Hiring Travel Healthcare Recruiters: Part 2

In Part 1 of Hiring Recruiters, we took a look at how an agency can attract top recruiting talent. But to attract top talent, you’ve got to understand what it looks like. In this next article, we’re going to examine some of the characteristics that separate the B- and C-level talent from the A-players you’re looking for! While you may never have a perfect process, you can take measures to ensure you are attracting a lot more A-players. So, let’s take a look at some of the characteristics A-players in the travel healthcare staffing industry have in common. I’ve developed my thoughts on this subject and put them into actionable steps to simplify:

What to Look For in Your Candidates. Now that you have some key pieces in place to attract top talent, you’ve got to do something with that pipeline of yours! Here are two important keys for improving the quality of your future hires: 

Hire For Behavioral Traits, Including Attitude and Mental Aptitude.

We’re often asked by leaders, “Should I hire experienced recruiters and account managers or should I train inexperienced folks who ‘look’ the part?” The answer is yes and yes. Yes, hire experienced recruiters if they have the attitude and aptitude necessary to be successful at your company. Yes, hire inexperienced folks, again, if they possess the attitude and aptitude you desire. The key is not to focus on the amount of experience one has. Far too often, leaders get hung up on experience and bring in recruiters who have developed bad habits. They often arrive to a new organization like a bull in a china shop, demanding to know why you’re doing this or not doing that instead of asking constructive questions. Sometimes experience at another company isn’t a good thing to bring into your company, and sometimes it is. It depends on the individual, their attitude, and aptitude.


There are many ways to measure the following traits. We are presently working to validate results of a pre-hire assessment tool we have developed. Based on some initial findings, here are just a few items regarding behavioral traits and aptitude when hiring recruiters in the travel healthcare industry:

Behavioral Traits. How one views the world and others is critical to their performance as a recruiter. Here are some tips when evaluating a potential hire:

Coachability. Typically, when we examine any trait we do so in the context of extremes. In the case of coachability, the extremes are “strong-willed” and“compliant”. When we look at the profile of top recruiters, we find they score directly in the middle. They are not likely to rock the boat, but they are very likely to assert themselves in situations they feel strongly about. They understand there are boundaries and are able to function within them.

Attitude. When it comes to attitude, it’s all about “worldview”, or how one perceives the motives of others. In extremes, this can range from “skeptical”to “trusting”. Top recruiters, again, generally score in the middle. They are not the type of person who would be deemed gullible but also not one who would label others with contrary viewpoints or beliefs a liar. They value others’ opinions but also recognize the importance of their own perspective.

Decisiveness. Contrary to what we might expect, top recruiters are more “deliberate” than “bold” when it comes to making decisions. They tend to lean towards a methodical approach to decision-making. Their approach leads to a reduction in risk-taking behaviors which should be music to your ears as a leader.

Mental aptitude, or the ability to perform the cognitive tasks necessary to be successful in their role.

Mental aptitude refers broadly to one’s thinking style in the context of this article. There are striking similarities among top performers when it comes to three specific areas based on our preliminary data:

Verbal skill.  Top recruiters score higher on this scale based on our preliminary findings. They have a propensity for communicating with precision, even under strict time constraints. And, they are more competent in making analyses involving written and verbal data.

Verbal reasoning.  Top recruiters process verbal information rapidly and can draw conclusions from this information more proficiently than others.

Numerical ability. Top recruiters show a propensity for dealing with numerical calculations. They tend to be comfortable working with numbers and demonstrate a sound understanding of basic mathematical processes.

Don’t Trust Your Gut...Unless it’s Saying No!

Assuming there aren’t any discrimination policies being violated, if your gut is telling you at any time during the hiring process that you should decline a candidate, research on this matter supports your decision to move on. Several recent studies have highlighted the significance of gut feelings as related to pain avoidance. It seems several thousands of years of adaptation has allowed us to develop a highly sensitive system for avoiding pain. Without digging too deeply into the science, it is clear there are pathways present which protect us from harm and they manifest as gut feelings. In the context of hiring, it is always best to decline a candidate if your gut is telling you to do so! When your gut is telling you YES, research actually says that you’re better off flipping a coin. Your chances of making the wrong hiring decision are great. 

In this section, I outlined two key steps you can incorporate into your hiring process which will help you identify A-players in your pipeline. The race to the top will be won by those agencies which can successfully attract, identify, and retain top talent. It is my hope that the information in this article is helpful and leads to improvements in your existing process for hiring recruiters.


In the next article, we’ll take a look at the process for hiring and really dig into the interview process and how you can set up a system for hiring that is consistent, comprehensive, and effective.Thank you for checking out this article. Please share your thoughts and comments below! And if you’re looking to step up your hiring game in 2019,reach out at info@moxiementoring.me!

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