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Oh No you didn’t ….


OH NO YOU DIDN’T just pre-qualify that potential candidate! 


With Sixteen plus years of experience in National Business Development, I’ve done lots of recruiting and lots of training on how you turn a potential candidate into a happy employee. I was enlightened today!! 

Whether you are in the business of per diem staffing, travel recruitment or direct hire recruiting, you’ll appreciate this little reminder ….

Back in the day,  When a branch manager would whine at a regional conference about why he/she didn’t have the share of their market, I’d usually start out by saying, “If your competitor has a full parking lot of nurses…they are doing it better than you!”  I’d get a hushed crowd and a few frowny faces then I’d take them back to the BASICS.  

It’s really simple guys!! You see … a skilled, specialty nurse with good work ethic and a genuine concern for quality patient care can work anywhere they want to. I thought everybody knew that!  Back in my day, a great Nurse learned early in their career as the use of agency became common practice in hospitals across America that they were a ‘commodity’ and EVERY RECRUITER wanted them. Nurses didn’t work for an agency…An agency worked for them and if one graced your doorway, you jumped up to bring them coffee, a donut and stopped everything you were doing to give them your undivided attention because the recruiter down the street was courting them too!

Are you still courting potential candidates?

It’s so hard to remember the ‘good old days’ with the advancement of modern technology. It’s hard to even imagine wanting to do anything the old fashioned way, I suppose. We have  Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Monster, Indeed, a million job boards all over the internet.  Hootsuite is my favorite tool, who would have thought with a click of a button you could post your openings EVERYWHERE! WOW, I’m reeling them in now!  Modern technology has taken us to a whole new level in recruiting! It’s saved us from tossing out blueberry muffins and juice with our business cards in hospital parking lots to recruit nurses at shift change or lurking in our competitions parking lots on payday. Our databases are filling up!!!! This is the ticket! Woooo Hoooo, I’m SOLD! 

So why aren’t revenues bigger? Why aren’t we seeing bigger profits than we’ve ever seen? We should have more placements than ever, right? Why are JOB SEEKERS and RECRUITERS alike so frustrated? It’s really not the economy, there are openings EVERYWHERE! 

I’ll tell you why.  We’ve forgotten the most basic rule in our industry. It’s about PEOPLE! Real people, one at a time looking for the perfect job opportunity and they WANT some ATTENTION!! 

 We ask people to take their VALUABLE time ‘completing our registration’. WOOO HOOO look at this HOT JOB BOARD flashing across our site! WE GOT THE JOB FOR YOU and WE GOT THE GREATEST RECRUITERS! REALLY? Agencies shoot potential candidates an assessment or two,skills check list, a few test and it’s all automated.We haven’t spoken to this candidate and we’re not going to until they are ready and have earned OUR attention and the right to be spoken to.  REALLY?  How many times do you get frustrated because they didn’t jump through all your hoops and think to yourself, if they aren’t going to take the time to do ALL this STUFF I NEED THEM TO DO…they obviously aren’t serious about me finding them the perfect job! DON’T YOU DARE LAUGH! I’ve been around a long time and I know I am right!  REALLY??? Yeah and I wonder if that potential candidate is thinking, if they want me to jump through all these hoops, they are going to have to show ME some interest. Do Emails get lost in the shuffle? You ever wonder if maybe your little auto response went into their SPAM box? How would you ever know that unless you call them?  You think an intelligent professional (the folks we are trying so hard to attract) know an auto response when they see it?  If I spent 4 hours completing all those ‘necessary steps’, jumping through hoops on fire to get your attention…you better give it to me!  Those hard to find candidates at one time weren’t that hard to find! We did this! We created this mess! JOB SEEKERS LOST FAITH IN US! It’s not personal anymore!  

There is nothing worse for a Recruiter than having to apologize on the first call to a potential candidate. 

How many recruiters can relate to this call?
  RECRUITER: Hi Nancy Nurse, this is Miss Recruiter from XYZ firm and I see where you applied with us online, uhhhh 3 months ago. NANCY NURSE: I’m sorry, who are you with? RECRUITER: XYZ firm, you applied with us in regards to a specialty position, just so happens we have one all these months later that’s a perfect match for you.  NANCY NURSE: OH, yeah I was looking back in Feb when my contracted ended, I got on a lot of agency sites but I don’t remember which ones.  I guess no one from yours got in touch with me. I’m happy on  assignment with your competition. GOODBYE!

 Well…it goes something like that, huh?  

Been there? How many calls like that did you make today? 

Unfortunately, this is an everyday practice and it’s disheartening for everyone concerned. It’s also the main reason REAL, Qualified, Great, just the kind of folks we really really are in search of are hard to find and NOT the ones in your database! They don’t even make it to our sites without a call from us or direct communication prompting them or a referral. You think they are a little more than frustrated??  They are sick to death of filling out all this crap just to make it into someone’s MEGA DATABASE. Most I have learned over the years,  think we all post positions blindly that don’t even exist to drive them to our sites. DO WE? I get it, we all want this huge database full of all these people just in case!!! JUST IN CASE WHAT?  So as a recruiter, I plug in my search criteria for the perfect candidate and this awesome database pulls up 3500 matches for this job that I really do have open now and it’s URGENT. OMG! REALLY? Let me filter this stupid thing again. These are all old and this is too many… 2000, GRRRRR…. let me try it again by adding this filter or that criteria.  OH GOOD….only 200 popped up now. Most of them have never had any activity and were never assigned to a recruiter and more than likely, most of them are dead leads by now you assume. Hmmmm….Let me start calling these 200 and APOLOGIZING to the ones I CAN reach. There are probably some real HOT potential candidates mixed up in all that, they signed up and were reeled in when they still believed THEY WERE IMPORTANT TO US! They are in there. 

Raise your hands now! Your sitting in the HOT SEAT right now as a Recruiter, aren’t you? 

If you are new to this industry and you meet a successful recruiter that’s been in the industry awhile they will tell you, it’s all about communication and building relationships. They typically have a very loyal client following and lots of repeat job seekers and plenty of referrals. The people they’ve helped throughout their careers remember them and call them a friend. If they are travelers, they’ve traveled for this same recruiter over and over again! 

We’re all building databases easier and quicker these days, we get caught up in the excitement of it… unfortunately it’s sometimes overwhelming, we don’t take the proper notes or have the right filters in place for tracking or we’re too lazy to be that detailed  and we lose control of it! With all good intentions we built it and customer service was lost somewhere in the mix!  Did we forget our candidates are the reason we all have a job?  We are a little guilty of this, aren’t we? Fortunately for me, Todd Oldfield, our founder made the hefty investment in some awesome tracking/recruiting software and  today I was taking notes, filitering and logging this event that unfolded. NO SYSTEM IS PERFECT and no matter the investment we’ve made ourselves in this technology, that might draw potential candidates and clients alike to our beautiful, interactive sites all over cyber space, they won’t stay long or believe in us or share our story without our team. It’s our people that make the difference! 


This afternoon,  I was speaking to a JOB SEEKER that registered on our site this morning, I think she was in shock I called her. She actually THANKED me for DOING MY JOB, Which led me to blog tonight and share this with you. She said, “I’ve been putting my resume out there EVERYWHERE for a couple of weeks, you are the first person I’ve heard from. Now I’m in shock because she’s an EHR Consultant and they are in high demand right now. Here’s the big shocker for me… She says, I’ve left voice mails with several Recruiters and they haven’t called me back yet. REALLY????  She went on and on and I LET HER, I PROMISE YOU.  I had a genuine interest in hearing her concerns and she needed to know I was VERY enthusiastic that she chose me to vent to! 

BOY I can tell ya, I remembered some things I’ve been preaching for years, it all came rushing back to me. 


 I DID NOT have a position or open order TODAY for her but out of respect for her valuable time… I spent MY VALUABLE TIME getting to know her a little bit and telling her Thank you for thinking of us and taking the time to register with us.

Now,  You might say, “That’s all nice and good Cindy but I’ve got qualified people to call and my time is limited” I GET IT!!  I’m guilty too of these same thoughts and WE ARE A NEW FIRM TRYING REAL HARD TO MAKE A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION.

LISTEN TO ME NOW… I was totally committed to this conversation and exceeding the expectations of this consultant after her sighs of frustration.  I relaxed, forgot about all the other things I had piled up on my desk and really gave this woman my undivided attention and BOOYAH… as always when we do things RIGHT, we get REAL RESULTS. I handled this call the way it should have been handled.

 I gathered from our conversation many things:

1) I remembered…Don’t pre-qualify!

I’m glad I didn’t pre-qualify this one and pass her by simply because she had a half done resume that was apparent she rushed through. (I would assume out of frustration from doing it numerous times over her career, she wasn’t making time to get to the details, she’d share that with someone that made time for her, and after all she’s the six figure gal in demand, right?) After gaining her respect and trust in my abilities from chatting it up with her for a real long time, She went right back in and she DID IT RIGHT and WOW!!! WE GOT US A HOT ONE NOW!!  Like I said, I didn’t have an open position but I knew right where to go get one as soon as we hung up!

2) I remembered….WHO WHAT WHEN WHERE WHY ????
Why don’t you want to sign with the same firm you just completed an assignment with?  She was talking and I was listening and taking notes.  What hospital system? What training? What certification and why isn’t everyone made to have it? I’m a little new to this EHR thing, I’m clinical so she’s the teacher now, I’m so totally off my high horse allowing her to enlighten me and she loved that! She liked that I didn’t KNOW IT ALL and that she could help me.


I asked her for referrals and without incentive, she was happy to give them to me because she thought I would be of help to THEM.  She was tickled though after tossing those names freely that I told her I’d give her $1000 for any of them that accepted a position with TeamEliteAdvantage. She said, either way she was happy to share us with others.

4) I gave her the spill in closing of what sets us apart. We have a JOB BOARD, I explained so she could go right in and make her resume ‘private’ or ‘public’. I wasn’t dishonest by saying I had an opening when I didn’t, I told her I’d do my best to find her something and I will.  I gave her the opportunity to wait on me or put herself out there. Our Clients post job orders on our site daily FREE and have the ability to search our resume database FREE. WHAT???? NO PLACEMENT FEE? NO BIG FEE FOR JOB POSTINGS??? No, it’s all FREE I explained. We know folks are gonna love us and give us the hard to fill positions because of our out of the box thinking. We know high end, in demand people don’t want their business plastered all over the net and nine times out of ten, they weren’t a job seeker at all until we DID find them. Our Clients know this as well. That’s why they call it a ‘hard to fill position’. LOL  But our Clients will love that they don’t have to pay some premium price on some internet job board for their ‘not so hard to fill positions’. My new friend and TEACHER opted out of sharing her information like I thought she would, but it was HER DECISION NOT MINE. That’s how we roll around here! I feel very confident that we’re going to have lots of happy Clients and Job Seekers that will like sharing TeamEliteAdvantage’s story.

5) Do you think I was suprised that I got an email just a few moments later Thanking me AGAIN. I wasn’t but I sure did like it!  I really wasn’t surprised tonight to log into the system and see some of her friends did in fact, come check us out and register with us. I really liked that too!

She reminded me today of why I got in the business all those years ago…to help others. This is a PEOPLE business. Slow down, take a look at the way you’ve been doing things too and commit yourself to building relationships that will last more than just one assignment!  

If you are a Recruiter looking for a place to call home, a firm seeking honest strategic partnerships, come see us! We’d love to see what we can do for YOU!


Cindy Moore
Key Account Manager/ Talent Advisor


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