Searching for Green Flags

As we train recruiters, we are always talking and teaching them about red flags.  Looking out for those things in potential candidates that seem off.  Some travel nurse candidates who may be very strong clinically could give off red flag vibes when they are looking for jobs in an area where we don’t typically see many positions available, or they are looking in a pay range that is difficult to accommodate.  The term “red flag” often has a negative connotation.  


The other day I was watching a show and they were talking about dating.  I often liken the recruiter/traveler relationship to a dating relationship because I do believe that there should be some mutual respect and balance and give and take for it to work, much like that of a dating relationship.  On this show, in an effort to shed a more positive light on the dating world, they decided that instead of only looking out for red flags, they wanted to start looking for green flags as well.  


Green flags.  This was a really interesting concept to me. And one which we already do very naturally.  At Moxie, we refer to these green flags as the things that make up our “A” candidates.  But I really think we should start focusing on this more uniformly.  Instead of always looking at and talking about what we should watch out for in a candidate, what are some of the things we should really be LOOKING FOR in a candidate.  


When I recruited, I kept a list at my desk of what my ideal candidate looked like.  It was a great way for me to hold myself accountable if I ever got a little desperate during that first phone call with a candidate.  Essentially, it was my list of green flags.  Here’s what was on it:

  • 2-5 years of experience
  • 1st time travelers (I loved first time travelers)
  • Up to date certs
  • Available in 4-6 weeks
  • Reasonable pay expectations
  • Mostly open geography
  • ICU, Tele/Med Surg, ER (these were my fave specialties)
  • Engaged in conversation


If during that first call, the candidate wasn’t checking these boxes, I really had to ask myself if they were someone worth trying to move forward with.  What boxes would you be trying to check?  What green flags do you look for with your candidates?



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