nurses on their float list, often in vain. 

The biggest difference between a recession in 2022 and those of the past might be access to technology.  

Use Purpose-Built Float Pool Management Software 

Software that is built specifically for float pool management can transform how quickly and easily you manage flexible staff. Predictive algorithms, intelligent incentives, and configured limits help you to keep shifts filled without exceeding budgets. The software also streamlines communication between facility and float pool staff and makes it easier to make schedule adjustments on the fly.   

  • Hire and retain more staff by offering flexible roles. 
  • Increase census and staffing while staying in budget. 
  • Easily fill shifts with advanced matching and pricing algorithms. 

Be Ready for Anything with a Stable Staffing Strategy 

IntelyCare’s Float Pool Management Platform is a best-in-class option for any long-term care organization looking for an effective and engaging way to build an internal float pool. It is the same software that IntelyCare has used and perfected to manage our pool of over 50,000 nursing professionals but is customized to facility needs.  

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