I know this is a problem that has plagued facilities for years and I too
have noticed a change in the past 2 years. Yes, the histology programs
nationwide produce a great albeit small group of talented people every
year but the pool of available histo techs for permanent positions has
shrunk even more in recent years. At the risk of being "flamed" by
travel companies I have to say that you are losing alot of techs to
travel positions. In the past 2 years of all of the histo techs I have
had contact with over half only want to work in permanent positions the
rest either want to continue as travelers or become travelers. Think
about it... they get a higher rate of pay, benefits and living expenses
paid for. For these people it is a "better deal" than committing to one
facility. As a matter of fact it is a "better deal" than a temp/travel
position in any other field outside of healthcare. Facilities who take
the "quick solution" of hiring travel techs are contributing to the
shortage. May I offer some solutions? Some creative hiring strategies?
Here are some ideas I would like to share:
1. If you are using travel techs do it with a temp to perm clause - but
be firm. If a tech works for you as a temp make sure they are at least
considering converting to a permanent employee at the end of the
contract. If not don't extend, have your travel company send someone
else who would consider converting to a permanent position. And make
questions about their intentions part of your interview process the same
as you would if you were interviewing a candidate from out of state for
a permanent position.
2. Human Resources - Many of your allied health recruiters don't seem to
realize that histo techs don't grow on trees. So many times I see
facilities lose great techs because the hiring process has dragged out
and the candidate ends up taking a position with a facility that can
move faster. Stay on top of your hr people especially once you know
they have a histology candidate.
3. How about techs from Canada? There are alot of talented techs in
Canada that are interested in moving to the states and the process is
relatively easy due to NAFTA and the F1 visa.
4. How about techs that need sponsorship on an H-1 visa? I know alot of
companies shy away from this alternative because of the length of time
it can take to process a visa application but I think that if you take a
look at the time it takes to find a tech at all against the time it
would take to process an H-1 visa it is quickly becoming 6 of one vs.
half dozen of another. I mean what difference does it make if it takes
up to 8 weeks to process an H-1 visa vs. 2-3 months to identify a
Your best bet is to get with your Human Resources department and
strategize, educate them on the challenges and shortages you are facing.
Discuss some of these options or others you might come up with.
I hope this helps!!
Specialists in Allied Healthcare Recruiting
5703 Red Bug Lake Road #330
Winter Springs, FL 32708-4969
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