How do you fill shift gaps with experienced health and social care professionals?
Until recently, the most common answer would have been “with an agency”. An expensive agency that won’t stop calling or sending you paperwork when you’re already overwhelmed.
Thankfully, there’s a better way to find fully vetted nurses, care assistants and support workers: Florence.
Ready to learn 10 reasons to choose Florence instead of a traditional agency the next time you book staff? Let’s dive right in.
1. Your shifts fill themselves, in real time
Unlike old-school agencies, Florence is totally digital. Everything – from shift-booking to training – happens in one place, on your phone or computer. In other words, no more ringing around, playing phone tag or constantly updating your schedule.
Simply post the shifts you need to Florence, then go about your day. When you’re ready, view your shift applicants’ profiles and accept the care professional who’s best for your shift. You’ll see a breakdown of who’s on-shift that day every time you open Florence.
2. There are no hidden fees
With Florence, you can expect to save about 30% on monthly staffing costs. Here’s why:
- You can auto-fill shifts with your own staff first, so you won’t need to dip into your agency budget as often.
- You can set your own rates, so you get to-the-penny control over your spending. Our commission is set, and always reasonable – no surprises. Which brings us to the next point…
- You’ll never pay hidden fees. Unlike traditional agencies, we don’t charge for extras – so, no bank holiday commission increases, late shift fees, cancellation or recruitment fees (we’ll come back to that last point later).
3. You only pay when you fill a shift
Don’t need to use Florence for a month or two? No problem. You only pay for the shifts you fill with Florence. We don’t charge ongoing subscription fees, so if you’re fully staffed or need to trim your budget, that’s okay. You won’t be charged anything, and can come back to Florence when you need us again.
Traditional agencies often charge retainer fees, which can add up if you don’t need temporary staff for a while.
4. You can schedule your permanent staff first
Would your agency ever advise you to book your own staff ahead of theirs? No?
We didn’t think so.
With Florence, you auto-fill shifts with your own staff first. Invitations and automatic shift reminders go out via text, and your schedule is updated as your team accepts shifts, so that’s one less piece of work to do.
No more chasing staff and updating shifts, so you save hours every day.
Being able to fill shifts with your own staff before Florence professionals means you can maximise the human resources you already have, which can save you even more money and help with retention.
5. Who you book is who you get
Ever had an agency worker arrive who’s completely different from the person you were told was coming?
That doesn’t happen with Florence. You have a full ID, profile info and photo of each person coming to your home.
And you can rest assured your Florence professionals are right for your shift. Every nurse, care assistant and support worker you book with Florence has been rigorously vetted. Our checks include:
- Right to work documents
- Two professional references
- An up-to-date DBS, PVG or AccessNI certificate
- A full work history
- Proof of address
Nurses also need to provide their NMC PINs, and all care professionals have to complete mandatory training before they’re allowed to pick up shifts. To see a complete list of the documents, training and work experience we need, click here (or here, for NHS).
If you need a full record of who’s worked to show at CQC inspection, no problem – they’re stored in your Florence reporting, at the touch of a button.
6. It’s free to recruit
How much does your agency charge to recruit a worker? 10% of annual salary, 15%, 20%? £2,000 per person? Whatever it costs, it’s not free.
We don’t think that’s fair – and we’re here to help solve the staffing crisis, not add to it.
With that in mind, we don’t charge a fee to recruit full-time staff through Florence. That’s right – not a penny. If you like a Florence professional and feel they meet your values, offer them a job. We don’t see this as losing a worker, we see it as a victory for residents’ care.
7. Ratings help everyone do their best
Care homes often tell us Florence professionals are “better”. As well as our high quality standards, we think this is because of our unique rating system: care homes rate Florence professionals after each shift, adding to their public score. You see this score when you book a professional, which can help reassure you they’re right for your needs.
In turn, Florence professionals rate your care home after a shift. It helps motivate everyone to do their best work.
With a traditional agency, there is no system for this kind of oversight. You accept who is sent to you, and you have very little control in this choice, and your ability to feed back.
8. Continuity of care is built in
Continuity of care becomes effortless with Florence, because you can invite professionals back again and again.
Agencies don’t have this system. You can send feedback or request certain individuals from an agency, but you won’t necessarily get the people you want.
9. Our team gives 24/7 dedicated support
You get round-the-clock support with Florence. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via webchat, phone or email – so if you have any questions, you’ll get answers straight away.
In contrast, traditional staffing agencies can be hard to get hold of. They often don’t have a live chat, telephone lines can be hit-and-miss depending on the time of day: not very helpful if you ask us.
10. Florence offers CPD-accredited training
Need to train or retrain your team? Florence Academy can help your team stay compliant the smart way, with staff training at their own pace, from any device. So, no headaches caused by organising in-person training or tracking paperwork necessary.
We offer more than 75 CPD-accredited and CTSF-aligned courses, including essential modules, custom courses and programmes designed to help health and social care professionals advance. All courses automatically ping you and your team when they’re expiring, and you can track compliance at a glance from your Florence dashboard.
Try Florence today
Traditional healthcare staffing agencies are expensive, time-consuming and stuck in the past. If you’re using one at the moment, why not take control of your staffing needs with Florence instead?
Hundreds of care homes use us to cut costs, fill temporary shifts and hire permanent nurses, care assistants and support workers. Ready to join them? Click here to book a demo today.
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- We’re now a Scottish Care Preferred Supplier
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