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Why Do Recruiters Ask So Many Questions

Why Do Recruiters Ask So Many Questions

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Published by Lucia Apollo Shaw

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Published by: Lucia Apollo Shaw on May 27, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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06/28/2010

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Why Do Recruiters Ask So Many Questions?
What recruiters need to know in order to help you find the right candidates
Does it really pay to work with a healthcare recruiter? Why do recruitersneed to know so many details beyond the simple basics of a job order?
You’re a hiring manager on a mission. You’ve run an ad in the citywide newspapersfor four weeks in a row. You’ve hosted an open house and asked all of your nursing managers to attend with smiling faces for one hour. You even ran aSaturday morning breakfast Open House with giveaways for the first 30 attendees!Yet, despite your best efforts, you still can’t fill the majority of your positions.Physicians are growing impatient with travelers coming and going every 13 weeks,and your senior nurses are tired of constantly having an orientee. Nowadays, thenurses you do have on staff have stopped answering their phones on their day off.Everyone from your CEO to the janitor is looking at you and wondering what rabbit you’re going to pull out of your hat THIS time....
You’ve decided to call upon a healthcare recruiter
. The first few minutes of the phone conversation go well enough. But what’s with all of the questions theysuddenly are asking?Shouldn’t you just be able to supply the recruiter with the nuts-and-bolts of the joborder, sign their fee agreement, and “release the hounds”?Yes and no. Sure, we’re going to want to go over the basics with you, including theposition title, position type, timing need, compensation range, etc. However,remember that a major reason why you’ve had trouble finding qualified people onyour own is that the people you’re looking for aren’t looking for you!So we’re going to need to dig deeper in order to find them, and that means askingyou lots of questions, pushing you just a little bit to really understand your needs.
Top people in healthcare often need very compelling reasons why theyshould leave their present job to work for you.
They aren’t scanning thepapers and attending meet-and-greet open houses. In fact, often they arerelatively happy in their jobs and content with their pay. What will motivate thesepeople to work for you?It’s not a question of money—even if it were, you would be in trouble anywaybecause the next suitor who offered them more money than you would whisk themaway and you’d be back to square one.
 
Instead, it’s more a matter of 
selling your opportunity 
, not “filling a job”. Aprofessional recruiter will need to execute a well thought-out search strategy, thecomponents of which start with a broad perspective. 
Let’s start with the history and background of your institution.
What canyou tell us about the community at large? Candidates who will be relocating willespecially want to understand their new community, and feel a sense of belongingand security. Your recruiter must be able to help them embrace this.
What levels of care does your institution provide?
Are you an academichospital with research capabilities? Or are you a community-based hospital? Therewill be naturally distinct levels of care, reputation and service that each offers.A good recruiter knows that these differences will appeal to different types of candidates. For example, some pharmacists will be delighted to do clinical roundsand spend time with patients daily; other candidates will prefer to spend more of their working hours directly conferring with physicians only.Your recruiter will skillfully match up your openings with personalities, and quicklyget to the heart of the matter on a case-by-case basis. This is a vastly differentscenario from gathering applications and resumes en masse.For example, some departments and/or institutions may operate on eight-hourshifts instead of twelve. A perceptive recruiter will be able to look a candidate inthe eye and ask,
“How would you really feel about working from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm…And likely sometimes later, if the nurse on the next shift is late?” 
What is the history and growth of the position itself?
Can you confidentlyspeak about the clinical ladder as far as future opportunities and promotions? Howmight the job evolve over time and expand into other areas of healthcare?
What are some of the “between-the-lines” expectations, skill sets andcompetencies required?
Sometimes the ability to communicate with bothscientific, and executive key decision makers, is desired but not directly stated on aformal job description.On other occasions, there will be a need for heavier attention to detail andanalytical abilities in an ICU. Your recruiter will find the right blend of skill andpersonality that best matches these nuances—that is, to the extent you talk aboutthem early on in the process.
In the end, what can you expect from working with a recruiter?
If yousuccessfully address questions about the nature and background of your openings,your institution and community, and other pointed inquiries, you can expect toreceive strong interest from a small group of very qualified candidates.These are candidates who would accept your position if the offer was made. Period.

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