My Recruiting Blog

All things employment.

Friday, March 16, 2007


Government Changing Staffing Industry Nationwide

The United States government is rapidly changing the landscape, duties and responsibilities of the staffing industry in respect to the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to step up enforcement of immigration reforms.

In a newly announced initiative by DHS, an effort to develop hiring standards to guide the entire staffing industry has gotten underway. It is known as ICE Mutual Agreement between Government and Employers, the IMAGE program for short. Those partnering on the side of government are United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), and Immigration Control and Enforcement (ICE), the branch of DHS charged with enforcing immigration and work-related eligibility mandates.

The IMAGE program is set to lead the Nation in education and training on proper hiring, fraudulent document detection, anti-discrimination procedures, and use of Basic Pilot Employment Verification Program. The Pilot Program acts as a bridge between the Social Security Administration Database and DHS immigration records. Both are useful tools for verifying the legal status of workers in the United States.

While IMAGE program is considered a volunteer effort, it is interesting to note there is only one staffing company, Staff Management of Chicago, Illinois, included in the 9 member charter group. This group intends to assist the federal government development of an industry standard for hiring practices in the United States. Under the program, ICE will share information with employers on the latest illegal schemes used to circumvent recruiting processes.

Image partnerships promote the use of tools, education and hiring best practices to ensure hiring a legal workforce in America. In addition, anti-discrimination procedures and use of the Basic Pilot Program for online Employment Verification Program are all included in the IMAGE agenda.

Those of you interested in assisting the government in developing hiring standards can partner with the program based on 2 criteria.
  1. Must agree to I-9 audit and background check
  2. Must verify Social Security Numbers of entire existing work forces utilizing Social Security Number Verification System (SSNVS)
Successful completion of the governmental program will include earning a professional designation from the government which deems your organization “IMAGE Certified”. This program will shape the best practices, policy, legislation and future enforcement at the work site level, as well as become the industry standard in staffing. Clearly if you or your company is involved in the staffing industry it is advisable to earn your particular certification now while the program is in its infancy. This program is free for employers in all 50 states across America.

Once again the United States government has sought to recruit employers into taking over a share of traditional governmental duties in respect to illegal hiring and enforcement. Although, despite the extra designation, establishing a new hiring standard in the staffing industry will benefit everyone. This alone should be worth the effort.

For further information visit


Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Healthcare Staffing

Physician, Offer Thyself

Nurse recruiting is the longest-running staffing crisis in U.S. hiring history. Nor does any healthcare staffing outlook appear much brighter. Physicians are in short supply and great demand as well. In fact, this may be the worst looming healthcare crisis of all. Healthcare jobs in the United States are predicted to rise to nearly three million by 2010, with the greatest number of unfilled positions in family practice, internal medicine, gastroenterology, cardiology, radiology, obstetrics, gynecology and general surgery.

The National Association of Physician Recruiters recently conducted a study of the healthcare staffing situation. 93 recruiting firms participated. Researchers determined that there are 769 physician recruiting agencies in the U.S., and another 1767 recruiters on staff with the various healthcare facilities.

Healthcare staffing is a $14 billion industry, with each subsequent year’s increase anticipated at the rate of 15-25 percent. The average healthcare staffing firm, as determined by survey responses, has a staff of three, has been in existence for fewer than 12 years, grosses more than $400,000 annually, and completes 80 percent of its healthcare staffing searches successfully within five months.

No matter what type of healthcare staffing firm, e-mail, the Internet and recruitment job sites are strong parts of its recruitment tools. Retained healthcare staffing firms, requiring an upfront fee or monthly installment payment before placing a physician or other healthcare professional, rely heavily on direct mail or e-mail. Contingency firms, which don’t earn their money until the healthcare professional is found and hired, are much more apt to rely extensively on cold calling. Locum Tenens staffing firms, which place medical professionals on a temporary basis, make just about equal use of all the interactive tools, while in-house departments add medical journal advertising to their recruitment mix.

A nursing shortage isn’t anything new, of course. We’ve almost come to accept that as some long term issue. But, too few physicians? It seems that a profession glorified for its high profit margin and social esteem would have students flocking. There are solid reasons why healthcare staffing issues have come to include physicians themselves, however.

The number one reason for the growing physician shortage is that the population, including the physician population, is aging. Too many jobs. More people than ever before are opting to retire early, and young doctors are changing the way they look at their lives. Doctors just starting out often view their medical care license more as a means to a financial end than a calling. They work less and play more.

Treatments of illness have become considerably more complex and it’s difficult and time-consuming for physicians to keep up with the latest and greatest. This makes the healthcare staffing job more difficult as it makes the job less attractive. It’s a more litigious world than even a decade ago, and malpractice is costly for healthcare professionals. As a result, healthcare costs increase often and medical caregivers are faced with ever more hostile patients and uncollectible bills.

As with any employee shortage in any industry, the short term situation is a windfall for recruiting firms. Long term, however, a serious healthcare staffing shortage hurts everyone.



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