Recruiter. Nurse Advocate. Nurse Navigator. Talent Coordinator. Hmm. There’s a lot of buzz about the “recruiterless” model in healthcare staffing.
What exactly defines a recruiter, though?
A strong recruiter educates you on complexities within the travel healthcare world. Goes the extra mile to secure the hard-to-get contract. Recommends career advancement opportunities. Provides interview guidance on how to stand out. Negotiates the best pay package and advises against the lousy ones. Protects you from nightmare hospitals. Calls the nurse manager to make sure you can make it to your best friend’s wedding during your second week on contract.
Strong recruiters identify your motivations for travel and suggest creative alternatives when initial plans don’t pan out. Sets realistic expectations about contract offers. Answers messages on a Saturday morning when your paycheck is late or incorrect. Mitigates scheduling issues with the facility. Offers support on your first day when, you can’t clock in, the EHR doesn’t recognize your credentials, your badge wont open doors and the charge nurse “didn’t know they had a traveler showing up today.”
(insert your own here)
It’s safe to assume that most healthcare professionals don’t want these aspects of the traveler-recruiter relationship to disappear, but this is just a fraction of their responsibilities.
Recruiters are also daunted by repetitive, labor-intensive tasks. They scrape lists of already inundated candidates. Cold call a hundred times a day. Lose precious time with tire-kickers. Wait on skills checklists. Have repetitive conversations. Repetitive conversations. Repetitive conversations. Copy/paste, parse, edit, and manually hack together talent profiles. Play phone tag with references. Sift through texts and emails to organize piles of documents. Beg for documents that are missing. Hope their agency avoids a data breach. Manipulate candidate profiles for various VMS/MSP submittals. Frantically keep track of when credentials expire. Remind us when those credentials expire.
They’re still waiting on that skills checklist.
Clearly, things need to change. Technology, however, is only part of the equation that will keep this industry moving forward. People and relationships remain at the heart of healthcare staffing. Removing them would be detrimental for everyone involved.
John is a career travel nurse and co-founder of Kamana. He has spent over a decade working in healthcare, specializing in ER and PEDs.