I have said this phrase over and over and over again in training, even before the pandemic. But it rings truer today than ever before. One of the most frequently asked questions we get from agencies and recruiters is “how do we keep our nurses from backing out?”. We hear how healthcare professionals are leaving one agency for another with higher pay. We’re seeing it all over Facebook. It’s happening, there’s no denying it. At the end of the day, there’s never been a price that can’t be beat. So, you’ll always be left for a higher paying position unless you’re working with the right candidates and bringing something else to the table.
Here are my two cents. And I know there’s a coin shortage these days, so take it or leave it. First and foremost, I believe that our healthcare workers are underpaid and have been for far too long. It is a systemic issue that is a result of much larger healthcare system problems. I could talk about this for days! That said, it is not in the hands of the healthcare staffing agencies to solve.
So, listen up recruiters, if you’re out there attracting your talent on crisis pay and $5000+/week jobs, then you’re going to get candidates who are only interested in high paying positions. If you put yourself up on an auction block to be bid on, please understand that you’re expendable. Stop acting surprised when the candidate ghosts you or demands that you increase pay or they will be walking off the job. It’s just that simple. There’s never been a price, in the history of prices, that can’t be beat. EVER. There will always be someone out there willing to outbid you. ALWAYS. And it’s not just in our industry. Think about the last time you purchased a car or a TV. There was always something less expensive on the market, always a dealer willing to lower the price just a smidge more to get your business.
But on the flip side, think about the brands you’re loyal to. Oftentimes you’re willing to pay more for those brands because you appreciate the quality, or the customer service, or the ease of use. While price is a factor, it is not the only thing many of us consider.
So, you may want to start thinking about what else you bring to the table. What else do you or your agency have to offer? Get back to the basics. I know things are moving quickly right now and time is of the essence, but you can still ask great questions and get to know your candidates. You can still set expectations. You can still build relationships. And most importantly, you can still decide who you want to attract and how you go about it.
There is no denying that things are difficult right now. Healthcare professionals are burnt out and frustrated, and who can blame them! It is up to you, the recruiter, to shift your mindset. Decide what else is important during those initial calls before you move forward with a candidate. We cannot continue to do things the same way and expect different results. If you’re frustrated by what is happening around you, look at what you can do to take more control of the process.