Deep relationships central to Floyd Lee Locums’ approach to placing healthcare workers

Floyd Lee Locums’ approach when it comes to working with its healthcare workers — known by the firm as providers — is to establish deep relationships and provide a concierge-level of service to treat them right.

For recruiters at the Charleston, South Carolina-based firm, it’s not enough to send someone on the next available assignment and forget about it. Instead, they first aim to know about their providers — including about their families and career goals. The second part includes finding them the most appropriate assignments based on those needs rather than force-fitting them into an open job order.

“I’ve never felt like just another number,” says Dr. Nicole Edwards, a family medicine doctor who has worked with Floyd Lee Locums since the early days of the firm.

Following this approach landed Floyd Lee Locums in first place as the Best Staffing Firm to Temp For as calculated by Quantum Workplace.

Purposeful Work

The company itself is three years old. Founded by Matt Floyd and Natasha Lee in 2017, the agency began as a small locum tenens division within Trinity Healthcare Staffing Group — prior to Trinity’s acquisition by Travel Nurse across America. Floyd Lee Locums places physicians of all specialties and dentists as well as advanced-practice providers such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants and nurse anesthetists.

Connecting clinicians to purposeful work and impacting lives is at the core of everything Floyd Lee Locums does, says Lee, the firm’s CEO, who has been in the healthcare staffing industry since 2001.

“We’re not just going to work every day; our work has a greater purpose,” Lee says. “We’re in this for the greater good to positively impact the communities we serve through the care our providers deliver.”

With this mission in mind, communication and establishing relationships with its providers is key.

It’s that communication and being treated fairly by the agency that set Floyd Lee Locums apart, according to Dr. Jared Kleine.

Kleine works in Virginia and he has been a dentist in private practice for 22 years. However, two days a week he works through Floyd Lee Locums on assignment at correctional facilities.

“Any question I may have, they have been right there to help,” he says. “I’ve never felt like I was in this process alone.”

That includes anybody he speaks with at the company, whether they are his recruiter or not. While he works most closely with VP of Client Services Kemi Upchurch, everyone he’s interacted with has shown genuine interest in helping him, he says. In turn, that creates a sense of community and belonging.

Another benefit to its providers: Floyd Lee Locums makes paperwork and other processes as seamless as possible. This isn’t a luxury that dentists and physicians in private practices typically have; they are responsible for all the business-side work that’s not related to delivering care. In his private practice, Kleine is in charge of the small details, and no one is checking in on the boss. But with Floyd Lee Locums, he feels taken care of and is able to focus solely on dentistry.

The Personal Touch

Of course, there are the small touches as well, such as the occasional Starbucks gift cards, holiday gifts and other surprises. “It’s an effort on their part to just say ‘thank you,’” he says.

It’s all part of making sure the providers feel valued. When founding the firm, Lee and the other healthcare staffing leaders she has recruited saw there was an opportunity for a more personal experience. As part of that remit, Floyd Lee Locums does not publish specific jobs on its website. Instead, the company engages with clinicians directly to discuss locum tenens as a new avenue and viable career option, not about any given job. Then, it works to find out what providers are looking for so it can place them in positions in which they will thrive.

One of the keys is to work with providers to find out their needs. Of course, the providers have financial needs, but there’s often a work-life balance component as well.

“Most of the time we’re learning about their families and what’s happening as they are traveling away from home,” Lee says. “We understand their ‘why’ for doing locums and get familiar with their lifestyle, their family and their preferences.”

Floyd Lee Locums also focuses on making providers’ lives easier and solving any problems with their concierge service mindset that goes above and beyond the seamless paperwork process Kleine enjoys. Lee says the company takes the approach of, “Is there anything we can’t do?” This could include helping them find a dog sitter, arranging for dinner to be waiting at the hotel and the ability to reach the team 24/7 if there is a challenge. That commitment also carries over to internal workers — Floyd Lee Locums also ranks on the Best Staffing Firms to Work For list — keeping them engaged and invested, thereby doing the same with the providers, Lee says.

Edwards agrees the company is very good at checking in and doing the legwork to make sure credentialing and other paperwork are in order. The team has the unusual ability to be both professional as well as personable, she says.

Her recruiter has worked to learn the places she would like to work and where she would be a good fit, Edwards says. When she first started with the company, she and her recruiter spoke for a while, allowing him a chance to get to know her; those personal conversations continue to this day. And she has had the same recruiter ever since she began working for the company. But a big benefit of working through Floyd Lee Locums is that the company is very responsive when she contacts them, Edwards says. And if her recruiter doesn’t have an answer to a particular question, he always gets back to her, Edwards says, noting it’s better than someone who thinks they have all the answers.

“It’s an honor to work for them and be part of the team. My recruiter has never suggested an assignment where I would not succeed,” Edwards says. And she adds that she is not only sticking with the company but also referring other providers to Floyd Lee Locums.

Treating the Physician

“Providers tell us there has been a drastic shift in the last three to five years as locums agencies continue becoming more transactional,” says Chad Hales, director of physician and advanced practice acquisition. Hales, who leads Floyd Lee Locums’ recruiting efforts, says the aim is for the agency to provide a different experience at every opportunity. The firm’s goal is to continue offering a personal touch.

When learning about providers, recruiters ask questions such as what they are interested in outside of the clinical setting. Do they have children, where do they like to vacation, what are their favorite spots to eat? It also includes finding out what the provider is looking for in their careers and what is driving them. And it means placing them in assignments that best meet the providers’ needs rather than placing them on the next assignment just because it’s more expedient for the company.

It’s important to build more personal relationships with providers who on any given day can receive more than 30 calls from different recruiters talking about whatever job just opened up.

“We view the job that we do similar to the work that a physician does,” Hales says. “We become the physician’s physician, addressing what ails them in their career.”