Maintaining a Feeling of Control

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By: Adam Gomez

November 1, 2021

By: Adam Gomez

Travel nursing recruiters have it tough these days. The pandemic has led to rapid changes in the behaviors of their target demographic – nurses.


Let’s face it. Nurses have a lot to be frustrated with these days. They’re paying a heavier price than anyone, physically, spiritually, and emotionally because of COVID-19. And to some degree, we need to be more patient and understanding as recruiters. 


But the focus of this writing is on the recruiters, many who feel indispensable right now. They too, have every right to be frustrated and frankly…let down by some of the nurses they engage with. 


There are two things’ recruiters can do to help, and they’re both related to gaining more control over the situations they’re confronted with.


First, recruiters should accept that they are working with another human-being who may not be honest or share their own values and ethics for what is right and wrong behavior in a recruiter – nurse partnership. Acceptance does not mean you agree with it, but it does mean you accept that you do not have absolute control over what another person does, or does not, do.  


This step is important because often it is a nurse’s questionable behavior that is most frustrating for recruiters. And the reality is you can never fully control what another person does in each situation. So, relax, and focus instead on spotting unethical tendencies as you engage with nurses and quickly move away from these folks – THAT IS IN YOUR CONTROL.


And if you’re working with nurses who have openly demonstrated unethical tendencies – don’t be upset when you become the recipient of these actions in the future. After all, the best predictor of future behavior, is past behavior. If they’ve burned another recruiter, they are likely to do the same to you in the future.


Second, sharpen your game when it comes to getting to the truth. How many times is the nurse slamming other recruiters or agencies. How many contracts have they left early? Are they a “negative nelly”, someone who just seems to have a lot of “bad luck” with other recruiters, or assignments? News flash…it’s probably them – not the recruiter and not the assignments they’ve taken. I can tell you the most common mistake recruiters make is they assume the nurse’s explanation of a situation is complete – and the reality is the nurse has shared only half-truths, because…well, who would hire them if they were honest?!


The next time you’re “spidey-senses” are going off the chart, ask a few clarifying questions to get to the truth. Spend the extra time you need to put your mind at ease. You control the pace, not the nurse. If you don’t feel good about it, don’t move forward to next steps.


If the nurse is telling you a story about how bad an assignment was – ask for specifics on what exactly was bad. And ask what they were willing to do to fix the situation. Because if they were quick to walk – they’re not someone you want to work with. Travel nursing is not easy. It requires an adaptable person and not everyone is cut out for it. Unfortunately, there are far too many nurses working as travelers right now who don’t understand that.


So, there you have it, two things I think you can do as recruiters to take back control. I know it’s tough out there. And I know many of you are feeling tired and abused right now. Stop being the victim and start taking control. After all, you have an important job to do and many, many great nurses out there are looking for an amazing recruiter. You got this!


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