A skill shared by successful recruiters in the healthcare staffing industry is the ability to differentiate when you have a legitimate shot at securing a contract for a prospect and when you do not. The reality is…some will…some won’t, right? New recruiters spend a lot of time on prospects an experienced recruiter would walk away from early in the process; most likely following that first call. So, how do recruiters just getting started learn this skill and avoid the “Time Sucks” out there?
The first step is to define what a time suck is. They’re prospects who are (a) shopping for a number (b) they’re unwilling to commit to completing paperwork, (c) and they’re difficult (bordering impossible) to reach by phone other than text.
The next step is to sharpen your qualifying skills. What is your process for getting to the why in that first conversation? Although many prospects report pay as their primary reason for traveling, there are several factors which often contribute to their decision to travel (Blue Pipes Survey, 2014). A good recruiter doesn’t stop at “I want to make good money”. If that turns out to be the only reason a prospect is traveling than consider whether they are a fit for you and how you want to build your desk. There is no price that can’t be beat in sales. You can take that to the bank!
The third step is to be clear about expectations. A good prospect will answer the phone or return calls. A good prospect will complete paperwork when they agree to do so (or they will contact you to explain why it hasn’t been completed and follow through with meeting a new deadline). A good prospect respects your time as a professional. And a good prospect will match your energy and efforts to secure them a position. These are the folks you want to work with. They display the same character qualities most of us have come to expect from a co-worker, friend, or employee. When a prospect doesn’t meet expectations it’s up to you to ask, “why?”. And depending on the answer decide whether to proceed.
The final step is to consider your own thoughts and feelings about this prospect. Are they impacting your decision to proceed or move on? In my experience, both as a recruiter and as a trainer/coach this is the step many recruiters struggle with. Very few recruiters report not having some apprehension about moving forward with a prospect who turns out to be a flake. But in the end, they proceed rather than take a step back. Often, they perceive there is no cost to them. No harm in trying, right? WRONG!
The greatest asset you possess as a recruiter is your time. It is a non-renewable resource. Once it is used, you will never get it back. Spending hours every week putting together pay packages and exchanging text messages will leave you feeling busy. But being busy doesn’t always lead to success. And staying busy isn’t what your company is paying you to do. Take the time to incorporate these steps into your recruitment efforts and eliminate time sucks. Remember, your time is valuable. And it is yours to give. Give it wisely!