My mom gave me the greatest birthday present a few months prior to my 18th birthday: a round trip ticket and an invitation to the Butch Davis football camp at the University of Miami. I was and probably still am the biggest Hurricanes fan from the state of Indiana.

This invitation was a dream come true, and I could not believe I was invited! I later learned that my mother oversold my upside, as only moms can. Regardless of merit or being on their recruiting radar, I boarded my first flight and spent 4 days at a camp with many of the best high school football players in the country. 

The dream of potentially earning a scholarship ended during warmups before our first session. Out of 350 camp attendees, 75% went on to play Division I football. My roommate for the week was 6’7″, weighed over 300 pounds, and possessed less than 10% body fat. He was a starting offensive tackle for Stanford University 2 years later. 

There was a competition to identify the fastest man in camp, and I lost in an early round to a linebacker who weighed over 220 pounds and ran without shoes. The experience of competing against the best players nationally was an eye opener that definitely changed my perspective.

Assessing your draft picks 

Dynamics consistently evolve in healthcare, compelling providers to maintain a degree of labor flexibility. Here at Harmony, we support providers in nearly every state of the country. That support includes our diligent recruiting efforts to ensure our customers have a virtual bench of the best experts to navigate their business challenges.

Oftentimes that calls for a change in clients’ perspectives. 

Hiring policies that require on-site work for positions that other organizations employ virtually is not just a barrier to talent; it’s also a good way to lose top performers who are otherwise happy with their careers. Refilling those positions is now limited to a talent pool within a daily commute, thus beginning a cycle of being forced to hire less qualified candidates or rely on contract labor.   

remote work call

Broadening your bench 

The other systematic challenge in attracting talent is the use of outdated salary guides constructed based on cost of living analysis and benchmarking salaries of similar organizations in the local market. Benchmarking has many flaws. Combining it with limited data from a small percentage of the available market only lowers an organization’s ability to recruit. 

Organizations that hire nationally – or even internationally for certain positions – have access to the broadest talent pool and associated cost of living. 

These ideas are widely recognized by most healthcare leaders; however, the process to change organizational policies in the industry is never easy. The latest season in healthcare caused by COVID-19 decimated much of the industry. Finding any positives or opportunities has been difficult and will never offset the losses. 

The one potential long-term benefit for providers is the forced perspective of remote capability. Nationwide quarantine mandates forced organizations to alter policies. Many business lines are still operating virtually. This is the largest proof of concept ever staged on remote performance in the industry. It will be interesting to see how the results continue to unfold and future strategies adapt. 

woman working online

As a vice president of a healthcare staffing and solutions firm, I hear discussions among our team on the advantages of this issue, as we benefit from the market inefficiencies. We are undoubtedly able to support our consultants as our clients face hiring challenges that might be prevented with different policies.

If that is the only way could serve our people (clients and consultants), I can assure you that this blog would be on population health, value-based care, or one of the many other topics we are passionate about at Harmony.    

But it’s not.

I think back to my experience at Miami’s football camp and how it helped shape my experience as an athlete. I was asked to hand over my playbook. The gift of that change in perspective altered how I viewed myself, our normal competition in Indiana, and the preparation for my senior season.

There is power in knowing what is possible in broadening the bench within healthcare.

Calling the plays

As one of the leaders at Harmony, I’m proud to work with people who share a desire to improve. The healthcare industry has a new perspective in the wake of COVID, and partnering with organizations to help them recover and ultimately grow is our mission. 

Filling interim needs is an important responsibility that we take seriously. We’ve constructed a large network of experienced consultants who know how to tackle concerns that arise in the face of new dynamics and new possibilities. We stand ready to update the playbook as new opportunities arise and to support our clients as they scale up and down across multiple business lines.

A special thank you goes out to my mom, Katrina. Mom, your desire for me to achieve success and your belief in me made the Miami experience possible. I didn’t land a scholarship, but the lessons learned changed my trajectory as an athlete and as a person. Thank you for showing me leadership starts and ends with doing everything possible to help others reach their goals.

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