Painting a New Picture:A Strategy for Developing Your Candidate’s Plan B

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By: Shari Dalton

January 4, 2018

By: Shari Dalton

In today’s Healthcare Staffing Industry, it is easy for recruiters to be order-takers.  By order-takers, we are referring to those that talk with their potential candidates about money and location and stop there in the recruitment process.  With the access to jobs and options, this may work on occasion, but you are missing the point and missing opportunities.  Money and location doesn’t equal a good assignment.  And part of being a good recruiter is opening your candidates up to great experiences.  You have to have a strategy for developing your candidate’s “Plan B”.

I read an article recently that stated almost 78% of travel nurses are traveling more for adventure than pay these days-you’d think the opposite if you spent any time as or with a recruiter.  It seems like the common “objection” they hear is that the job doesn’t pay enough or they can make more money elsewhere.  Here’s the thing-I don’t believe in objections.  All an objection says is that you haven’t given them enough information to make a decision.  All you are focusing on is the dollars and cents of the deal.

Another common theme I hear, that goes back to the beginning of time for recruiters is “I have candidates, but the hospital is taking forever to interview.”  When this is the case recruiters, you only have yourself to blame.  Yes, I said it.  It’s not the hospitals fault, or the client managers fault, it’s yours.  Oftentimes, you are too focused on a specific location and aren’t opening your candidate up to locations where you can get the job done.

So how do you get your traveler to open up and consider alternative options, consider a “Plan B”?  I’m glad you asked!!   When candidates make the decision to travel or when they begin looking for their next assignment, they typically have a picture in mind of what this assignment looks like.  Now yes, this picture usually includes money and location, but it also includes things like, what they like to do during their down time-hiking, biking, fishing, surfing, breweries, etc.  They consider things like other travelers working at the hospital and how traveler friendly it may be.

If money is important, they may consider the cost of living or housing.  What are their standards for these things?  Get your nurse to paint her picture for you!  It is your job to know, not assume, the reasons why they travel, or why they are interested in a specific location, or why they need a certain dollar amount.

At Moxie, we recommend finding at least 5-6 “value nuggets” for each of your travelers.  The only way to do this is through discovery-asking a lot of open ended questions and building rapport with your candidate.  You should begin to build a vision of what the perfect assignment looks like for them.  Now this is not the time to educate!  When you talk with your candidates about how much you know or telling them why they won’t get what they want, it’s like you’re taking a crayon and scribbling all over their picture!

Instead, take those value nuggets you now have and find commonalities in other locations-take their exact picture and just put it into a different frame.  You can even add a few brush strokes, like offering a bit more pay, or quick turnaround time on interviews-brush strokes that will only enhance the picture they’ve painted for you, not change it entirely.   This is how you get your candidates to open up to a Plan B.

Let me give you an example-Denver…everyone wants to go to Denver, but why?  Outdoor activities, skiing, hipster neighborhoods, nightlife?  Why not UT?  Or WA?  Or VT?  I could go on.  If you’ve taken the time to discovery the value nuggets and what caused your candidate to picture their assignment in Denver, you can easily reframe everything and more in another location.

Order-taking will only get you so far and oftentimes, doesn’t leave much to be desired in terms of loyalty and retention.  Discovery, however, tells your candidate that you are truly listening to their wants, needs, fears, and desires, and that you are there on this journey with them.

“Mix up a little more shadow color here, then we can put us a little shadow right in there. See how you can move things around? You have unlimited power on this canvas — can literally, literally move mountains”  -Bob Ross

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