Healthcare professionals have had a rough ride these past few years. What with COVID-19, staffing issues, work overload and personal safety, many nurses are exhausted physically, emotionally and mentally. So, if you are thinking about making a career change, you’re not alone. The question is, where to next?
Many healthcare workers are considering a shift to the business side. But this doesn’t necessarily mean moving into administration in a large healthcare system. With your clinical and people skills, there are other opportunities.
The staffing industry is one such opportunity. Staffing agencies need nurses to help recruit nurses. They need professionals who understand the world of nursing from both the clinical and personal side. With this experience, nurses can move with ease into roles such as recruiter, compliance, business development and account management.
What’s in it for me?
As a nurse it’s common to feel – especially over the last couple of years – a lack of power and control, a lack of an ability to make a difference. As a recruiter, however, you can make a substantial impact in someone’s life, navigating them through new work opportunities that fit their personal and career goals. As a nurse, you know where they’re coming from and can relate.
Working in the recruiting business also means very different hours from your clinical experience. Monday through Friday, normal business working hours. It’s structured work so you know what to expect yet every day can be a little different. It’s a safe working environment and doesn’t leave you physically exhausted at the end of the day.
There’s also significant earnings potential. Recruiting is structured as a salary base-plus-commission model. At the Planet Group, we work hard to train and mentor new employees so that they become successful. As a nursing professional you come in with insight and knowledge of the healthcare industry that helps you hit the ground running. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a “Wolf of Wall Street” environment! Instead, it’s a team environment, each member contributing their piece whether it’s finding candidates, placing them or working with clients.
What would I be doing?
Nurses are filling four roles in the recruiting world: recruiter, compliance, sales and account management. Here’s what these positions encompass.
- Recruiting entails finding candidates for open positions. This is much easier when the recruiter has the personal work experience to understand candidates and the clinical world.
- Compliance involves helping the candidate navigate any testing needed for regulatory purposes such as drug screening, TB, titers and bloodwork.
- Sales or business development is finding new clients and contracts.
- Account managers are responsible for the relationship with the client facility (e.g., hospital) to bring in more positions from them.
How will I apply all my skills?
While it’s true that your clinical experience will be a boon in your recruiting career, you bring other skills to the table. People skills are vital. For example, staffing professionals must establish long-term relationships with candidates. Contracts are often short-term, around 13 weeks, so developing that relationship is key to keeping good candidates in the pipeline. At Planet Healthcare, for example, our candidate retention rate is over 90%. This means that of nurses we place in contracts for the first time over 90% continue working with us. This doesn’t just happen. It’s because we devote time to candidates, preparing them for interviews, checking in while they’re in the job, and listening to what they need.
Moving to the business side of healthcare is easier than you might think. The valuable skills you’ve spent a lifetime developing are needed outside the clinical space. Recruiting could be the opportunity you’ve been looking for.
By Matt Fedor, VP of Delivery, Planet Healthcare