Addition By Subtraction
I read an interesting article the other day on Inc.com that talked about the theory of addition by subtraction. In short, it was encouraging managers and owners to rid their teams of its negative members who drag the rest of the team down and hold them back from meeting full potential.
This really resonated with me in our industry. More specifically with Recruiters in Healthcare Staffing. Allow me to share with you a story about a recruiter that I coach. He has been in the industry for several years and the last company he was at, well, their motto went something like, “just get them to work at least 2 weeks so we’ll have recouped most of our costs.” Now I don’t know about you, but something about that just absolutely makes me cringe! But the truth of the matter is, there are more companies like this that exist than we’d like to admit. And it’s because of that blatant negligence and disregard for patient care that our industry has the reputation that it does.
Anyway, not the point….of this blog anyway. Back to my recruiter. He had started with a new travel nursing company back in March and had this perception that since he’d worked in the industry prior, he should be able to jump in and knock it out of the park right away. He had several failed attempts and worse, by July, when we started working together, his desk was a hot mess full of needy and less than qualified travelers. Anyone who has spent any amount of time in our industry knows exactly what I’m talking about and has managed to let a few of those slip the the cracks and onto their desks as well.
He was frustrated. He wasn’t reaching goals. He was starting to feel like maybe he just wasn’t cut out for this industry anymore. But the more we talked, the more we discovered that he was skipping steps in his qualifying process. He was jumping on early buying signals from these travelers and not taking the time to figure out if they were really a good fit for him or the company. And now he was spending endless hours trying to meet the unreasonable requests, terminations, and overall poor attitudes of these travelers he hesitantly decided to move forward with.
Sometimes, in order to move forward, we need to take a few steps back. We discussed addition by subtraction. The only way he was going to grow his desk and meet his goals is if he made the decision to stop working with those who weren’t reciprocating value. Once those travelers were no longer working for him, he would have the time to focus on the great ones he had working for him and the more time he would have recruiting for more great travelers.
Remember, in the same way that travelers have the choice of who they want to work with, so do recruiters and companies in Healthcare Staffing. If you don’t feel like someone is a great fit, then it’s ok to move on. Spend your time looking for the great ones. And if your desk is a hot mess, right now is a great time to start subtracting. Start your new year fresh!