By: Adam Gomez
The travel nursing industry is highly competitive. There are hundreds of nurse staffing companies competing for many of the same positions. Indeed, there is a lot of overlap in today’s market given the prevalence of Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) and Vendor Management Systems (VMS’s). When a new position opens it takes just a few hours before a large number of candidates have been submitted. Unfortunately, some of the nurses who are being submitted haven’t reviewed the details of the position entirely with their recruiter, and many haven’t committed to accepting the position, assuming everything goes well in the interview, and of course, there are no unexpected surprises.
My nurse friends ask, “Why would we need to commit before being submitted to the position? Isn’t the purpose of the interview to figure out if I want the job? If I feel like the manager is someone I want to work with? What if I’m not comfortable with how the interview goes?” My response; “That’s going to happen, and we all understand that. But the last thing we should be doing as a nurse or as a recruiter is wasting “our time”, the hospital manager or hiring manager’s time, and slowing down the entire hiring process. In most cases, it’s slow enough as it is! That said, if the pay package doesn’t work for you, or if you don’t like snow and the job is in snowy Nebraska during the winter…and if either of those is a “deal-breaker” – move on to another position. Don’t waste everyone’s time, and don’t prevent that nurse who is good with everything about that job miss out on an opportunity that is the perfect fit for them.”
My recruiter friends ask, “Isn’t it important to submit my nurse to as many positions as possible for the best chance at getting them placed? If I don’t submit them for this or that job and someone else does, I might lose them to another company!” My response; “Yes, absolutely, you should be submitting your nurse to every position that is a good fit. But you have to be certain that any position you are submitting your nurse for, is a position they would be willing to accept, assuming everything goes well in the interview – and there are no unexpected surprises.”
Here’s the deal. Whether you’re the nurse or the recruiter in this situation, it is absolutely in your best interest to follow this mindset as you consider opportunities. If you aren’t sold on the job entirely to the point you are certain you would accept if offered, then move on to the next opportunity. There are plenty more positions out there for you to consider. And recruiters – if some other agency submits the nurse for a job, they’re not likely to accept – they’re by and large – wasting their time. Sure, they’ll talk a few nurses into taking the position, but over time that strategy will lead them to failure and you’ll often have another shot with that nurse in the future.
The industry needs to shift towards a mindset in which the submittal process means something. It’s a serious step. One of the reasons it has become rather unimportant to many is that recruiter and nurse alike feel that so many times they’re submitted and don’t hear back. Well, just think of how many fewer candidates and recruiters would feel this way if as a team they were only considering jobs, they 100% intended to accept! Here’s what I’m saying…recruiters AND nurses have turned towards a mindset that the submittal process is less meaningful. And the practice by too many recruiters and nurses right now can best be described as, “doesn’t hurt to submit.” When this type of mindset is rampant it results in far more submissions, many of which are not viable candidate submissions for the position in the first place!”
Ok, great, but so what if a lot of candidates are submitted for the position. How does that slow the hiring process down, right? How does that really affect me, the recruiter…or I, the nurse? Jobs are opening and, in some instances, hundreds of candidates are being submitted, half of which aren’t qualified or committed. We all get frustrated by the turnaround time at hospitals for interviews, but the reality is it takes time for the manager to sift through all of these profiles, to discard those that aren’t qualified, and then again spending time interviewing when candidates aren’t accepting.
Here’s how it impacts the recruiter. First, the recruiter is wasting their time. The time they invest in pitching the job, building the pay package, building your profile, submitting your profile, and following up on your profile – is time wasted. Many recruiters lose their jobs because they get caught in these types of situations more than they close deals. For a recruiter, this is a potential “career-breaker”. They not only are wasting their time but they’re likely going to find themselves looking for a job.
And for the nurses out there. Many of you, and rightfully so, are extremely frustrated that you are submitted for position after position, and yet never hear anything from the facility. No feedback on your experience, and no interview. That’s frustrating. And the bottom line is that it happens way too much. But it happens because there are too many recruiters right now submitting you, the nurse, for positions you have no real intention of ever accepting. And too many nurses agreeing to it.
Now, let’s consider another impact. Assume you are submitted for a job. And you really want this job. But there are a few candidates the manager wants to connect with first. Maybe they have a bit more experience in one particular skill than you do – whatever the case. That manager reaches out to the first nurse on the list to call and they hit it off. The interview goes great, and the manager offers the position. Now, what if the nurse has only minimal interest in the position. And decides it would make a great back-up plan if the other position she’s considering through this other agency doesn’t come through. Now, you are not going to hear anything back – until this nurse either accepts or declines the offer, or until the facility or vendor decides to move on to the next candidate. But that’s where it get’s interesting because there still are a couple other candidates ahead of you. And the cycle begins again. My point is it doesn’t help you – the nurse at all – when other nurses are submitted for positions, they aren’t truly intent on accepting. And this is not all on nurses by any means. There is shared responsibility by recruiters who often are too excited to submit, and don’t take the time to get the commit before submitting.
Let’s all do one another a favor. And as we consider positions, be sure you’re only considering those positions you could see yourself accepting assuming everything goes well – and there are no surprises in the interview. Of course, there will be times when you don’t hit it off with the manager and decide not to accept. That’s understandable. And of course, there will be times when you don’t submit a nurse for a position, and she/he is submitted by another recruiter. But the truth is – it is in everyone’s best interest, to get the commit before the submit.