Article provided by the American Staffing Association
State and local governments across the U.S. are issuing mandatory shutdown orders, “shelter-in-place” orders, and related interpretive guidance—all designed to immediately restrict the congregation and movement of people during the COVID-19 pandemic. These orders vary in substance and specific restrictions, but most exclude from the restrictions “life-sustaining” or “essential businesses” that may keep their brick-and-mortar offices open. Nonessential businesses must close their offices and may engage in remote work.
Many staffing firms provide temporary and contract workers to essential or life-sustaining businesses such as hospitals, pharmacies, warehouses, etc., and it is for this reason that Maryland has deemed staffing firms as essential businesses. Some state orders simply refer to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Guidance, issued by DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on March 19, which identifies workers who should be considered essential to critical infrastructure across many industry sectors. In many jurisdictions’ orders, staffing firms are either omitted from lists of essential businesses (e.g., Illinois) or denoted as nonessential (e.g., Pennsylvania, which denotes “employment services” as nonessential). The question therefore becomes whether staffing firms can keep their offices open in these jurisdictions.
Some orders (e.g., New York) allow businesses that supply essential businesses with essential services to remain open, and ASA believes that a strong argument can be made that staffing firms providing workers to such business provide essential services—and thus should be allowed to keep their offices open and staff them to the extent necessary to provide those services.
Other orders do not explicitly allow for companies servicing essential businesses to remain open and, as noted, either omit staffing from their lists of essential businesses or denote employment-related services as nonessential. In such states, a conservative approach would be for staffing firms providing essential services to operate remotely to the extent possible. However, ASA recognizes that some functions, such as processing payroll, can at times require a physical presence in staffing firm offices. Firms therefore might consider using skeleton crews, for minimal times in the office, to accomplish these tasks. To the extent challenged by state authorities, such firms could credibly argue that their services are necessary for essential businesses to function, and thus the firms’ offices must be allowed to function.
Regarding temporary workers assigned to essential businesses, it would be prudent for such workers to carry with them documentation—issued either by the staffing firm or by the client—establishing that they are working for an essential business. The documentation should specify the name of the client and its essential services; it can be shared by workers with state authorities as necessary.
The foregoing issues generally have not been addressed by states or localities through formal guidance or otherwise. Therefore, staffing firms should discuss their particular circumstances and jurisdictions’ orders with their legal counsel and determine how best to function efficiently while protecting their workers and servicing their clients.
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Amidst the uncertainty of the Corona Virus reaching pandemic status in the U.S. this week, OPA Staffing moved its offices into the strategically located Pavilion Center in Roswell, Georgia and opened its door for business. While the new location had been in the planning process for months, OPA Staffing is definitively poised to support the onslaught of medical care predicted to be needed in the oncoming weeks and months as the country gears up to battle Covid 19.
Along with the OPA Staffing offices, the building offers 24-Hour access, additional conferencing areas, and an Atrium. “The building is ideal for OPA Staffing, because it offers all the amenities to help us grow in an easy to access location,” said CEO Stephen E. Deason.
Located on the GA 400 corridor, one of the fastest growing sub-regions in the Metro Atlanta area, the office space is easily accessible from both Atlanta as well as the northern suburbs. Public transit is available on the Red Line from the North Springs Station, via the 185 Bus.
“The Red Line connection and the Medical Center Marta Station was one of the factors we took into consideration when we selected this location,” said Deason. “It is located near one of Atlanta’s major medical hubs on the northern perimeter of the city. There are dozens of hospitals including, Northside, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory, St. Joseph, as well as many, medical offices and clinics.”
OPA Staffing provides a full range of clinical and administrative staff to facilities, including but not limited to RNs, LPNs, Vocational Nurses, Certified Nurse Assistants, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, Travel Medical Assistants, Therapists and their Assistants. They also place and hire Rehabilitative, Respiratory, Radiology, and Laboratory Professionals; Pharmacists; Dental Hygienists and Assistants; Healthcare Administrative Personnel, and many other Allied Healthcare Administrative Personnel. “We recruit highly-qualified, expertly-trained medical professionals with the required skills, attitude, education, experience and work ethic to meet the exacting standards of each healthcare facility,” said OPA RASA VP Systems, Lisa Wilson.
“We are committed to work collaboratively to deliver the highest level of service that meets the mission and culture of our valued clients.”
– VP Systems Lisa Wilson
The staff is trained to understand the needs of every facility or practice, including expectations, requirements, environment and organizational culture. Their team of consultants matches staffing needs with exactly the right candidate, whether it be per diem, contract staff, permanent placement, travel, or temp to perm assignments.
As a full-service recruitment/staffing agency, they understand that hiring high caliber, experienced candidates to work with patients is of the utmost importance. All candidates are properly trained, screened and credentialed, utilizing The Joint Commission Accreditation Standards and Department of Health Regulations. “We meet your staffing needs and optimize your workforce, while ensuring all staffing placements are mutually stress free for employers and candidates,” said Deason.
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Along with great sports teams, a world-class zoo and aquarium, the Fox theatre, and many other attractions, Atlanta boasts some of the best medical care available. There are more than 200 hospitals in and near metro ATL, and several are rated as some of the best in the country.
Great hospitals are supported by top medical schools and we host those too including; Emory and Mercer University School of Medicine, Morehouse School of Medicine, and a congregate of med-tech colleges.
The result is plenty of highly trained job candidates in what is certainly a robust medical job market. “We connect the extraordinary job seeker with a position in which they will thrive – that’s the mandate,” said OPA Staffing CEO, Stephen Deason. “But we go a step further, our expert team of consultants dig deep to match the perfect skills and disposition for a seamless transition, and we maintain contact every step of the way.”
Filling a new or existing position at a medical facility can be a daunting experience, as well as a roadblock if not done properly. The process itself is even time-consuming. There are just too many applicants, and there are even the wrong applicants, or perhaps, not enough interest. All these can lead to wasted time and resources.
Staffing companies fill that gap through proper recruitment. How?
1. Providing appropriate personnel from their vast resource of highly skilled candidates. With the current fast-paced world, staffing solutions will definitely save you time with its dedicated staff, experts in the field of human resources. Opa Staffing takes pride in the quality of service it offers in as much as the healthcare staff provides medical facilities in need.
2. Having the means to fill positions quickly with the appropriate candidates and make the prospect of a new hire exciting rather than intimidating. Opa Staffing thrives from the values it creates within the organization thus ensuring highly credible candidates both in academics and professionalism.
3. Giving value to patient care. Being in the business for quite some time now, Opa Staffing has always given the commitment to only providing the safest, top-quality care to patients. Healthcare staffing should always consider this on the list. We don’t just bridge the gap between the need for staff but we build a harmonious relationship with both our clients and candidates as well, ensuring the welfare for both.
So what does proper recruitment mean again? One that definitely considers the need for people but also digs deep into understand the business’ needs. Is it easy to find the best healthcare staff? Well, it’s challenging but it’s not impossible. Soon as you connect with the right people – the perfect candidate is definitely out there to justify the fact that yes – Metro Atlanta is a great place.