When we do training and coaching, our trainees are usually very receptive to the concept of needing to walk away from “bad business” in order to grow their desks. They understand that “Type A” candidates - the ones who are pleasant to talk to on the phone, are professional, have great experience, and are flexible to the ever-changing demands of the travel healthcare industry - are the ones who will ultimately grow their businesses. They also understand that the “Type C” candidates – the ones who only want to communicate electronically, drag their feet with paperwork, have a long list of demands for location, pay, shift, etc., and who drain your time and energy – are the ones we should be avoiding.
But what happens when you figure out that you’re already working with Type C candidates? You’ve already invested a ton of time in them, and they might even be working with you on a contract right now. Maybe they’ve worked SEVERAL contracts with you. How does one just walk away from that?
I completely understand the reluctance to walk away from something you’ve worked hard to build. It’s difficult to invest so much time and energy on something only to make a difficult decision to leave it behind in the hopes that you’ll find better candidates.
However, the reality is, clinging on to Type C candidates and travelers isn’t doing you any favors, and it’s ultimately going to cost you a lot more in time, money, energy, motivation, etc. to keep them around. The more time you spend on these folks, the less time you’ll have to devote to building your desk with the right people.
Once you’ve determined that you’re working with a Type C candidate and you’re ready to move on, you must make a plan to cut the cord. In most cases, this will involve having a conversation with your candidate to let them know that you’ve decided that you and they are no longer fit to work together. The best thing to do is to keep your conversation as fact-based as possible. If you exhibit a lot of emotion or start to accuse the candidate of things, they will likely become defensive and it could turn pretty ugly. Here is an example of something you could say:
“Jackie, I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with you and I appreciate what you do in your field. I’ve come to the conclusion that I am no longer the best fit for you as a recruiter based on your needs and expectations, and I think it would be best if you moved on to other agencies/opportunities. I wish you nothing but the best as you move on to your future adventures.”
Yes, it’s possible that Jackie could push you for clarification or details, but the best thing to do is to keep it as simple and succinct as possible. “The bottom line is, we’re simply not a fit for each other, and it’s best that we part ways.”
Look, I’m not saying that these types of conversations are easy – quite the opposite is true, actually, until you start to become more comfortable with having them. Walking away from candidates will be (and should be) a natural part of your recruiting process. You’ll also get better at asking the right questions ahead of time to weed out the C players before you get to the point of submitting them, offering them positions, etc., so keep that in mind, too.
Learning how and when to walk away from the people who won’t grow your desk will allow you to devote yourself fully to the ones who will reciprocate your efforts, and it will definitely make your job a lot more enjoyable. If you have any questions, or would like additional help with this particular topic, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!