Another area that’s become a sizable revenue source for Elite is filling temp-to-permanent-hire positions.

“Our employees fill in during vacations, maternity leaves or when there is a vacancy,” Holderman says.

This allows hospitals to “try before they buy.” Elite charges a finder’s fee to the hospital, so it works out financially, even when losing employees along the way.
“We don’t mind losing employees to the hospital,” Holderman says. “We view it as an extension of the services we offer.”

Hospitals appreciate getting well-trained, experienced workers. These employees have passed drug screening and background checks and are up-to-date on all their shots.

“That is a very expensive process to get through and very time consuming,” Holderman says, explaining that when hospitals vet a potential employee, two months may have passed. “Not many workers can wait two months to start working. We bring them to the table with all of this in place.”

The advantage is that the environmental services department always has enough staff. A Virginia hospital Elite works with hires on 50 percent of Elite’s temp-to-hire employees. Not only that, but its former employees have moved up through the ranks; several are supervisors and one is in a management position.

“It’s a pathway to bring them in-house. And it works out well,” says Holderman. “They don’t hire someone and not know if they are going to call in sick a lot or take time off to deal with personal issues. That kind of weeding out is already done, and at the end of the temporary assignment, if they are not a good fit, they go away.”

Employees benefit, as well. When Elite keeps them on its staff, they make more money than they would starting out as a new employee at a hospital. A full-time temp with Elite makes $15 an hour to start, but as a new-hire at a hospital they’d only bring in $12.50 an hour.

“People who work second or third shifts would rather have the extra cash,” she says. “I don’t know why hospitals pay less for people who do such an important job, but they do.”

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