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Dear Recruiters, Stop Sending Me Bad Pitches

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Hey you, that recruiter there, I’m talking to you. You know, the one who called me and asked me if I wanted a job in a state I wasn’t licensed in after I told your agency 5 times to remove me from your call list. Or, that person who found me on social media, saw I was an SLP, and cold messaged me if you could help me find a job. You, yes I’m talking to you. PLEASE STOP!

If you follow this blog, you know it’s a positive space, but I have to say that I am completely fed up with the bad and spammy marketing practices in the travel healthcare industry. You can see my burn out in my responses to cold job messages. If I’m in a good mood, I’ll not respond or ask to be removed from your list. If I’m being salty, I’ll ask you for money. For example, I may ask you to help to sponsor an event that I host, e.g. my big events at The Traveler’s Conference. No, I don’t think you’ll actually work with me and no I’m not really being serious. Because WHO WOULD WORK WITH SOMEBODY OFF OF A COLD PITCH WITH NO PERSONALIZATION? NOT ME! However, I do find that people tend to leave me alone when I ask them for money, so I’ll stick with it. Since I do try to keep this blog positive, I will stop ranting and instead offer my tips to the healthcare staffing agency. This is dedicated to the marketing managers and recruiters out there Here we go….

Trends Are Changing

To be honest, I find that marketing in the travel healthcare industry is far behind the rest of the contemporary marketing world. While other industries are embracing affiliate marketing and influencer marketing, travel healthcare tends to be lagging. Many agencies require recruiters to make quotas that include a certain number of calls or contacts per week. In my opinion, this is antiquated and needs to be examined. Furthermore, if you are still looking at your job as a recruiter as being in sales, you are so wrong. You are in customer service. And yes, the travelers are the customers. We can find a job in any state in America and we have hundreds of companies competing for our business. Why should we work with you? What can you give us? It’s not just about the money, but the ease, experience, and knowledge that you bring to the table. As a recruiter – do you make my life easier or harder? What can you do to better serve your customers (travelers)?

Working With Affiliate Referrals

Affiliate marketing occurs when you receive a commision for a sale of a product. This is a huge trend online because bloggers, such as myself, can put tracking links in their blogs and track sales that come from their page. Amazon is one of the largest retailers that uses affiliate marketing. Yes, healthcare staffing agencies will give a bonus if somebody refers a candidate to them for a job, but how accurate is their system? I sadly find that a lot of companies try to hide the fact that they place people’s referrals but don’t pay out referrals. It is also hard to track referrals in general. While most companies will pay referral money from a marketing budget, some will try and guilt clinicians into thinking that if they get paid a referral it will be less money for the take home of the referral places. What incentive do people have to refer to you if you’re going to be shady about it?

My solution is to put in place tracking links embedded with cookies. Have these links available to all employees so that they can send out and have them be automatically tracked as the referral source. Also, per Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations, more disclosure needs to happen about referrals. If somebody is getting a bonus for a referral, that needs to be disclosed upfront – perhaps in the lead page on the tracking link. Instead of cold messaging me for a job I don’t care about, why not put more time and money into developing affiliate programs that help your employees market you! When somebody refers a candidate to you, there is a built-in sense of trust for the referral and knowledge about the company. Use that momentum to build a relationship and work to get the traveler placed.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is using people of influence to promote your brand or business. This has been a long-standing trend in most markets. If somebody with 100k Instagram followers posts an ad with a product, up to 100k people may see that post. Not only do they see the ad, but they have trust and confidence in the person promoting it. Why aren’t staffing agencies investing not only in themselves, but their OWN TRAVELERS. Using your travelers as brand ambassadors can help to not only increase the reach of your brand, but to build loyalty with your travelers who represent you. If you show appreciation to your travelers and bring them on as a paid brand ambassador, that could boost not only your generalized brand awareness, but traveler loyalty and referrals. Get your travelers to promote you and pay them for posts. Why is this not happening?

Have Your Marketers Be People We Can Relate To

In 2018 it seems like everybody got the memo that live videos and podcasts are a great way to reach your audience. However, the point that the staffing industry is missing is that the live has to be with somebody that is relatable to the person watching it. Having the CEO of your company talking about issues that I face as a traveler doesn’t hit home to me. Bring in a face that’s relatable to your audience. Give me somebody I can connect with. For example, a travel nursing influencer or therapist who has built a community online and whose opinion I trust. As I mentioned above, there is a world of opportunity to work with influencers.

Have Branding In-Sync With Your Audience

Along with picking the right people to represent you on social media, I really want you to consider your other branding. specifically, the word choices that you use in recruitment. Many traditional travel nursing companies are branching into working with allied divisions including therapists, techs, radiology, and laboratory. If your website and social media refer to all travelers as “traveling nurses” and you message me saying you want to place me as a nurse, I am going to disconnect from your message as a therapist. Everybody has their own . If you want to be inclusive, then change your wording to “healthcare travelers” or “traveling healthcare professionals If you want to connect with a broader audience, then your branding has to reflect that. Of course, if you want to stay niche and only work with nurses or only work with therapists, then you can keep your branding specific.

Utilize Lead Magnets And Email Marketing

If you’re going to pitch me a job, at least have it be in a professional space, such as my email or LinkedIn. Very few agencies have decent lead magnets on their websites. Why not put an awesome lead magnet on your site that is something completely valuable to healthcare travelers, like a free course or guide to healthcare travel. Then, collect people’s emails and put them on your list to market your agency and jobs. You can create a funnel out of people interested in your site. Again, to comply with FTC regulations, make sure that the lead has the option to unsubscribe to emails.

Use Marketing Strategies For Travelers That You Would Use For Clients

If you want to impress a client of yours, what would you do? Send somebody to their office to take them out to lunch? To golf? Send them a gift basket at the holidays? Human interaction and real communication are a great way to make a sale. Why not do the same with travelers? Every year, we have major conferences not just for travelers, but for our respective disciplines across the country. Whether it’s at a conference or an event hosted by you, get out there and meet us, dine us, treat us like somebody whose respect you want to earn. Tell us you appreciate us and want our business. EARN OUR BUSINESS. Treat us with respect and like a client that you want to have a long-term professional relationship with. One of the contributing factors to me working for CoreMedical Group for almost 9 years is that I have bonded with their staff from top to bottom of the agency. I have earned their loyalty bonus trip to the Caribbean seven times. In those trips I have gotten to know everybody who works for the agency. When I’m at TravCon, they throw appreciation parties for their travelers. I constantly connect with them and feel appreciated. I’m not saying you have to throw a trip to the Caribbean to earn staff, but think of something. Send your recruiters on trips to meet their travelers in person and take them to dinner. Pay for your travelers to come to a company holiday party. Make them feel special and appreciated. Build brand loyalty that in turn builds referrals.

You Have To Spend Money To Make Money

Every now and then I come across recruiters online who say that they have to find leads on social media because their company doesn’t have a marketing budget. Excuse me? You’re company doesn’t pay for marketing? Advertising is what makes your business. Not paying for advertising doesn’t make any sense. Marketing is dynamic. It definitely does not have to be the traditional buying leads to cold call, which is what I’m trying to prove in this piece. Whether it’s a solid referral program, bringing on influencers, doing in-person events, conferences, Indeed, Facebook/Google ads, there are very valuable ways to spend marketing money to make more money. That is what brings you business. Having business and job candidates is what can help you to score better clients. If small business owners like myself can pay for Google ads and booths at conferences, I think you can put some funds aside for that as well. Yes, you can do a lot with word-of-mouth, no doubt. However, is that truly your strategy to compete against staffing giants and other well-established mid- and small-sized firms?

Cut The Bullshit

There are endless resources available online and stiff competition in the staffing industry. There’s no room for lies or bullshit. Give us your best offers, don’t bait and switch, and don’t lie. Remember what I said earlier, treat your job like customer service, not sales.

Last But Not Least, Stop Sending Me Bad Pitches

Please don’t text me, send me Facebook friend requests, or unsolicited direct or private messages online. I’m not on Instagram to find my next travel contract. Plus, take a minute to think, if you are messaging me, how many other messages do you think I’m getting in a day? Anybody who does social media marketing professionally can tell you NEVER PITCH SOMEBODY ON FIRST MESSAGE. If you have a dream client or brand that you want to work with, you HAVE TO BUILD RAPPORT before you pitch them. If you are going to try to sell me a job on Instagram, at least let me know you are there. Comment on my photos, like my stuff. If we are in mutual traveler/recruiters group on Facebook, engage in the actual conversation and don’t just try to sell a job. Say something meaningful. If I don’t know you and you private message me about a job, why would I enter into a conversation with you? If I have some sense of who you are, I would be way more likely to engage.

Best Regards, 

Julia

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