Made to Order
Concierge-style approach offers a unique, enduring temp experience
Personalized partnerships, tailored support and work experiences, and embracing its healthcare providers as integral team members — this customized approach to locum tenens staffing is what made Floyd Lee Locums a standout among its peers, and has earned it recognition as a Best Staffing Firm to Temp For winner two years in a row. Moreover, the firm earns glowing praise from the clinicians it places.
The 35-employee agency based in Charleston, South Carolina, was founded just four years ago with the vision of being “an unwavering partner in healthcare staffing.” Co-founder and CEO Natasha Lee says, “This philosophy differentiates our company, and has resulted in our being named the Best Firm to Temp For two years running.” Floyd Lee Locums primarily staffs physicians, dentists, CRNAs, NPs, PAs and respiratory therapists across all major hospital departments and specialties. Lee and Chairman Matt Floyd opened the locums firm after decades of experience in nurse staffing.
Floyd Lee Locums offers “concierge style” placement services, which are crucial to the firm’s ability to connect providers to the best positions for them and to ensuring its healthcare clients have locums who are ready to work and excited about the opportunities. Lee says that’s critical because “satisfaction for both provider and client has a direct and overwhelming impact on patient satisfaction.”
As a relatively new agency, Floyd Lee Locums actively pursues providers with backgrounds that complement the locums lifestyle and invests time in getting to know each clinician personally before ever moving into contract conversations. Likewise, the firm strives to thoroughly understand the needs of the healthcare facilities they work with.
Dr. Catherine Smith, an ear, nose and throat physician, says she felt heard and understood by the Floyd Lee Locums team from the very start, even regarding the smallest details like her preference for jobs in warmer climates, when other agencies were trying to “send her to the tundra.” She loves having the opportunity to work two weeks a month, travel to other parts of the country and continue practicing medicine, while learning how other practices are run.
Smith also notes that the team is always mindful of her preferences when traveling, such as proximity of the hotel to the hospital and good dining options, as well as other conveniences. Most important, she feels the team really prepares her to be successful by giving her all the information she needs. “I felt they really vetted the facility,” she says of a recent assignment. “I walked right into an unfamiliar facility and knew exactly what to do. Being prepared ahead of time was really reassuring when popping into a new city I’d never been to.”
Floyd Lee Locums COO Nicole Burleson says the concierge focus is the firm’s secret sauce. “We are focused on delivering a standout experience tailored to support the individual and their career aspirations,” she explains. “We believe in transparency and advocating for the providers we serve, while also building strong, direct relationships with our clients so that we can pair them most effectively.”
Being nimble is another key ingredient. As Covid-related providers were more in need this past year, not only was Floyd Lee Locums able to shift its staffing model to include providers who were not previously working the locums model, the firm also worked diligently with its providers “to understand where they were — who wasn’t comfortable traveling, who was high risk, etc.,” Burleson notes.
Meeting people where they are is just as important as helping them get where they want to go. Dr. Prabh Grewal experienced this commitment first-hand when he was looking to transition from military service to a private practice as an oral surgeon. “Floyd Lee Locums approached me at the perfect time and offered me the opportunity to work locums while I was moving cross country and determining my next professional step. They made my transition into civilian medicine seamless, coordinating the logistics and supporting me throughout the entire process,” he says.
Grewal also mentions being impressed with the way his recruiter responded when, after finding his ideal private practice in California, he decided not to renew his locums contract. “He was congratulatory and supportive of my decision, even though it meant leaving a vacancy with the facility.”
Supported During the Pandemic
Clinicians who work for Floyd Lee Locums speak highly of the firm’s responsiveness and willingness to go beyond the extra mile for its temps. The challenges of 2020, including the pandemic and severe weather across the country, have provided additional opportunities for the team to put their concierge skills to work.
“In the beginning, there was a lot of uncertainty, and our first concern was the safety and needs of our clinicians, facility contacts and our team”, Burleson shares. The concierge consultants were in frequent contact with providers, understanding their concerns, their level of comfort with assignments and travel, and removed penalties for cancelled contracts for both clients and providers. “Recognizing the deep desire of healthcare professionals to step up and provide care in communities in crisis, we created a Covid Rapid Response Team,” Lee says. “This enabled us to connect facilities and clinicians as the situation changed, with a program that continues today.”
During this difficult time, the company also realized the relationships that had been built between the clinicians and their consultants were crucial to maintaining trust and providing personalized support. “Knowing our team was managing more than ever before, we focused on supporting them and ensuring they knew their jobs were secure,” Lee says. Not only did the agency avoid furloughs, layoffs or pay cuts, it hired additional staff to better navigate the changing needs of the clinicians.
All in the Family
There is no “internal” and “external” at Floyd Lee Locums — everyone is a member of the family and part of the team, Burleson adds. New staff are fully engaged in the onboarding process and gain a thorough understanding of the company’s strategy. “We offer significant one-to-one training and support. We don’t just have a generic handbook and expect people to figure it out on their own.” She says the firm also communicates new opportunities and makes sure everyone is aware of the options available to them.
“Although locum clinicians are independent contractors, we support them as we would any member of our team and ensure their experience is first rate,” Lee says. She adds that Floyd Lee Locums conducts regular surveys of clinicians to understand their experience and what might be improved. The firm also makes a point to recognize the personal events in temp workers’ lives — birthdays, anniversaries and such — which helps to foster connection and engagement. “Each provider receives a welcome travel kit and we are mindful of national recognition events to ensure providers feel appreciated for their varying specialties and professional backgrounds,” Lee adds.
Making Best … Better
When Floyd Lee Locums first opened in 2017, Lee says, the team made a concerted effort to focus on areas that other staffing firms did not — which included its dedicated concierge approach, hiring only healthcare staffing industry veterans who deeply understand the landscape, empowering each employee to be creative advocates, and refusing to accept a “this is the way everyone else does it” approach. “We looked at best practices and asked ourselves, ‘Can best be better?’ If the answer was yes, we pursued it,” Lee says. “This allows us to solve problems quickly and creatively while delivering a bigger impact.”