In our quest to provide insight into all areas of the staffing and recruiting industry, we’re sitting down and talking with healthcare staffing suppliers. We interviewed April Morris, Corporate Housing Professional and Realtor, from Express Corporate Housing. ECH specializes in temporary housing solutions and has keen insight into the housing needs of contingent healthcare workers. She shared her thoughts on building a values-based company, leading by listening, and anticipating the future of the healthcare staffing industry.
How did Express Corporate Housing get started?
In 2008, Shelly and Steve Brewer, our COO and CEO, set out to build a corporate housing firm founded on integrity and customer-first values. Shelly noticed that many corporate housing firms seemed to lack ethical values. The market needed a corporate housing company that prioritized honest communication and fair treatment of both clients and employees. Every business decision made by Steve and Shelly is rooted in a commitment to treating everybody with the same respect they want themselves.
With these values as their cornerstone, Shelly and Steve have grown ECH from a scrappy corporate housing start-up that ran out of their house to a fast-growing, multi-million dollar enterprise with over fifty employees.
What inspires your team?
Our biggest motivation is customer satisfaction. We’ve developed a complete understanding of our client’s needs by listening to them closely and responding with comprehensive, tailored solutions.
We’re also inspired by our work for Insurance Housing Companies — firms that help displaced homeowners find temporary accommodations. It’s very gratifying to succeed in helping people in need. That’s also why our team looks forward to working more with healthcare staffing firms — we want to provide homes for the healthcare workers who help so many people.
How did Express Corporate Housing start focusing on healthcare staffing and recruiting?
As the healthcare staffing market continues to grow, the need for effective temporary housing solutions will grow with it. We build our housing solutions from the ground-up, and our adaptability has proven really valuable in our work with healthcare staffing firms. We can meet them, understand their changing needs, and evolve with them in a way other temporary housing firms just can’t.
What challenges do you help the healthcare staffing and recruiter industry face?
Many healthcare staffing and recruiting agencies struggle to find temporary housing for two reasons: location and price. Urban areas are expensive, and there may not be a lot of housing close to hospitals and medical centers. Rural areas aren’t as expensive, but housing is spread out and scarce. This makes finding the right home for every resident very difficult. It becomes even more difficult when you consider the variety of clients that healthcare staffing and recruiting companies work with – an experienced surgeon has significantly different expectations for their housing than a recent nursing school graduate.
Fortunately, we’re experienced in working across price points and quality expectations in both urban and rural centers. This experience has led to us developing a best-in-business supply chain to provide our clients with the best temporary housing solutions possible. We recognize that every individual’s housing needs are unique — a combination of budget, location, and personal preferences, among other factors. By listening to what those needs are and taking the time to build solutions for those individuals, ECH is consistently successful in even the most challenging assignments.
How do you think the healthcare staffing and recruiting space will change in the next five years?
We anticipate that healthcare staffing and recruiting will continue to grow over the next few years. Broad macroeconomic trends, such as an aging population, will drive demand. Changes in how hospitals are operated will play a smaller role in demand growth, as hospitals will increase reliance on temporary staffing solutions to better control personnel costs.
The ongoing skills shortage remains a benefit for healthcare staffing and recruiting companies, especially for specialized fields. Hospitals will need firms specializing in temporary medical staffing that can mobilize skilled workers where they’re needed most. This is supplemented by the geographic inequalities in certain skills. While nursing schools, medical schools, and other medical licensure programs are increasing enrollment, it remains to be seen if the increase in enrollment will keep up with demand. ECH believes that it is unlikely that the skills shortage will be effectively met without changes to immigration policy that encourage individuals with medical skills to immigrate to the US.
As it relates to temporary housing, we anticipate that demand for temporary housing solutions will increase in-turn with demand for healthcare. ECH believes that multiple temporary housing firms will open divisions specifically targeting healthcare staffing and recruiting companies over the next few years.
What’s on the horizon for Express Corporate Housing? How will you support doctors, nurses, and patients in the future?
We continue to experience tremendous growth. This has given us the resources to develop a full technology suite that manages our back-end operations. As a result, our team works more efficiently and at a larger scale than other firms.
Currently, our development team is working on a housing portal that integrates with our back-end system. Not only will this portal provide healthcare staffing firms a free tool to manage their housing, but it will significantly reduce the amount of time it takes to secure new housing. This tool will also minimize the amount of time healthcare staffing firms spend on menial, routine tasks, freeing time for more important work.
We believe that organizing the right housing quickly and efficiently is the best way for us to assist doctors, nurses, patients, and other medical professionals in the work that they do. We plan to continue investing in our healthcare division as the need for temporary housing in the healthcare space grows.
Looking for more interviews with staffing suppliers? Check out our interview with TextUs CEO Ted Guggenheim on staffing shortages, speed of communication, and the future of candidate expectations.
About Express Corporate Housing
Express Corporate Housing is one of the fastest growing corporate housing providers in the US. They provide fully furnished and serviced apartments to corporate executives and employees, government and military personnel, traveling medical professionals, film and entertainment industry professionals, construction crews and professionals, and interns. They also work with insurance housing providers, relocation companies, and other corporate housing providers.
Their innovative housing management systems help businesses manage the complexities of workplace mobility, and their comfortable temporary homes make living away from home easy and pleasant for the guests they serve.
Caitlin Delohery is the Editor-in-Chief of StaffingHub.