I think about recruiting a lot. I invented Online Job Tour after the death of my father due to a mistake made during a medical procedure so it’s a real passion – I suppose there are worse things to be obsessed about!
As I watched in amazement one upset after the next in this year’s NCAA College Basketball tournament, commonly referred to by sports fans as “March Madness,” including the upset of my beloved Florida Gators by the Butler Bulldogs, I kept thinking about the analogies used in sports and how they apply to life, and certainly in business – and recruiting, too.
Here are a two things from this year’s tournament that I hope inspire you on your quest to be a great recruiter for your employer.
1) It’s about match ups – you may not be the better than every team in the tournament, but that doesn’t matter; you only have to be better than the team you’re playing. For more than six years now, a huge issue I have noticed with my employer clients is how self deprecating they are about their hospital and service area – the focus is generally making excuses for what they lack vs. exalting what they have. This is likely a combination of being told negative things but I think it’s a bit of human nature to want what you don’t have and to think “the grass is greener….”
First of all, recruiting is not about what you don’t have as much as how you compare against the other employers that your candidates are considering. For instance, if you are a smaller hospital in a relatively smaller and non-urban area, then at the point when they start getting serious, your prospective candidates have generally already decided this kind of environment and lifestyle is what they prefer. So you aren’t competing against New York City, but you need to find out what hospitals and communities the prospect is also serious about besides you – and from there you have to start considering where you stand. This makes things manageable. It’s about match ups, and how you fare against the 6 other employers of your prospect, and not against the world.
From this point, you need to break down the career opportunity regarding the job itself and how it relates to what the prospect wants, and then your facilities, but also your community and what it offers: recreation, entertainment, Arts, access to travel, Schools, the local economy, Real Estate prices, shopping, etc.
Design a protocol that is easy for you to replicate. Consider using Online Job Tour – our tool that gives your prospects a better onsite visit than the real trip. Seek to understand the needs and preferences in order, what are most important to your prospects. And then seek out and compare all these factors with your competitors. You may not come out ahead in all areas, but you don’t need to win the game 100-0 – you only need to win by a point.
I believe coming across to your prospects as an expert, and then helping them refine their considerations, will not only help you in discerning and comparing which candidates are most favorable, but also when you focus on trying to close your top choice you can be an advocate to helping them understand the positives of your employer and service area to their other options.
You need to know what their biggest issues are. You need to know your competitors to influence the outcome – you only need to be better than your direct competitors in these area.
2) On Believing in being great – you can accomplish almost anything with the right attitude and it starts with believing in what you represent: your employer and where you live.
Some of the teams who have pulled off upsets in this year’s championships had no business winning on paper. I am particularly fond of VCU, who many pundits screamed should never have been selected to be in the tournament, which keeps winning and recently beat top-seeded Kansas to reach the Final Four.
During the test market of Online Job Tour it was my intent to introduce it to rural hospitals in communities which are generally off of the Internet radar or overshadowed by larger cities nearby, or are misunderstood. By focusing on telling the story and history of the community and the employer, and focusing our work on the positive aspects of the community – which are far more than initially meet the eye, we started having great success marking these “Norman Rockwell” lives to the right kinds of candidates who were ultimately looking for that work and life situation. One client increased its closing percentage from 5% to 70% in one year, among many other positives. Another client in rural Kentucky, over three years, has a 100% retention rate having recruited more than 50 doctors in three years – the town has a beautiful lake, but no major department stores, hotels, or franchise businesses except for a few restaurants.
These clients out-recruited many other bigger, flashier hospitals, by using good recruiting tools and making solid offers, but it started with their sincere belief that they offered a great place to work and live.
Enthusiasm and genuine sincere excitement is infectious, and it reaches people emotionally. It doesn’t make the sale but it without question can help close it. In fact, there’s really nothing more important than believing in who you are and what you do. Just ask VCU!