By Susan Saldibar
Joey Lynch-Flohr had a problem that may sound familiar to you. His director of nursing gave notice.
There is nothing trivial about losing a key employee in this industry. It’s not only emotionally draining, it’s a financial punch to the gut. The knee-jerk reaction is to call a staffing agency. You depend on them. They know it. And their prices show it.
Joey Lynch-Flohrs is the executive director at Cobbdale Assisted Living, a single-site assisted living community located in Fairfax, Virginia. Back in November, when Joey lost his head nurse, he quickly took to the phones. “I was in need of a nurse so, like many, I called a staffing agency. This nurse was great. But with her contract almost up and it not being cost-effective, I called Matchwell. I’d been connected to Rachel Nader on LinkedIn for a while.”
Rachel’s Only Goal Was to Get Joey a Nurse — It Wasn’t About Matchwell
It turned out to be a smart move. Rachel Nader, regional manager of partnerships for Matchwell (a Foresight partner) remembers that call. “His first words were ‘I need a nurse!’,” she says. She took action immediately. “I had only one goal at that point. To get Joey a nurse,” she says. But that didn’t necessarily involve using the Matchwell platform, which surprised Joey. “At first, Rachel talked with me, but not about Matchwell,” Joey says. “She wasn’t sure if their model was the right fit, so she came up with other options.”
She suggested Joey keep his nurse on board if at all possible. But that meant a buyout on her contract with the staffing agency that had a hefty price tag. Another option was a traditional recruit-to-full staffing company, to the tune of $30k+. They discussed a third option, which was to pay $92/hour to the agency for a new nurse. “Since Joey was a stand-alone operator,” Rachel says, “none of those were financially feasible!”
A Dating Service for Staffing
While Rachel initially resisted Matchwell as the best solution – their model is geared more towards flex-staffing – she also knew that it often resulted in successful full-time hires. “So I told him, ‘Okay, wait a minute. What if you pay our monthly subscription and try out some of the nurses we’ve sourced,” Rachel says. “Then, if they aren’t a good fit or vice versa, you can simply part ways and try again. If you do like them, you have no buyout fees. You can just say, ‘As of Monday, you’re on my payroll.’”
There was something appealing about this to Joey. “In a small community, the position of the lead nurse is critical,” he says. “I couldn’t afford to hire the wrong one.” And as he put it to Rachel, “So we’re dating basically. If we like each other, we get married, right?”
More Financial Benefits
Joey did some quick math. With the money he would save using Matchwell, he could add a couple more CNAs as well. After a few more calculations, Joey realized he would eventually save enough money to add staff to both of his buildings.
This is what Rachel tells me she loves about what they do at Matchwell. And there is an authenticity to the way they work that is hard to ignore. Joey knows it well. “This team is not only mission-driven, but they care. They are incredibly helpful and easy to work with,” Joey says. And driven as well. “They even worked on Thanksgiving to find me the perfect candidate . . . she started within two days.”
A $50k Giveaway Says, “We Want to Do Our Part to Help”
Skilled nursing has been especially hard hit with staffing issues during the pandemic. And Matchwell has been instrumental in economically helping operators fill all too frequent gaps. “When we are able to help pull them away from the agency vicious cycle, we know we are living our mission,” she says.
They’re also paying attention to the other side of the staffing equation: the hardworking healthcare workers who have struggled financially, especially in recent months. To lend added support, Matchwell has rolled out a special year-long $50k giveaway program. The program will give $25k to two healthcare workers to use as they see fit. “Whether they use it for their own continuing education, their kids’ education or to pay down debt. It doesn’t matter,” she says. “We want to do our part to help.”