Gar Thompson

By Lois Thomson

Florida-based Safeguard Healthcare, a division of Safeguard Solutions, LLC, is a healthcare consulting and staffing organization that offers three primary services, according to CEO Gar Thompson: “Number one is contracted services, where we contract with our client to provide staffing on an as-needed basis,” he explained. “The second is what is referred to as contract-to-hire. If you contract with Safeguard for six months and you like the candidate, you can hire them for no fee.

“Our third service is called permanent placement. That’s where we charge a fee for a hospital or health organization to hire someone, and we give them a 90-day guarantee; if that person doesn’t work out, we replace them with someone else, and we also offer a refund if we’re not able to replace someone that the client organization ultimately hires on a permanent basis.”

He pointed out that by offering such assurances, Safeguard has a 95 percent success rate. “By the time we submit a person, we’ve done a full criminal background check, we’ve done employment checks, we do references, we do drug testing. And if the clients request it, we do clinical lab testing, so we can test them for mumps, rubella, COVID, TB, etc., to prove they aren’t sick when they go to work. This is particularly important for candidates interacting with patients. We conform to the client’s HR policies. Also, the candidate has already agreed to take the job if it’s offered.”

An additional advantage to using Safeguard Healthcare’s services is that with the company’s contract sources, the client does not need a reason to terminate an employee. “In a normal employment environment, you have to have employment issues in order to fire someone, or you could get sued. So we take all that liability off the client.” He said even if the issue is something minor and unrelated to work, the employer doesn’t have to give a reason. “That way they don’t have to deal with unemployment laws or the consequences of lawsuits. That’s because the people in their employ don’t work for the client, they work for Safeguard, so we’re kind of a buffer for legal and employment problems. It’s a big plus and it relieves a lot of liability.”

Founded in 2010, Safeguard Healthcare initially focused strictly on IT and medical records. And then came COVID. Thompson said 2020 and 2021 were tough years as hospitals had to cut back on other services to concentrate on treating COVID patients. However, when things started to return to normal, he said he got a call asking, “We heard you’re a staffing company, can you do central supply?”

The answer was yes, and Thompson continued, “So, we started providing central supply people, and then HR plugged us into other departments – food services, nursing, housekeeping. Hospitals after COVID had tremendous staffing shortages, and they were having trouble finding people for these departments.” Healthcare facilities became familiar with Safeguard’s name and the company’s ability to find qualified candidates, so in 2021 Safeguard modified its offerings to include non-IT departments.

Now, while Safeguard Healthcare supplies staffing needs for clinical work, clinical lab scientists, laboratory technicians, X-ray technicians, and nursing – just about every area except doctors, IT continues to be its primary focus. And Thompson pointed out that IT in hospitals is much more specialized than in other industries, because the variety of clinical departments utilize so many different software products. “There are specialty products for clinical lab, pharmacy, radiology, acute care nursing, emergency services, etc. – they all have different software products and they vary from hospital to hospital. Surgery scheduling, appointment scheduling, insurance reimbursement, Medicare – there are so many moving parts that don’t exist in other industries.”

How does Safeguard find its qualified candidates? “We have a team of highly skilled recruiters,” Thompson said. “We’re plugged into all of the HR and recruitment databases, and we’ve got an existing network of a couple of thousand candidates at any given time we can pull from.” He said all similar companies look at the same candidates, but the difference is how you approach candidates, how you present the offers. “We have to go in and convince these employees why they should leave their current jobs and go to another one. It’s usually not money, but rather career opportunities, upward mobility, geographics. Post-COVID we have a lot more people working remotely, particularly in IT; so 50 percent of our IT people are now remote, whereas nursing, clinical staff, housekeeping, and food services are naturally still in the hospitals.”

Whether for IT or other departments, remote or in-house, Safeguard is able to find the guaranteed solution for staffing needs.

For more information, call (954) 412-2075, email info@safeguard-healthcare.com, or visit www.safeguard-healthcare.com.