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What are the qualities of a good Travel Healthcare Recruiter? - Pt 1 of 3 - Atlas All Access 97

The travel healthcare industry is experiencing tremendous industry growth, but with all of those new recruiters, how do you find a good one?

We tackle the topic straight on to discuss the traits of a good travel healthcare recruiter. What makes a great recruiter?

We've identified 15 key traits of the best travel healthcare recruiters. In this episode of "Atlas All Access", we chat about the first five. Next week we'll go over the next five in this three-part segment.

Rich Smith: What makes a good recruiter? On this episode, we break down five of my 15 traits of a good recruiter with Jake Brower.

Jake Brower: Let's do it.

Rich Smith: Atlas All Access starts now. All right, Jake, welcome back.

Jake Brower: Thanks. Actually, this is my first.

Rich Smith: No, no, no.

Jake Brower: My first All Access.

Rich Smith: For real?

Jake Brower: Yeah.

Rich Smith: Okay. But you're no stranger to this world.

Jake Brower: No, I've been in this room a few times.

Rich Smith: Quite a few times. Okay. So here's what I did. About a... I would say probably nine months to a year ago, somewhere in there, I was on vacation and I wrote, because I can't relax, ever. Ask my wife. Vacations don't work. But I wrote the 15 traits of a good recruiter, and that was-

Jake Brower: And this is all of them. There are no more.

Rich Smith: That's it. There's only 15, I say what they are. Everybody else is wrong, right? No, no.

Jake Brower: That's fine with me.

Rich Smith: In my head, and this was, it was a compilation of different articles that I've read, and books that I've read and things like that.

Jake Brower: Sure.

Rich Smith: And there was like 10 traits of something else that I borrowed some of these from or whatever, and kind of changed the wording a little bit. But so I came up with 15 traits of a good recruiter. We're going to do three separate episodes, five traits each, with different recruiters here at Atlas. I'm going to give you the first five. And these are in no particular order, by the way. So the first one, again, no particular order, be conscientious. And that's hard to say. I don't-

Jake Brower: It is hard to say.

Rich Smith: It is.

Jake Brower: If you can say it 10 times fast, you win a prize.

Rich Smith: Good on you.

Jake Brower: Tacos or something.

Rich Smith: Sure. Why not? Look at Jake giving away free food.

Jake Brower: Those are always the prize.

Rich Smith: That's a great prize, though.

Jake Brower: That's a great prize.

Rich Smith: Okay, so what does be conscientious mean to you?

Jake Brower: So when I first heard the word, like another C-word popped into my head, consider it.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: Nurses live a different lifestyle than almost any other profession like on the planet. Right?

Rich Smith: Right.

Jake Brower: Keep weird hours. They work long hours, sometimes overnights. It changes every week. So for a guy like me who works in an office from whenever to whenever,

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: Some days longer than others-

Rich Smith: Right.

Jake Brower: It can, it can be really easy to forget that nurses, they live the kind of a different lifestyle.

Rich Smith: Right.

Jake Brower: And so many recruiters, you know, will, will pick up the phone and call a nurse that's waiting for an interview. So they got to keep their phone on.

Rich Smith: Right.

Jake Brower: At, you know, at 8:30 in the morning, they just fell asleep, they woke them up. So little things like that, understanding what they go through, understanding what they experience on a day to day basis, understanding the reality that they walk out of a hospital with burdens from the families and the patients that they've worked with, some days harder than others. But they don't, they leave work but they don't ever really leave work at work-

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: Because of the nature of, of their job. And so being conscientious I think is just [inaudible 00:03:09] being willing to acknowledge that they live a very different lifestyle and being willing to kind of meet them where they're at-

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: Instead of expecting them to meet you where you're at.

Rich Smith: Absolutely. I think the only thing I would add to that is, and I wrote this down as I was kind of going through these and I wrote little notes for each one of them. For myself, at least from a recruiter standpoint, you need to learn to be organized and efficient.

Jake Brower: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Rich Smith: The more organized and efficient you are, the easier it makes it for them. Right. And they on, on their life with their lifestyle and their schedule, et cetera.

Jake Brower: For sure. Cause I mean so much of the time, the time you do have to talk with them about assignments or, or what's coming, coming up next, they're like just getting off of a 12-hour shift, and like, on their way to bed. Having an hour and a half conversation because they're not organized is going to be incredibly frustrating.

Rich Smith: Very frustrating. Yeah. O... Excuse me. Number two, be respectful.

Jake Brower: I mean that's kind of on the heels. Right?

Rich Smith: Right.

Jake Brower: Like almost the same conversation. But for me, I... The way I would jump in with that first is just understanding and being willing to connect with what it is, what their job entails.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: Respecting them for their, for their abilities and for their knowledge and their understanding. I think along with teachers, nurses kind of fall into a category of like overworked, over-educated, underappreciated.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: So I think a big way that we can respect nurses is just by acknowledging that what they do is, you know, think about it like this. You wake up in the middle of the night and your, your son is not breathing.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: You don't even think for a second if anyone's going to be in the ER when you get there. You just know they will.

Rich Smith: You just know they will. Right.

Jake Brower: If I don't show up for work, well maybe nobody would really care at, least for a couple of weeks.

Rich Smith: Yeah [inaudible 00:05:02]-

Jake Brower: But we just sort of, we, we live under the umbrella of safety and security that they provide and we rarely acknowledge it. And so I just think respecting the reality that we live our lives, you know, we, we expect the light to turn green when we go and red on the other side so that we don't crash in the middle of an intersection.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: We expect the chair to hold us up when we sit down in it. We expect a nurse to be in the hospital every second of the day.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: And they just are-

Rich Smith: Yeah-

Jake Brower: And then we go, we don't say, I'm so glad you're here. We just assume they will be.

Rich Smith: Exactly.

Jake Brower: And how many of us really stopped to like respect the reality of the profession.

Rich Smith: Right. I... And my note here I wrote down was understanding how valuable their time is.

Jake Brower: Yeah.

Rich Smith: And it kind of goes back to that being conscientious thing that if, and I personally believe this because it happens in my everyday life here, is if you call somebody unexpectedly, if you just call them out of the blue cold call... Right? You're stealing their time. And I hate it when somebody calls me and I think, Oh, this number looks familiar and I answer it and it's-

Jake Brower: For sure.

Rich Smith: Whatever. You know. And I absolutely understand the profession of sales calls and things like that. Not that I think there's, I mean I believe there's a difference between a cold call in what we do in a sales call in, in general, but if you call someone unexpected, you steal their time. Be respectful of their time.

Jake Brower: And be ready to add value.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: You know when we make these calls to to nurses, it's because we want to help them find a job ultimately.

Rich Smith: Absolutely.

Jake Brower: So they do need our help, but we don't want to steal the time. We want to add... a good recruiter is going to add value with every interaction that they have.

Rich Smith: Yep. Okay. Number three, take initiative.

Jake Brower: Man. That's kind of a tough one. So often as a recruiter I find myself kind of waiting on a nurse to be ready.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: But I think that that my initial thoughts on that are kind of piggyback off the last one and what you said about respecting their time.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: Being ready, being prepared, doing homework in advance so that you can take less of their time. When I, when I jump on the phone with a nurse, rather than taking that time to then go through and start looking at jobs, maybe look at some jobs in advance-

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: That they might be interested in. And as you're explaining, you know, the details of those jobs, you can start to get a feel for what it is they want, what they're looking for. The more information a nurse can have on the front end, the easier it's going to be for them to move through an often frustrating process of-

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: Putting their paperwork together, filling out all kinds of different forms.

Rich Smith: Yep.

Jake Brower: So as a recruiter, my way of respecting that reality is taking initiative and being ready for them.

Rich Smith: I took the, the client management approach because that's what I did before all of this. Right?

Jake Brower: Sure.

Rich Smith: I worked directly with the hospitals. You gave me the profile. I took it to the hospital for the interview, waited for-

Jake Brower: For sure.

Rich Smith: The offer, came back to you. Right. So taking initiative to me was don't wait for the order. Go get it.

Jake Brower: Yeah.

Rich Smith: Know what that hospital needs ahead of time and make it happen-

Jake Brower: For sure.

Rich Smith: Like if you, especially if you work with, if you work with that facility or you know for a number of years-

Jake Brower: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Rich Smith: You can anticipate, okay it's August and they have ER needs.

Jake Brower: For sure.

Rich Smith: It's, you know, whatever it's, it's flu season, they're going to, you know, they have flu clinics that they staff or whatever the case may be. Take that initiative to, to know ahead of time so I can communicate that to my recruiter-

Jake Brower: Right-

Rich Smith: What they need. So then you have that, like you said, information to take to them.

Jake Brower: Right. I think to like quality of of work, you know, when a nurse gives me their information-

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: I take that and I put it into a profile that's essentially marketing them to the facility.

Rich Smith: Yep.

Jake Brower: I wonder how many nurses, if they saw their profile would be like, seriously, this is how you painted me. And so like even acknowledging that, that we are representing on their behalf.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: And so it's easy at times to maybe just like throw it together quickly to try to get a placement as fast as possible, which sometimes you just have to do that.

Rich Smith: Sure.

Jake Brower: But taking the initiative to really ask the right questions so that you can represent them well-

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: And give them the best chance to get the job that they want.

Rich Smith: Right. Okay. Number four, be a good listener. And I think you more than anybody else excels at this.

Jake Brower: So when you first brought this up, I thought we were coming with our own, and this was... Would be... This would be my number one. This is, in my opinion, if you aren't a good listener, you cannot be a good recruiter-

Rich Smith: You would fail. You would have some-

Jake Brower: trait of a good recruiter. It's, you understand what I'm saying?

Rich Smith: Absolutely.

Jake Brower: But I would say that, that listening really takes a different form when it comes to being a good recruiter because you can't just listen to words. It's one thing to ask a question and, and let the person talk-

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: So they feel respected. It's another thing to absorb every piece of information that a nurse gives. Sometimes it's verbal, sometimes it's nonverbal, sometimes it's on Facebook.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: A nurse is, is constantly telling the world what they're struggling with, what's hard for them via social media and other ways. You know, listening to, to little things like their personalities-

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: What they like to do, all... Being able to listen allows me to go out and find the right contract for them in the right season of their lives. You know, I remember one time they told me that they, you know, can't stand driving in the snow cause their car is small and has bad tires. If I'm, if I'm a bad listener and I start pitching jobs in, you know, Fargo, North Dakota-

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: Where there's always snow...

Rich Smith: Right.

Jake Brower: That, that's an example of being a bad listener.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: But on, on the other end of that, you know, if I, if I pitch a job in Fargo and they say I don't like the cold and I keep pitching cold weather jobs, I'm not listening.

Rich Smith: Right.

Jake Brower: Right? And so I just think nurses need to feel like they're heard-

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: Especially by the recruiter because they are putting their livelihood, their careers in our hands. And we can't make assumptions.

Rich Smith: Right.

Jake Brower: For them.

Rich Smith: And I think sometimes it isn't even the words necessarily, it's the pauses in between. It's those, it's those little moments. It's the sigh, it whatever.

Jake Brower: Yeah.

Rich Smith: Those, those go a long way as well.

Jake Brower: For sho.

Rich Smith: I wrote down, if you don't listen, you'll never know what they truly want is exactly what you just said.

Jake Brower: Or even need. Like there's times when, when as a recruiter we have to look between the lines.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: I've had plenty of, you know, not really arguments but borderline arguments with nurses that I've gotten close with because I have some information that they don't have and, and, and maybe I know or feel in my heart that this is going, this would be perfect for them, but they can't feel it for themselves.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: I think being sensitive and knowing, getting to the point where I know my nurses career, and her resume, and her likes, and her dislikes well enough to be able to say, listen, I know this looks attractive but you're not going to be happy here. I'm convinced you will be happy here.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: And there are a lot of trust obviously-

Rich Smith: Sure.

Jake Brower: Has to be built to get to that point.

Rich Smith: Yep.

Jake Brower: But it if, if I, if I do that, I have to have reasons why.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: Listen, you told me once that you felt like this-

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Jake Brower: And that's why I think this would be a great fit for you.

Rich Smith: Yeah.

Jake Brower: Do you remember last time when you experienced this? I don't think you're going to experience that here. You know, little things and being, the only way to get to that point is to actually listen to them...

Rich Smith: Right.

Jake Brower: In every aspect of communication.

Rich Smith: All right, so the last one then is be persistent.

Jake Brower: I'm going to take this more from like a, like a getting them jobs standpoint. I think we do a lot of telling nurses no.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: There's times when we need to.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: But I think a good recruiter does that as little as possible. It says yes as much as possible or at the very least says I'm going to do everything that I can. Whether it's requested time off, even around the holidays, or a location that they really want to go. It's my job to go get them what they want. And if I have to tell them no, if I have to tell a nurse, no, I, I sure I sure better have done everything I can to turn over every single rock to try to find exactly what they want. And then if I had to come back and say no, I can say, look, I, I went here, I went here, I tried this, I tried that. This just isn't going to happen this time around.

Rich Smith: And again, I took this from my, my past life as a client manager, right? It's, I'm going to be told no so many times that I have to push through that.

Jake Brower: Right.

Rich Smith: But I do it with kindness and consideration.

Jake Brower: For sure.

Rich Smith: That persistence doesn't mean grinding them down. It means you're their advocate and you want to do what's best for them.

Jake Brower: For sure.

Rich Smith: And that that happens both on the hospital side and on, on your recruiting, on the recruiter side-

Jake Brower: Absolutely-

Rich Smith: With nurses too. I understand because it's my job on the client management side. What you need based on the profiles of the travelers that you've accepted in the past.

Jake Brower: For sure.

Rich Smith: I know this person is exactly the same person that you had this time last year for that, for that ER job or for that CVICU job. I know this person will succeed there. Like... And there's, again, there was a trust factor there too-

Jake Brower: Yeah, absolutely-

Rich Smith: But again, we are told no a thousand times. Right. I mean it just, it happens to us a lot-

Jake Brower: Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Rich Smith: It happened to us when we were marketing candidates-

Jake Brower: Right-

Rich Smith: And that type of thing too, but you have to be okay. Everyone in the process has to be okay with no.

Jake Brower: Right.

Rich Smith: And I think the conversation starts at no.

Jake Brower: Yeah.

Rich Smith: And I've always believed that and I've been trying to tell my 10-year-old son that, that the conversation starts at no. He doesn't understand that yet-

Jake Brower: Yeah-

Rich Smith: But he will someday.

Jake Brower: Yeah, someday. I... Yeah, I think too, there's a for, for a recruiter, you know, I experience all the time like working with a nurse, trying to get them placed, I just miss out. I had this amazing couple that I was working with, one OR nurse, and, the wife is OR nurse, the husband is a CST, a surgical tech, and worked so hard, submit him so many places, like just got to know him a little bit in the process.

Jake Brower: They were new for me and they're working with another larger company that will not be named. And when they got, when they told me they got placed at that other... With another company, like it just bummed me out so much. But persistence would say, you know, I'm not going to give up like 13 weeks is really, really short. I, I know they belong with Atlas, like I know they do and I know they'll enjoy their experience with Atlas way more than where they're working right now. So I could forget about them because, move on. You know, there's, there's, there's other things to do. It's a busy, busy world.

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: But I don't, I'm... Persistence for me is not forgetting them-

Rich Smith: Right.

Jake Brower: Not forgetting what they want, being, being prepared for when they're ready to start again. I'm not, I'm not... I won't be satisfied until they are Atlas nurses.

Jake Brower: And that for me, that's the persistence that, you know, remembering birthdays, sending, sending gifts on birthdays, even if I'm not working with those nurses because I want them to experience life as a traveler with Atlas Medstaff because it's, it's the best. I know I don't need to tell you that.

Rich Smith: Right. Exactly.

Jake Brower: But yeah, and, and I love that moment of celebrating when we, you know, when I've worked with a nurse for or talked to a nurse for a year-

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: Two years, never placed them, finally placed them and we like celebrate, Hey, like look how long this took. But we stuck with it and we get it finally.

Rich Smith: Well, and that's, there's a, there's a recruiter that's been with us for a long time who has been recruiting for a very long time, John Miller-

Jake Brower: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Rich Smith: Who does a lot of training for us as well. And he said something once. It always stuck with me that no matter if they take a job with you or not, you are always their recruiter.

Jake Brower: Absolutely.

Rich Smith: Always.

Jake Brower: 100 percent.

Rich Smith: They may never work for you.

Jake Brower: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Rich Smith: You are still their recruiter.

Jake Brower: And if that was truly the way every recruiter in our industry saw nurses, nurses would no longer feel like an object-

Rich Smith: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jake Brower: Or a paycheck-

Rich Smith: Right.

Jake Brower: They would feel like people that deserve to be respected and-

Rich Smith: Right-

Jake Brower: Cared for. So.

Rich Smith: All right, well those are the, those are the first five. Jake, thank you for being with me today and-

Jake Brower: Absolutely-

Rich Smith: And answering these. Next week we'll handle six through 11 and then the week after that... I'm sorry, we'll handle six through 10 and then 11 through 15. Is that right? Six through ten...

Jake Brower: I think that's right.

Rich Smith: There we go-

Jake Brower: That's good math.

Rich Smith: Look at Jamie helping me with the math.

Jake Brower: You don't get paid to do math.

Rich Smith: I do not get paid to do math. So... All right, we'll see you next week.

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