published on
March 28, 2023

5 ways to reduce LTC staffing agency spend

posted on
Healthcare organizations

Healthcare facilities turn to agencies when there just aren’t enough permanent staff to fill shifts. Unfortunately, hourly rates for temporary nurses in Canada can top $150 per hour, more than 200% above typical rates, making it hard to stay within budget.

Cutting agency spend can free up funds for training, special projects and healthcare facility upgrades.

Need inspiration? Discover five tried-and-tested ways to make the most of your resources, save money and improve continuity of care.

1. Share your team

If you have several locations, try sharing team members across facilities before scheduling agency staff.

Part-time staff at one location might want full-time jobs or extra shifts. Giving them access to shifts at other facilities can help with retention and solve scheduling issues. Familiar faces stick around, patients feel reassured and you maximize your resources – everybody wins.

2. Flexible scheduling

Flexible schedules don’t just make life simpler for your staff – they can be a game-changer for you, too.

Part-time, floating and tailored shifts make it easier for people to balance work with personal commitments, and when staff feel happier, they’re more engaged. Work becomes more accessible, last-minute shifts get easier to fill and you don’t have to resort to agency staff as often.

3. Tap into talent

Making the most of your existing team’s skills can help you fill shifts and make work more interesting for multi-talented staff members.

Most nurses and personal support workers are qualified to work in several areas – wellness and elder care, for example. You can expand the number of people available to pick up extra shifts by letting team members work secondary positions rather than tapping into agency resources.

4. Dial up the perks

Perks can encourage reluctant staff to pick up less appealing shifts – for example Saturday overnights or overtime hours on Thanksgiving.

You’ll spend a little extra on incentives, but taking this approach can help you save a ton on agency staff. Here are some ways to sweeten the pot:

  • Hourly bonuses. Pay a little more for shifts you usually fill with agency staff.
  • Attendance rewards. Dealing with unexpected absences? Offer staff $1 an hour more per pay period if they attend 100% of their shifts.
  • Tiered benefits. Add benefits for permanent staff who work extra shifts – for example dental contributions or well-being services.
  • Gift cards. Use one-time gift cards for coffee or groceries to make difficult shifts more tempting.

5. Save money with Florence

Finally, you can save 30% or more on typical agency spend by switching to Florence. Florence isn’t a traditional agency – instead of paying high fees for staff you work with once, you get a blend of technology and friendly, personalized support to help you maximize resources and cut agency spend.

With Florence, you can set your own consistent, predictable rates. You can fill shifts with your own staff first, then plug gaps with our community of fully-vetted nurses and personal support workers. There are never hidden fees for booking trusted Florence nurses and personal support workers to fill open shifts. The rate you set is the rate you spend.

You can improve continuity of care by saving your favourites and inviting them back again and again. Even better, if you really like a Florence nurse or personal support worker, you can hire them permanently. We’re here to help solve the staffing crisis, not take advantage of it.

Giving everyone the care and dignity they deserve

Out-of-control agency fees cost Canadian healthcare facilities and long-term care homes millions of dollars every year, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

You can make the most of your existing team with flexible scheduling, secondary roles and perks, and by sharing staff across facilities. Meanwhile, switching to Florence can help you cut temporary staffing costs to the bare minimum.

Want to reduce your agency spend? Find out more about Florence and book a demo here.

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