Lakeview, AR (PRWEB) October 18, 2012
As employers face a shortage of qualified professionals in the biomedical equipment field, Cindy Stephens, Owner and Executive Recruiter of Stephens International Recruiting, Inc., said her firm is noticing a marked increase in the demand for contractors in those positions.
Stephens International Recruiting focuses on the placement of quality clinical and technical healthcare professionals in management, executive, and staff positions. Specifically, they specialize in the placement of Biomedical Equipment Technicians (BMETs). BMETs are expected to experience a 31% increase in employment by 2020, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data as cited in an Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) article.
“Greater demand for healthcare services and the use of increasingly complex medical equipment will drive employment growth,” according to the BLS.
This coupled with the retirement of experienced BMETs and medical imaging service technicians is creating a shortage in the industry, Stephens said.
“HR managers and hiring authorities are finding that there are not many technically qualified and experienced technicians available for hire and are coming to us for assistance,” she said.
At the same time, companies are reluctant to hire in the current economic environment, particularly with the uncertainty surrounding the healthcare reform. Companies don’t want to pay a recruiter or commit to a direct hire, so they are putting a lot of their open positions “on hold” until they see how the healthcare reform will affect them or until they get their new budgets in place for 2013, Stephens said. As a result, Stephens has noticed a definite increase in the demand for contractors as the need for qualified technicians grows.
“Contract or temporary staffing comes out of different funding than permanent positions,” Stephens said. “Therefore, it is much easier for a manager to request a temporary fill until the funding for a permanent position is approved. One of our clients received the approval for several new positions after using our temporary staffing services, and we were able to offer a conversion rate rather than charging our normal recruitment fee. Many companies love the idea of using a temporary technician until they receive the approval or funds to fill the position on a permanent basis. This service allows the client to see how the candidate performs before they commit to hiring, a ‘try before buying’ concept that works well. So it’s a win-win situation all the way around.”
It also allows companies where shortages are more severe, particularly in rural areas, to bring in qualified technicians from other areas, Stephens said. There are many unemployed technicians who were laid off due to cutbacks who are having trouble finding work. They can’t relocate permanently due to family obligations or home mortgages, but they will work away from home temporarily to bridge the gap until they can find work closer to home.
“A lot of our long-term candidates that we have used for many assignments love it,” Stephens said. “They can check out the clients and the clients can try them out.”
Stephens International Recruitng, based in Lakeview, Ark., was founded in 1988 by Stephens’ husband, Doug Stephens, who retired from the US Army as a Chief Warrant Officer Four (CW4) after working his way up the ranks from a military-trained BMET to senior BMET advisor to The Surgeon General’s office. He continued his career working as a National Director for two major healthcare organizations until he retired as a senior Director for a major healthcare system in San Antonio, continually recruiting BMETs along the way. Cindy Stephens took over the business following his retirement from recruiting and turned it into a full-service national healthcare recruitment firm.
Stephens International added contract staffing to its business model in 2000 through the back-office services of Top Echelon® Contracting. Since then, they have placed more than 300 contractors through Top Echelon Contracting.
“Stephens International has a long history of excellent service in contract staffing," said Debbie Fledderjohann, President of Top Echelon Contracting. “They have been ranked as one of the Top Five Contract Placement Recruiters for six years in a row. Their alternative staffing solutions strategy has truly made them a success in all aspects of the Biomedical Equipment industry.”