May 8, 2023

Interview with Greg Palmer

Greg Palmer

President and CEO, Supplemental Health Care

As a top 100 staffing leader to watch in 2023, what are your goals for the upcoming year and what do you hope to achieve?

We’re calling 2023 our Year of Impact at Supplemental Health Care. Given the challenges in healthcare after the last few years and the ongoing clinician shortage, it’s never been more important for companies like us to care about the people we work with and do our job well. 

We’re introducing new technology, like our SHC WeConnect mobile app, that helps talent find jobs faster and easier. We’re challenging the ways we’ve always done business with more automation and investments in high touch service. And we’re using our success to give back in meaningful ways, like the new scholarships we’re creating with the National Black Nurses Association. 

All around, we’re focused on having a bigger and more positive impact every way we can as an organization. 

In light of the rapidly changing staffing industry, what opportunities do you see that others may not agree on?

There’s a rush in every industry, including ours, to automate everything possible, but we really believe that healthcare is a human business. We try to create both a high tech & high touch experience for every customer. There’s a lot that technology can do successfully, in terms of transparency, ease of use, accessibility, etc., but we’re very proud to have won ClearlyRated’s Best of Staffing Awards for both Client and Talent for the last 6 years running.

To answer the question directly, the opportunity is in combining the best human service with the best support that technology can offer. It’s not an either/or. We need to be thinking about how to do both simultaneously and seamlessly.

As discussed at the World Staffing Summit, client experience is becoming increasingly important. What are the biggest shifts in client expectations that you anticipate in the near future?

The biggest shifts that we’re seeing are greater demands for transparency and expertise. Every one of our clients knows how difficult the hiring market for healthcare is right now, so they’re looking for an honest, reliable, and responsive partner to help them navigate it. 

Weekly check-ins to deliver the same “we’re working on it” message just don’t cut it anymore. The clients want to know what’s happening in the larger market. They want support and guidance to plan rates, to find nurses that can be retained, to understand what’s being done and how it’s working. 

We’re really committing to increasing the expertise available at every level of our company. We want our clients to be able to rely on their daily contact for that consultative support and the transparency that they need, and we want to have a stable of subject matter experts across the company that can swing in to help as needed. 

Based on recent research, it appears that acquiring new clients is becoming increasingly difficult. Do you believe this will be the biggest challenge for the staffing industry in 2023?

It’s hard to pick out one thing as the “biggest” challenge. We’ve got historically low unemployment. Depending on the day, the economic figures either point to a looming recession or the exact opposite. Our population is aging and now retiring rapidly, taking even more people out of the workforce. And on top of all of that, we’re in one of the most rapid periods of technological upheaval in human history. 

Instability of any kind always creates a challenging business environment, and both worker and client expectations are higher than ever. But it’s always been true that people want companies to solve their problems. If we have the right mix of people, expertise, and technology, and we can show our clients that we care about their problems and can offer real solutions, I think any challenge that 2023 offers can be overcome.