The Best Piece of Advice I Ever Received

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By: Shari Dalton

May 10, 2019

By: Shari Dalton

A few weeks back on a Facebook live session, I addressed one of the best pieces of advice I ever received while recruiting.  It completely changed my frame of mind, and I’m hoping it can do the same for you.  As many recruiters do, I found myself frustrated that I wasn’t growing my “book of business” with new travelers.  Again, like many recruiters, I was looking for someone to blame.  After all, it couldn’t be MY fault!  I had new candidates and full profiles.  It was the Account Managers’ fault!  They weren’t getting me the interviews or they weren’t working hard enough to get me jobs in the areas my travelers were looking. I expressed my frustrations to my manager during a one-on-one meeting and he said this: “If you’re not getting interviews, it’s no one’s fault but your own.” WTAF was my first thought, but after I sat on it and pondered it for a while, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I needed to look at what I was doing.  Here are the questions I began asking myself, and I encourage you to do the same.

1.     Is my candidate a true “A” candidate that has realistic expectations of the travel industry, or are they closed to location and pay which makes them difficult to place?  Maybe there aren’t enough jobs available in their specialty or in the area they are looking to go to have good odds? Why would I spend time on something when the odds are against me?

2.     Am I pitching jobs where I KNOW I can get interviews done?  Or am I submitting my candidates to a black hole VMS/facility and crossing my fingers? We all know who I’m talking about here – we’ve all got those types of contracts.  Again, why would I spend the time on something like this when I know the odds are against me?

3.     Have I established a back-up plan with my candidate?  Meaning, “Sally, if this hospital doesn’t interview in the next 24-48 hours, what are our next steps?” And if there aren’t next steps because they are too closed on pay or location, say it with me – why would I spend the time on this knowing the odds are against me?

4.     Have I set expectations with my candidate about current market conditions? Do they understand the competitive landscape and what they need to do to increase their chances of securing a position? Teamwork makes the dreamwork, people. Communication and flexibility!

5.     Have I asked where else they are being submitted and asked for permission for time to do my job effectively? Yes! I needed to know where else they were being submitted to positions so that I didn’t waste time seeking out the same positions or pushing this candidate on my Account Managers knowing they preferred a position with another agency.  And if I know I am submitting them to their positions of choice, then I need time to push and get the job done for them.  Asking for permission is huge!!  “Sally, I know these 2 positions are on the top of your list. Can you give me 48 hours to try and secure an interview for you before you accept anything else with anyone else?”

When it comes down to it, wanting my candidates to get a job and actually working smart to get them a job are two different things.  Your goal may be to get someone a job, but without a strong plan in place to do it, it’s just a wish and you know what they say about wishes: “If wishes were fishes, we’d all be swimming in the riches!”  Self-reflection and a good plan in place are key for success in travel healthcare staffing!


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