A leading human resource company in Canada is tapping into the expertise of its Halifax, Nova Scotia, branch for best practices in health staffing.
Adecco, an international enterprise, has more than 60 offices in Canada. Its Halifax branch also houses the HealthStaff division.
AHealthStaff is the specialty staffing arm of Adecco for health-care workers in Canada, and it all started here in Halifax. We were the first location of this division in Canada and we still take the lead in building this division," says Adecco's Halifax branch manager Kerri Piper. In Halifax, we specialize in placing nursing and nursing support staff to fulfill short-term staffing needs in hospitals and long-term care facilities."
Piper's team has given HealthStaff national exposure. Piper has shared her location's processes and procedures with Adecco branches in Western Ontario and other parts of the country that service the health sector. Calgary is also working on launching the model.
When we look at Canada, nursing and health care is a growth area for us," she says. Other branches are leveraging our know-how to develop a health division in their regions. They're looking at our recruitment processes and then just modifying them to their particular provincial legislation. They're using our business model and modifying it to fit their particular needs.
While helping other branches in their development, the Halifax branch continues to work to grow its nursing pool through national and international recruiting.
It's well known there is a very, very severe nursing shortage," Piper says. So we're trying to look at creative ways of recruiting. We have an on-site recruiter in one of the colleges in Ontario, Seneca College, which has a nursing program. So she actively goes to job fairs for us. We share all of our HealthStaff marketing material and material on opportunities in Nova Scotia. We're not only selling nursing for HealthStaff, we're selling nursing in Nova Scotia.
Johanna Zaglauer, RN, came to Prince Edward Island from southwest Germany as a high school exchange student. She attended the University of Prince Edward Island for nursing studies, which included a clinical rotation in Halifax.
A colleague on the floor where she was working recommended HealthStaff, and Zaglauer had a full-time job before she graduated. HealthStaff helped with forms to become a permanent resident of Canada.
Zaglauer splits her time between HealthStaff and the Capital District Health Authority as a casual employee.
Working with HealthStaff defined where I was going with my life in the past few years,"
she says. One of the good things about working with HealthStaff is that because you work in so many different areas, you get so much experience in various areas of nursing. By working with them I also now know what I like and what I don't like about nursing and what areas I really would like to specialize in."
In addition to HealthStaff, Adecco's Halifax branch offers professional and general staffing services to the regional market. Customer service is a priority for the branch's six staff. It's a real mix of skills that we look for, but through every single strand, customer service comes out on top," Piper says.
There is also a shared sense of pride among the staff and the associates who are placed with clients.
AI think we make a very valuable contribution to the business environment in Nova Scotia," Piper says. AWe are helping our clients to meet not only their short-term objectives but, for example, some of our clients are experiencing the economic downturn at the moment and are turning to temporary staffing as an excellent solution because they can staff their peaks and not their valleys.
Piper says Adecco fosters an entrepreneurial spirit.
"Looking at the enterprise, every branch is encouraged to act locally, but we still have the scope and financial security of a large global company to fall back on. We are empowered to set our own budget and action plan. We basically manage ourselves to suit our market while staying within corporate guidelines."
The Halifax branch is growing in terms of its client base, number of associates, and geographic reach.
"I would like to think we would eventually have a second location in Nova Scotia," Piper says.
She appreciates the attraction of the province's highly educated workforce and Nova Scotia's way of life. It is a lifestyle that Piper, who came to the province from London, England, values.
"I always equate London to being on a treadmill and Nova Scotia to finally being able to jump off that treadmill, but still achieve the same goal," she says. "It's like coming down a gear. You still get where you want to be, but in a much more civilized manner."