By Susan Saldibar

Back in early September, Nick Porter, VP of Total Rewards for Signature Healthcare, was excited about the early results he was seeing from the Matchwell staffing platform (a Foresight partner). He was looking forward to ongoing success, with hopes of eventually replacing their cumbersome and expensive agency model.

So, here we are, six months later and Signature has 1,749 new healthcare professionals onboarding (and that’s direct through Matchwell with no agency.) It’s certainly what Nick Porter would call “ongoing success”. And it’s what Thomas Guest, Manager, Partner Services for Matchwell would call a great “match”. Even more so when you consider the typical agency spend associated with those numbers. Think of the bill rates and markups. Do the math. Great match? Indeed. Great deal too.

Now the work begins to put them all to work. It’s a rare (and wonderful) challenge to have.

Where Are All the Healthcare Workers?

I caught up recently with Thomas to talk about Signature’s ongoing success and Matchwell’s role in connecting SNFs directly to ready-to-work professionals, especially after what’s been a hellish staffing year. “What HR needs now is access,” he says. “We’re hearing, especially in post-acute care, HR professionals asking, ‘How can we find more healthcare workers?’”

Many are onboarding with communities, like Signature, who have the tools to access them. But there are plenty of others waiting and wanting to work. They’re fighting their own employment battles, some due to fear of COVID, others with schedules made crazy by kids home from school, and some caring for their own aging family members. And yet, they are more in demand now than ever. “HR’s needs run the gamut from medical technicians to CNAs, to LPNs and RNs,” Thomas tells me. “And they’re finding them on our platform. We have travelers, PRN/FLEX workers, and contract workers. And some are aiming for full-time work . . . if it’s a match/good fit for both parties.”

When You Cut Out the Middleman, Good Things Happen

The idea of getting a great employee match without a middleman is what attracted Nick Porter to Matchwell in the first place. It allowed Signature to, not only save money but tap into a whole new pool of staff. 

It also gave them an opportunity to see if each employee was a good fit before hiring them full-time. “Every match starts as a flex-time contract,” Thomas tells me. “HR and Operations leaders like that. It’s the ultimate matchmaking experience. If it works out and you want to keep them on board, you negotiate directly with them.”

Clearly, direct access has enormous appeal. “When you cut out the middleman, good things happen,” Thomas says. “For one, you are accessing directly. Secondly, you are able to get someone on board quickly. And, finally, you’re not paying an agency to get them! No middleman. No agency. Direct connect through the Matchwell service.” 

For Signature, it’s “Step 1: Check Matchwell.”

Six months later and the Matchwell model has become so engrained in Signature’s HR fabric that they have been designated Signature’s “preferred national staffing partner”. They now consider three steps to filling a staffing gap: 1) Check Matchwell, 2) Pay overtime to existing staff, and 3) If necessary, call an agency. According to Nick, they rarely need to move beyond step #1. And that makes people like Thomas happy because their system is doing exactly what it was designed to do. 

“Traditionally, HR has had to operate with their hands tied,” Thomas says. “We’re giving them a tool that empowers them by giving them direct access to exactly the kind of employees they need.” 

Behind Matchwell’s dedication to HR professionals is a mission to serve the needs of the healthcare professionals themselves. In that spirit, they’ve rolled out a special year-long $50k student loan forgiveness program. The program will gift $25k to two healthcare workers.

Thomas urges healthcare workers to register. “If you’re a healthcare professional, we want you to know that we appreciate you and would love you to enter to win one of two $25k checks to help you pay off some student debt, enroll in classes, or help educate a family member.”

You can visit to enter (as a clinician) or to find out how to start offsetting agency costs.

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