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Banner Health's Fluid Workforce: A New Way to Optimize Talent

When the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) interviewed more than 80 HR and business leaders from top employers for research into the evolution of work, conversations confirmed that work and workforces are changing. Driving those shifts are growing numbers of skilled workers who want more control and flexibility in the work they do, including when, where, and for whom they work.

In the report that resulted from those conversations, Beyond Uber: Driving the Evolution of Work, i4cp noted that organizations worldwide are experimenting with talent models, altering the compositions of their workforces, and significantly increasing their use of non-traditional talent (contingent, contract, freelance, and other non-employees).

Banner Health, one of the largest and most respected healthcare systems in the U.S., is such an organization—a true innovator in the talent space. Changes in the healthcare industry’s landscape—including fluctuations in demand, worker preferences, and corresponding challenges to staff hospitals and other facilities efficiently—have seen Banner Health emerge as a leader in pioneering its own staffing organization to drive effective recruitment, training, and deployment of highly skilled medical professionals.

In a new case study exclusively for i4cp member organizations, we take a closer look at how Banner Health is adapting to the evolving workforce, including emphasizing development to improve retention and be more attractive to outside talent.

Banner Staffing Services: A Next-Practice Model for Optimizing Talent

In 2009, Banner Health Senior Vice President and Chief Talent Officer Ed Oxford added responsibility for Banner Staffing Services (BSS) to his HR leadership duties. Established in 1986 as a source of temporary healthcare talent, BSS had remained largely undeveloped and consolidated in eastern Arizona though Banner Health serves six other states as well.

Ed Oxford Banner

Oxford’s team recognized the untapped potential of the BSS staffing organization and set out to demonstrate its promise to Banner Health’s finance leaders. BSS Senior Director Paula Bradney explains: “At the time, we relied primarily on external vendors to provide temporary staff for our facilities. But we believed we could drive down the cost of external casual labor if we ramped up our own staffing organization. Greater control over quality of hire was an area of opportunity that expansion would afford us, too.”

Because he’d already centralized Banner Health’s temporary external service contracts, Oxford and his team had easy access to the comparative data they needed to make the case for expanding Banner Staffing Services. “I knew what everyone else charged for the same jobs and the number of hours we were working in each job category,” he notes. Those figures enabled Bradney to satisfy Banner’s CFO that annual cost avoidance in the $3 - $4 million range could be expected if the company fully developed BSS. The prospect of such substantial savings for the non-profit system also led Banner Health’s chief administrative officer to declare Banner Staffing Services a “strategic asset.”

i4cp members: read the full case study now.

Read here
Carol Morrison
Carol Morrison is a Senior Research Analyst and Associate Editor with the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), specializing in workforce well-being research.