Even before the coronavirus pandemic started straining the US healthcare system, a nationwide shortage of nurses meant that hospitals were having a tough time finding and hiring the right people.
Iman Abuzeid and Rome Portlock both saw the problem firsthand, from different angles. Abuzeid is a doctor herself, and had discussed the understaffing of nurses with friends and family members who were in the medical world, too.
Portlock, meanwhile, comes from a family of nurses. They would tell him about how stressful it was to try to get a job at a different hospital and how long it would take, even though they were experienced and qualified.
“This doesn’t make any sense, because both sides are complaining: the employers and the nurses,” Abuzeid told Business Insider in an interview this week. “We just figured that there has to be a better way.”
So, Abuzeid and Portlock, who previously worked together at mobile health startup AliveCor, set out to create one. In 2017, they launched a San Francisco-based startup called Incredible Health that offers a recruiting service designed specifically to match nurses seeking new jobs with hospitals hoping to fill holes in their staffs.
Traditionally, hospitals have either used recruiting agencies to find nurses or posted jobs on job boards such as LinkedIn or Indeed, Abuzeid said. While recruiting agencies can allow hospitals to target qualified candidates, they’re often slow and expensive. While conventional job boards can help healthcare providers find candidates more quickly, they often don’t have many tools to help hospitals sort through candidates, making it a tedious, manual process.
That’s where Incredible Health comes in.
Incredible Health uses automation to sort candidates
Incredible Health aims to provide a services that’s both targeted and quick. Nurses create a profile in its system that includes their experience, qualifications, and where they want to work. The system then uses that information and criteria from the hospitals to automatically screen nursing candidates, showing only those that are the best fit for each one. The hospitals can then contact ony those they’re most interested in hiring.
Abuzeid says that while it typically takes hospitals two to three months to hire full-time nurses, Incredible Health’s service can help them do it in less than 30 days. And the process is better for the nurses too, she said, since they can easily choose which hospital interviews to accept and which to decline. On average, nurses hired through Incredible Health see their salaries increase by 17% and their commute times drop by 15%, according to Abuzeid.
“[Nurses have] a ton of control over the process, which is dramatically different from their current job-search experience,” she said.
So far, 200 hospitals in California, Texas, Florida and Illinois have signed up, including Stanford Health Care, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and Hospital Corporation of America, while “tens of thousands” of nurses have created Incredible Health profiles. The service is free for nurses while hospitals can either pay for a monthly subscription or on a per-hire basis.
The company is gradually expanding to offer its service to hospitals in new states and Abuzeid says that it plans to provide more services for nurses, too. On Thursday, the company announced that its site would offer free continuing education classes to help them meet their state requirements.
The company recently got the backing to start realizing some of those goals. In the fall, it raised $15 million in a Series A funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz. It’s using the money to help fuel its geographic expansion and product development and to expand its team. Since the funding round, the company has grown from 7 employees to 43 and expects to have 60 or 70 by the end of the year.
“The ultimate vision of this company is to help healthcare professionals live better lives,” said Abuzeid.
Here’s the pitch deck Incredible Health used to raise the company’s Series A: