February 26, 2024

What is Healthcare's "Hidden Workforce" (and How Health Systems Can Unlock it)

A pie chart showing FTEs, Travel and a Flexible workforce as the pieces to the healthcare staffing puzzle.

As health systems scramble to find a way forward in the healthcare staffing crisis, new staffing models are emerging and taking hold. Old inflexible systems are no longer capable of keeping up with an ever-fluctuating census. But what is the answer? How can health systems tap into additional staff to keep up with demand? Below we will explore a new way forward with CareRev and the power of technology. 

What is healthcare's "hidden workforce"?

In recent years, a "hidden workforce" has quietly emerged, composed of skilled nurses and healthcare professionals who seek flexibility in their work schedules, opting against the traditional full-time commitment. Navigating this untapped resource presents both a challenge and an opportunity for health systems aiming to maximize staffing efficiency and meet the demands of an ever-evolving industry.

Why this untapped workforce is the key to a flexible workforce strategy

The conventional healthcare staffing model predominantly revolves around full-time employees (FTEs) and travel nurses. However, this staffing pool is quite rigid and unable to flex to meet changing demand quickly. The hidden workforce, on the other hand, is inherently flexible. They are seeking part-time or on-demand opportunities and could be the linchpin in constructing a truly flexible workforce strategy

Leveraging the unique advantages this contingent brings allows for a reliable base of more rigid staffing (FTEs and travel), and a flexible pool of on-demand staffing. This mix allows facilities to flex up and down, meeting staffing demands and only spending on the staff they need at the time. 

Using technology to tap into a flexible workforce

Engaging this hidden workforce necessitates innovative solutions, and technology is a pivotal enabler. CareRev, at the forefront of this transformative shift, provides a technology platform that seamlessly connects healthcare facilities with professionals ready to work on demand. Through CareRev's technology, previously untapped talent is made accessible, offering health systems the flexibility crucial for filling staffing gaps and responding dynamically to patient volumes and seasonal variations.

Additionally, CareRev’s Flexible Workforce Platform enables facilities to manage their staffing mix holistically, tapping into FTEs, travel, and on-demand staff whenever needed. With a tech-enabled flexible workforce, shifts are filled most cost-effectively, and fewer shifts are left unfilled. 

Unlocking healthcare's hidden workforce for a resilient future

Understanding and tapping into healthcare's hidden workforce is pivotal for health systems aiming to cultivate a nimble and resilient workforce strategy. CareRev's flexible workforce platform serves as a catalyst, bridging the gap between healthcare facilities and professionals seeking more flexible work arrangements. Embracing this hidden workforce not only enhances agility and efficiency but also positions health systems to navigate the future of healthcare with adaptability, innovation, and a commitment to excellence in patient care.

CareRev is the flexible workforce platform purpose-built for acute care. Our technology reduces fixed costs, increases nurse engagement, and makes having a flexible workforce easy. 

Ready to tap into the hidden workforce?

Learn how CareRev partners with hospitals