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Industry Insights

How Temporary Lab Staffing Can Ease Employee Shortages

Are you a lab owner or hiring manager struggling to find qualified candidates due to shortages created by current hiring environment? Or perhaps you’re a medical laboratory professional looking to make your next career move? Regardless of which side of the table you are sitting on, both parties can realize significant benefits by considering temporary travel positions or staffing opportunities.

Amid staffing shortages caused by pandemic fallout, a lack of new hires, and other factors, lab employers struggling to fill positions should keep in mind that they can cast a wider net by utilizing temporary lab staffing to fill their open jobs.

“If your job is stagnating and not getting much attention from permanent candidates, then you should start talking about temporary candidates to fill those roles,” says Laura King, Temp Staffing Manager for Lighthouse Lab Services. “Doing so opens the role up for more of a national search for employees looking to make a move or those who are only interested in temporary positions.”

Fortunately, increased visibility for job openings is just one of the benefits of considering temporary travel employees to fill your open positions. Read on below to learn more about potential benefits for both employers and candidates.


Challenges of the current hiring environment

While staffing for clinical labs has long been impacted by the declining number of educational pathways and training programs in recent decades, the situation was only further exacerbated by fallout from the pandemic that caused many candidates to seek better employment opportunities, whether that meant compensation increases, improved benefits, or more work/life flexibility.

Add in the fact that unemployment rates are at historic lows, and you have an environment in which there are now far more open roles than available candidates, King says, estimating there are currently about twice as many open lab jobs as there are available candidates.

Laura King, Temp Staffing Manager, LLS

Laura King, Temp Staffing Manager, LLS

Some former lab professionals have also chosen to leave the industry for other sectors after growing tired of stagnating pay rates and a lack of new opportunities. Others have chosen to strictly fill temporary travel positions to maximize their potential earnings, according to King.

“About 65% of lab workers are considering temporary placements because they do earn more,” King says, noting that housing arrangements and a travel per diem are often paid for by their temporary employer or by the recruiting agency itself, depending on the exact nature of the arrangement.

And because so many expenses are covered by a temporary employee’s contract, these employees typically see a larger amount of take-home pay after taxes are deducted.


Benefits for lab owners

As labs face these hiring challenges, it can be beneficial to take a holistic view of any permanent positions you’re trying to fill to decide whether a short-term solution might fulfill your needs while you continue to evaluate long-term options.

According to King, roughly 52% of healthcare companies have increased their use of temporary travel workers throughout the past year as a means of combating staffing shortages. Searches for temporary and permanent employees can be conducted concurrently, which allows employers to keep both options open while casting a wider net.

In addition to increasing the visibility of your jobs, opening a permanent position to temporary travel applicants also allows labs to have a trial period with a new employee. While not all temporary workers will be looking to discuss full-time employment at the end of their contract, some may be open to the conversation.

“In the event that it’s a perfect marriage and everyone falls in love, we absolutely would encourage that relationship to flourish and become a full-time arrangement,” King says.


Opportunity for employees

Medical lab professionals interested in exploring temporary employment opportunities should keep in mind that not every opening requires you to uproot yourself and move to the other side of the country for 10-13 weeks (or longer) at a time. Lighthouse also staffs for local temporary positions located within 40 miles of the candidate’s current residence, meaning you can get a taste of travel work without having to make a major life change.

Regardless of what kind of opening you’re seeking, the Lighthouse Recruiting Team is ready to help find the perfect job to meet your needs.

“If you have flexibility and you want to see new things and get great experience, it’s worth giving this a try,” says Caroline Johnson, Lighthouse Recruiting Associate.

Interested in learning more about temporary lab staffing or open jobs? Contact our Recruiting Team today


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