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How the Gig Economy Can Benefit Your Healthcare Talent Strategy

The healthcare industry is facing a growing challenge: a lack of skilled, reliable healthcare talent to fill current and future workforce needs.

That needn’t be bad news.

Companies like Airbnb,, Freelancer, Uber, Upwork, and countless others are revolutionizing the way employers and qualified workers find each other by providing a sort of “matchmaking” service. They represent a growing trend – the gig economy.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 30% of the American workforce currently works as independent contractors, and by 2020, over half of the US workforce will consist of independent contract workers, rather than full-time, salaried employees.

How the gig economy helps healthcare talent

Talented healthcare workers choose gig work over traditional employment for a variety of reasons.

Many gig workers come from the baby boom generation and are facing rising healthcare costs, limited retirement benefits, and the need to contribute a lifetime of skill and experience so they continue to feel useful and valued.

Younger workers increasingly require flexibility in their work lives to care for small children or aging parents. Gig work provides that flexibility and freedom.

Others take on gig work to supplement their income to meet personal or financial goals like saving for a new home, family vacation, or continuing their education. Many supplement the income from a more traditional job by taking on gig work as a second income.

Given the attraction of gig work, the healthcare talent pool consists of educated, qualified, motivated workers who crave the freedom and flexibility to schedule work to suit their own needs.

How the gig economy helps employers

For the healthcare industry, the growth of the gig economy is good news.

With the combined population of seasoned, knowledgeable baby boomers and some of the top talent in the healthcare industry exiting the traditional workforce in favor of the gig economy, there is a vast pool of resources available only on a contract basis.

For employers, adding gig workers to their healthcare talent strategies means reducing the costs that traditional W2 employees represent. Not only that, adding gig workers to your healthcare talent pool might just be the most flexible, scalable means of getting daily work done, and leveraging the available talent to help your company grow.

Embracing gig workers as part of your healthcare talent strategy enables you to define projects and tasks and hire the experts necessary to accomplish them. Managing those gig workers is simpler – holding each worker accountable for accomplishing a specific project or task within a given set of milestones over a specific time. You become much more able to manage and reward your employees by outcomes and accomplishments, instead of by general, often outdated job descriptions.

By adding gig workers to your healthcare talent strategy, you are able to contract with workers who have the specific talent and expertise necessary to support and promote your products, services, goals, and core competencies. That way, your internal resources and leadership can focus on the overall growth and direction of your company or practice.

If you’ve never considered embracing gig workers as a vital part of your team, analyze your goals, workflow, and strategic planning initiatives to identify any gaps in your current talent base that qualified, motivated contractors would be eager to help you fill.

Nomad Health Professionals – A Growing Force In the Digital Economy

If the idea of being a nomad health professional appeals to you, here’s some great news.

Healthcare is among the top ten industries taking advantage of a nomadic, digital workforce consisting of temporary contractors or freelancers. Projections are that by 2020, nearly half of all US workers will be participating in the gig economy.

A changing economy means more schedule flexibility, more financial autonomy, more freedom to work for the employers you choose, and more opportunities to pursue your passion. After all, who wants to sit in rush hour traffic for hours every day just to work 9-to-5 for a paycheck?

And because of the internet, working for yourself as a nomad health professional is more convenient than ever. Many healthcare freelancers are taking advantage of the freedom remote work provides, and are working from exotic and inspiring places.

You can join them! Here are some tips for living like a nomad health professional in the digital economy.

1. Define your specialty

 

 

Before you can earn an income as a nomad health professional, you need to gather the education, skills, and credentials that suit the digital nomad lifestyle.

There is healthcare related work you can perform remotely with just your laptop and an internet connection: medical writing, insurance billing, or online teaching and training can be lucrative options. After all, these specialties are in growing demand in the digital freelance economy. If you’d welcome the chance to work from home, these specialties represent a great opportunity.

But if you’re more passionate about clinical or chairside work, there are opportunities for travel once you’ve gained experience in your field and proven your worth. The travel industry (particularly cruise lines), the military, and corporate giants are all looking for healthcare professionals willing to travel or relocate – often overseas.

If you’re looking to switch from regular, traditional full-time work, make the change one step at a time by taking on a side gig here and there to see if the digital health nomad lifestyle suits you.

2. Promote yourself

 

 

Once you’ve decided to wholeheartedly pursue a digital nomad lifestyle, you’ll have to commit to self-promotion and marketing.

Social media is a great way to begin. Starting with a great profile on LinkedIn, use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Quora to establish and build your credibility as an expert. Join professional networks and make connections with other freelancers.

Build your own personal website, and use your social media presence as a subtle way to advertise and drive visitors to it. On your own website, you can share rave reviews or evaluations you’ve received for your contract work, or share your portfolio, sell products and services, or promote a blog that features your role as a leader in your field.

The deeper your online presence, the easier it will be to find the next gig.

If you’re interested in working from home, use websites like Upwork and Freelancer to find home-based healthcare work to keep your schedule full.

If you’re more interested in working as a temporary contractor in your own or neighboring communities, or traveling as part of your profession, use an online platform like Stynt to market yourself and connect with healthcare employers directly.

3. Plan your travel

 

 

Once you’ve established yourself as a professional, you can start planning to travel, if that’s your goal.

As a digital nomad health professional, the only “have to” in your work is to maintain an internet connection no matter where you are in the world.

Obviously, if you’re going to live a nomadic lifestyle, major cities around the world offer the best opportunities because of the availability of high-speed internet and other digital infrastructure, as well as the chance to connect with hundreds or thousands of people just like you. Just do your homework about costs of living to make sure you can maintain your financial stability.

On the other hand, many developing countries are quickly embracing technology and connectivity. If you’d like to travel and work as a digital nomad in more remote locations, just make sure you can stay connected while you work.

4. Welcome and grow from the challenges

 

 

Freelancing or working independently offers its own set of challenges – which can be compounded when you add travel to your lifestyle goals.

If you’re committed to traveling as a nomad health professional, you could stay on the road for months – even years. That could mean long stretches of time away from family or friends, so it’s important to stay connected. Social media and web-based communication platforms like Facebook or Skype can help you overcome that challenge.

Another challenge of working for yourself as a nomad health worker might involve becoming ill or injured while you’re out of the country. Make sure that your health insurance coverage includes foreign travel or emergency evacuation in the event of an accident or illness.

It might also be challenging, if you travel as part of your digital nomad lifestyle, to maintain a healthy work-life balance. You may find yourself working longer hours or having to be more flexible with your schedule in order to take full advantage of your exotic location.

Just remember: if you’re working outside the country in more remote locations, network outages may be more common due to local infrastructure (or lack thereof). Consider it part of the “charm” of travel!

5. Additional tips

 

 

Becoming a nomad health professional will call on you to be strong, courageous, and persistent. Keep these tips in mind as you pursue your nomadic lifestyle:

  • Focus on your specialty as a freelancer, but don’t be afraid to experiment with other options. Adapting your skills and being more flexible can help you generate an income during quieter months.
  • Living a nomadic lifestyle requires a willingness to change plans on a moment’s notice. It’s okay to make a plan – just be aware that plans can change in ways beyond your control.
  • Work first – play and explore later. Focus on getting your work done before heading out to enjoy your surroundings.

Becoming a nomad health professional can be one of the most challenging, rewarding, and inspiring lifestyles imaginable. But it’s never been more possible, and the rewards are immeasurable!

We’d love to help you explore your options. We’re Stynt, the largest and fastest-growing healthcare recruitment platform. We focus on connecting healthcare professionals like you with over 2000 health industry employers who are eager to work with you.

Join Stynt for free to begin your journey!

5 Ways to Welcome RDH Temps into Your Company Culture

A former middle manager accustomed to working with RDH temps learned a surprising – and important — lesson from one of them. That lesson? All team members – no matter their employment status – are a valuable part of the team and deserve to be welcomed, included, and treated with respect.

Many managers and their full-time employees approach temporary workers in general and RDH temps in particular with an attitude of indifference. After all, they won’t be there for long. And that contributes to an ugly stereotype that temporary workers are somehow less interested, less committed, less skilled, and therefore less valuable than traditional, full-time employees.

When that temporary worker expressed that they were expected to perform even though they were excluded from company communication and training, the manager was stunned. After all, how can RDH temps get up to speed and fill the company’s critical need if they’re considered a lesser part of the team?

That middle manager realized that every team member brings unique skills, talents, and insights to the company – no matter what their employment status.

Instead of reinforcing the stereotype about RDH temps, and perpetuating the rift between temporary, part-time, and permanent employees, it’s important to create a more inclusive culture at your company. All employees should be welcomed and on-boarded as valuable to the team, no matter how long they work for you.

How to Create a More Inclusive Company Culture

Given the rise of the gig economy and the freedom and flexibility it represents to RDH temps, savvy healthcare organizations recognize the need to treat everyone well regardless of status. Because many RDH temps work for several companies, any negative experience at a particular company can become common knowledge very quickly, resulting in serious consequences on the company’s recruitment and retention strategies.

For example, if RDH temps feel unwelcome or undervalued and that information spreads among their network, talented people might be reluctant to accept work in your company. And according to the “North American Temporary Worker Survey 2017,” conducted by Staffing Industry Analysts, 31% of temporary workers will leave a contract early if they receive a better offer. RDH temps who leave early because they don’t feel welcome, included, or valuable will cost your organization time and money to replace them.

To take full advantage of the talent and skill of RDH temps, here are five strategies to demonstrate they’re an equal part of your team:

1. Examine your company’s organizational structure.

 

 

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 47% of the American workforce will be actively participating in the gig economy by 2020. With the rise of the gig economy, companies need to rethink their organizational structure and make design changes to accommodate this trend and remain competitive.

As more and more RDHs seek gig work, your company will more likely benefit from the cost-saving choice a temporary worker offers over a full-time, permanent employee. Examine the ways that different jobs intersect within your organization, and get creative about outsourcing, consolidating, and streamlining your workflow.

2. Design an inclusive workforce management strategy.

 

 

Given that within the next few years freelancers, contractors, and consultants who work by the project will make up such a large part of the workforce, your organization is going to need to design a workforce management strategy that embraces them.

Work with your HR consultant and management team to design and implement a total workforce management strategy. Include plans for onboarding, communicating with, and integrating RDH temps into your company culture.

Educate and train your managers and core employees about why inclusion matters to all employees, and make sure they’re aligned with your new management strategy.

3. Formalize and welcome employee feedback.

 

 

Design a formal structure for soliciting and responding to employee feedback, and use the information to determine the “state of the union” at your company. It’s best to use an independent third party to conduct the survey to solicit honest responses and avoid any fears of retribution employees may feel if they volunteer negative feedback.

Include a rating scale to get a feel for how well collaboration and rapport is working between your core employees and RDH temps. Use open-ended questions to ask for specific feedback and suggestions about your management strategy.

If you conduct formal feedback sessions regularly (every quarter, biannually, or annually), you’ll be able to chart your progress and make any corrections needed.

4. Lead by example.

 

 

Be sure to onboard RDH temps the same way you onboard any other core employees and include them in team meetings, communications, and training opportunities. Offer them a company email address and a workspace equal to others.

And little things mean a lot. Include them in social events, volunteer activities, happy hours, or parties so they do not feel isolated or less valued.

When your team sees supervisors, managers, and executives treating RDH temps with respect, they’ll be more likely to do the same.

5. Regularly review social media and employer rating sites.

 

 

It’s not uncommon for RDH temps who are dissatisfied with a job experience to air their opinions on Facebook or review sites like Glassdoor. With over 32 million reviews and over 45 million unique visits per month, Glassdoor has a tremendous reach.

While an occasional bad review might not adversely affect your reputation as an employer, it can sting. Several negative reviews, however, can illustrate a trend. Rather than take it personally or respond with defensiveness, use any negative feedback from RDH temps as an opportunity to reexamine your management style and processes, and understand and correct any issues you might discover.

These five tips can help you strengthen your relationships with RDH temps and enhance your reputation as a forward-thinking, great place to work. All team members need to feel valued if you expect them to contribute their best. Work to bridge the gap between traditional and non-traditional employees by actively recognizing and reinforcing that everyone has something of value to contribute.

When you’re ready to expand your talent pool to include pre-vetted, well-qualified RDH temps, contact us.

We’re Stynt, the largest and fastest-growing online platform for matching healthcare organizations like yours with the talent they’re seeing.

Do you need to hire RDH temps? Create your free account.