How to Leverage Position Control for Better Workforce Management

January 4, 2023

Position Control: 2 executives working together

Workforce planning is a top concern for behavioral healthcare organizations. The behavioral health and human services industry is traditionally an understaffed and underfunded field, so keeping close track of your headcount, current vacancies, and labor budget is imperative.

Many traditional human capital management (HCM) systems don’t provide the tools that behavioral health and human services organizations need to manage their budgets and workforce effectively. However, Position Control offers a solution for organizations that need increased workforce visibility to maximize their resources.

What Is Position Control? 

Position Control is the practice of organizing and tracking your workforce by position rather than employees. It's an ideal system for organizations such as healthcare or human services that have a well-defined organizational structure and largely fixed job descriptions. 

Position Control allows administrators to get a better overall view of their workforce, including headcounts, recruiting needs, spending, and compliance. In addition to specific positions, organizations can also use Position Control to view data by full-time equivalent (FTE) to analyze costs, spending, and staffing levels.

Position Control within an HCM system allows you to set specific attributes for each position to streamline reporting, budgeting, hiring, and compliance. Some attributes that can be helpful to set and use are:

  • Position number: The position number or job code is the number associated with the position instead of the title of the position itself.
  • Pay range: Adding a defined pay range with a minimum and maximum pay for each position can help budget for unfilled positions.
  • Department: You can better organize your workforce by adding the employees' department. It’s common to have people with the same job title in various departments in behavioral health. For example, the position of social worker could apply to several departments as you may have social workers serving different client populations or programs.
  • Work location: Many behavioral health organizations have moved to a more remote workforce due to the increased popularity of telehealth. This makes it even more important to have detailed employee records and a clear picture of how many positions you must allocate to each state or region. There are often restrictions on providers who offer certain services to patients outside of the state where they hold a license or reside.
  • Hierarchical data: You can assign manager and direct report attributes to build a clearer view of your organizational structure.
  • Credentials: Credential management is especially vital for behavioral health and human services. To meet compliance and insurance requirements, you need to hire individuals with the required credentials, education, licenses, and continuing education credits.

​​By entering this information by position, you can better estimate labor costs. You'll also have a smoother process for onboarding new hires as you'll know precisely what information you need and where they will fall within the organizational chart. 

Position Control vs. Employee-Based Frameworks Position Control: 3 people working together

Position Control provides a distinctly different solution from most HR systems by focusing on positions rather than individual employees. Position Control can also account for unfilled positions, which is essential when you consider that the behavioral health industry has significant staffing shortages (further exacerbated by the pandemic).

Using a position-based system rather than a people-focused system may sound impersonal compared to employee-focused frameworks. However, using Position Control allows organizations to lay the groundwork needed to build a sustainable people-first culture and provide a better employee experience. 

To best serve and support your staff, you need to have a clear organizational structure, a well-managed budget, and adequate staffing levels for each position in the organization.

Benefits of Position Control 

Position Control: 2 managers working together

Position Control offers a number of strategic benefits to behavioral health organizations. Here are the biggest advantages of using a Position Control system rather than an employee-based system.

Better Budget Management

Position Control can give you better visibility when managing your budget. You can keep track of your actual costs compared to your projected costs to ensure you’re staying on track with labor costs. Keeping a close eye on actual costs is particularly important in behavioral health and human services as it’s not uncommon for employees to work overtime or spend more time than expected to handle urgent patient care needs. 

Position Control can also help prevent common budget issues such as overhiring. You can get a clearer view of your budget and current staffing levels to understand whether you have the available budget to fill all of your open positions. Behavioral health organizations often have tight budgetary constraints, so administrators need to get the complete picture before approving an open position to be filled. 

Improved Succession Management 

Maintaining consistent oversight and approval processes during periods of change or transition can be difficult. If a manager leaves your organization, it can disrupt the workflows of all of their direct reports. With Position Control, you can easily transfer responsibility to the next person in the org chart and prevent delays in approvals or communication disruptions. Since behavioral health organizations often have higher turnover rates, these tools prevent internal staffing changes from breaking down the structure and workflows of your organization. 

Administrators can also use Position Control to keep the process organized when employees transfer throughout the organization. Internal transfer rates can be as high as 29% in behavioral health. This is significantly higher than most industries, but as one position or license can transfer easily to different departments and areas of care within behavioral health, it happens more frequently. As such, it’s helpful to be using Position Control to allow you to easily transfer their information to their new spot within the organizational chart.

Better Credential Management and Compliance

By tying credential requirements to a position, you can take a more thorough and automated approach to credential management. You won’t have to verify credential requirements or expirations one by one for each employee. Instead, you can set credential requirements by position, and the system will notify employees and management when credentials are approaching expiration.

Streamlined Recruiting

One of the primary uses of Position Control for many businesses is to manage the hiring and recruitment approval process. Before anyone from the organization posts a new position or a vacant existing position online, someone must submit a request and obtain approval.

As position requests come in, administrators can use Position Control to look at all current job vacancies to prioritize hiring. They can also pull information on position budgeting and labor spending for the fiscal year to evaluate whether there’s sufficient room in the budget to hire a new employee for that role. This improved visibility gives leaders the tools they need to better allocate resources.

Position Control ensures that your company only fills roles that fit the current budget and organizational needs. It also provides a streamlined process where everyone involved knows the approved salary range, job description, and credential and education requirements. The hiring managers, human resources, department leads, and organization leaders will all be on the same page before posting the job. They can even run reports to track time-to-fill, candidate statuses, daily lost revenue, and other recruiting metrics.

Let ContinuumCloud Help You Take Control

Position Control will help you obtain a better view of your organization and get a better handle on your budget and staffing needs by viewing your workforce data by position or FTE. By maximizing your resources with Position Control, you’ll be able to provide your staff and patients with a better experience.

Many HCMs treat Position Control as a second thought. They may claim to offer it (or position management) as an add-on for an extra cost, but they remain largely employee-based systems. ContinuumCloud’s HCM is different. Not only does it offer full Position Control functionality within its core features, but it’s also the only HCM system designed specifically for behavioral health and human services organizations.

Get in touch to learn more about ContinuumCloud’s HCM solution featuring Position Control and see how you can maximize your resources and improve your workforce management processes.

Previous Resource
Themes from ACCELERATE 2022
Themes from ACCELERATE 2022

Didn't have a chance to attend ACCELERATE 2022? Read this blog for a recap on session topics and key takeaw...

Next Resource
How to Get the Most Out of a Behavioral Health EHR
How to Get the Most Out of a Behavioral Health EHR

Learn more about what to look for in behavioral health EHR solutions and how it can help streamline your or...