The on-demand job marketplace has filled workforce gaps and increased efficiency in many industries — temporary restaurant and retail labor, babysitting and caretaking, even dog-walking. But can the same model be used to fill critical gaps and provide better flexibility in complex, highly-regulated industries — say, healthcare?
“We’ve seen this model work great for all kinds of non-skilled work. [The healthcare industry] is so much more complex when you think of the credentialing that goes on with nurses and therapists, so we have to to make sure we’re being extremely diligent with that process,” Masino tells Hypepotamus.
Matchwell, which launches this week in metro Atlanta, is a cloud-based marketplace connecting healthcare workers — nurses, therapists, and others — to short-term jobs. Masino teamed up with former healthcare staffing firm executive Rob Crowe to bring the initial idea to life.
In 2017, Crowe began talking to Masino about how there had to be a better way to engage those clinicians who don’t work through a staffing agency. The industry as a whole is experiencing a massive workforce shortage, with 500,000 open clinician positions in the U.S.
“At these staffing agencies, the margins are really good, and as a clinician myself, I couldn’t shake off the feeling that they seemed to be the winners in the game — not the healthcare facilities or the clinicians,” says Masino.
In 2018, CEO Crowe convinced Masino to come on as Matchwell’s Chief People Officer. They set out to raise $4 million and ended up with slightly more from private individuals and angels, and began building the platform.
They also brought on a nurse practitioner as their first hire to oversee the clinician side of the business and oversee credentialing assurance.
The bones of the platform do look very much like other on-demand gig marketplaces. Approved healthcare facilities will post open, short-term roles for nurses and therapists, along with requirements.
On the clinician side, once a user has registered and been accepted, they can search and apply for relevant jobs. Through the platform they can message the actual facility, share their credentials and records, and schedule an in-person interview.
They can also access a completely free credentialing portfolio which allows them to keep a record of all the information required to apply for healthcare jobs — things like CPR certification, vaccination dates, education and more.
The app will even send an alert when a certification or vaccination is about to expire so they know to schedule an update.
Unlike many gig work platforms, Matchwell clinicians are not contract employees. They will be employed by the facility they’re serving or by the startup itself, depending on the role, and the facility will determine each employee’s wage.
Clinicians will end up with more money in their pocket, says Masino, by cutting out the staffing agency as a middleman.
Facilities will also save, she says, first by avoiding paying agency fees, but also by filling the countless open roles that often go unstaffed or are filled by requiring current staff to take overtime shifts.
“There’s such a shortage and those shorter term assignments are ignored by the staffing industry today,” Mansino says, adding that “the facility response has been great.”
Facilities will pay a fee to enroll in Matchwell, while clinicians access the job board and credentialing portfolio for free.
Masino says they foresee several different target audiences of clinicians benefitting from the platform, ranging from partial retirees to new mothers to full-time workers who just want to pick up extra shifts.
“They may even just want to know what it’s like across the street or in a different department or a different type of facility altogether, like a hospital to a nursing home,” she says.
Matchwell already has facilities with open roles on the platform for launch, along with “dozens of facilities” in the queue waiting to join. They will ensure quality control by having clinicians rate facilities, and vice versa, at the completion of each job assignment.
“We’re calling it high-tech, high-touch,” says Masino.