Angela: Hi everyone and welcome to our webinar The 4 Secrets to Developing a Holistic Healthcare Recruiting Strategy. My name is Angela Lee and I'm on the marketing team here at Jobvite. As background Jobvite enabled leading companies to recruit source and on board all within a single platform. With over 10 years of experience focused solely on recruitment in a recruiting strategy that emphasizes putting candidates at the center of recruiting Jobvite has helped companies fill over 1 million jobs to date. Now onto the webinar first you'll notice that all lines have been muted to avoid background noise. However we would still love to have your questions so if you want to use the chat box at the bottom of the ready top panel we'll be monitoring it throughout the presentation and saving your questions until the end.
Additionally all attendees will receive shortened credits by attending this webinar we will be sending out the code for this at the end of the session as well. Now I'd like to introduce our speaker of Blaine Odenweller, Blaine is the recruiting manager at Health Carousel and his duties consists of interviewing developing and overseeing a team of healthcare recruiters and more specifically travel nurse recruiters. Blaine graduated from Miami University and began his career in management training with Cintas before transitioning to sales for scripts media WCPO TV in Cincinnati after joining Health Carousel in 2012 he led the team as the top recruiter for over 5 years.
During this time he was actively involved in representing Health Carousel at annual conferences and was instrumental in the development and implementation of Health Carousel’s training program for new hires. In his role as manager Blaine makes it a point to be quick to answer and educate and assist his team of recruiters and holds himself to the same standards and expectations that he has for his employees. In his spare time Blaine enjoys hiking camping and is also an avid golfer but his true passionate interest is in his work and building up each and every recruiter or nurse he comes in contact with. So with that I will turn it over to Blaine.
Blaine: Good afternoon everybody I'm very very glad that you've joined me today. I love talking about this industry staffing specifically and I have a real passion for the people that I hire and the amount of time and effort and work that we put into developing them over time. So I'm going to talk first and foremost give you a little bit of introduction into who Health Carousel is and why we exist and what we do. Myself being a recruiting manager here for Health Carousel my division specifically focuses on staffing domestic travel nurses and short-term assignments all across the United States.
Those assignments can last anywhere from 4 to 13 weeks so if there's any other contract staffers out there you know my struggles and my pains but Health Carousel overall has been around for coming up on 15 years at this point and during that time Health Carousel has evolved into being one of the leading healthcare staffing organizations in the country as evidenced and the number of awards we won over the years. The big focus for Health Carousel is offering a a total solution package for all of our clients that we staff for more specifically in addition to offering domestic staffing solutions we also offer international staffing solutions that bringing candidates over from overseas to in the United States to work as contract employees for years at a time as well as some domestic staffing for physicians in addition to nurses, physical, therapists, occupational therapists along that same line.So we really focus on giving as much assistance as we can to our clients and naturally that positions us in a place where we can have a little bit of an advantage in an edge over some of our competition.
So that's Health Carousel's main focus but next slide what are what we really do is we focus so much of our time and attention on improving the lives of the patients across the country our slogan or our mission statement as as a company is to improve lives and make health care work better and we say that specifically for a reason when we say make healthcare work better we also mean the system of healthcare overall but also the process of healthcare work those employees that are taking care of patients day to day we want to make their lives and their experience as employees better and you'll notice or if you haven't noticed this already there's always a shortage of qualified health care professionals all across the U.S.
Healthcare Staffing and Workforce Solutions supply nurses and doctors where they're needed most to improve patient outcomes and in healthcare so our employees come to work each day knowing they're making a positive contribution to the world beyond just earning a paycheck. All of us over here really feel a commitment to the bigger picture if your organization that hasn't defined your higher purpose I would definitely recommend focusing in on that for the longevity of your business the important thing to remember is that you must also that goal must also be very very true and you must live it through examples or exercise it now as much as you possibly can. On our next slide I want to show you a little bit more of kind of how we positioned ourselves to maximize our reach and really again I hone in on the fact that we focus on how we can provide as much service and as much continuity for our clients as possible.
So under the Health Carousel brand we have a number of different service lines and if you focus in on the center one HCTN this has really been the driving force of our last 12 months of initiative and that's aligning the different brands that we have either begun ourselves or acquired over the years under one umbrella to provide a multitude of recruiting services to any clients that sign up with HCTN along the same service lines we have passport USA this is our international service line this is the one that brings candidates over from across overseas and that includes places like the Philippines our big jumping point for us as well as India and Africa, is our physician and advanced practice placement company and they focus on obviously you know short term usually anywhere from six to eight months at a time for physicians and PC’s and OC’s but overall I mean these all of these service lines offer both short-term and long-term staffing solutions for all of our clients which is why we kind of focused in on this idea of holistic as well as both in our services that we provide but also and how we approach our recruitment focus overall.
So as you look at your structure of your organization you need to definitely ask yourself if you see an opportunity to simplify your process is similar to what we did with HCTN instead of our clients seeing three different brands coming at them from from three different companies we align them all so that the client themselves only saw one entity that they were working with being HCTN and from there it trickles out to our individual business units to provide services or to find candidates for them as we can.
So that's our introduction to who we are in our structure over here and next want to turn our attention to what our talent acquisition philosophy is if you'll hop to the next slide and really when I say our talent acquisition philosophy this permeates both our our corporate staffing so the people that we hire on to be our recruiters but also to the effort and the approach that we have our recruiters take when they're doing outreach to find candidates to staff and hospitals across the country.
So for our internal talent acquisition philosophy it's really we want to find the best people and train them the best way we possibly can we believe that it doesn't we are going to be able to find the right people assignments unless we find the right people to be able to have those conversations and communicate with those people and help solve the problems that they bring to them.
So that's really our main focus for our talent acquisition and that's find the right people trained the right people and those people in turn will help bring the right nurses doctors physical therapists to us and to our clients. So on the next slide there are really three things that I kind of wanted to hone in on for our internal staffing in our internal recruitment and Jobvite's been very very instrumental in helping us out through this process we are very very thorough in our interview and and shadowing process prior to hire we really want to do our best to paint a picture of what this position is really like and in doing that we do our absolute best to make sure we're only interviewing and hiring the best of the best and when I say that I don't necessarily mean we want the people with the highest pedigree or the most experience but we want the people who have a mutual buy-in a mutual commitment to do what we what we dedicated our lives to doing over here which is helping to make healthcare work better.
So we really push ourselves to interview the best candidates and we use Jobvite as a excellent tool to make sure that all the different stakeholders involved in the hiring process are very in tune with what other people are saying about their experience with that candidate we always make sure that all of our candidates have an introduction to at least two of our managers here at Health Carousel as well as at least three of our recruiters the people doing the job day-to-day.
We have them sit with them foreshadows to make sure that they understand exactly what the positions going to be like give them an opportunity to ask the recruiters real questions about their day-to-day and then finish back with our managers in a formal interview process in which we share information not just between managers but we have our recruiters who are sitting with these candidates shared their experiences on what they felt these people if they ask good questions or if they felt like maybe they had the right mentality going into it or if they were just paying attention to making sure that they were engaged during that process and that's really why we do what we do is we want to make sure that those candidates are engaged throughout the entire process.
We've seen over time plenty of trial and error situations where we brought people in without that mutual buy-in and it ended up not working out in the way that we had hoped it had. So that's really one of the biggest things that we focus on beyond that our training is ongoing and our learning curve is steep many of you know with recruitment you're teaching to jobs and certainly to someone that's new to recruitment in general it's learning the job of recruitment but also the profession for which they're recruiting and that's the biggest steep curve that we face on a regular basis is the recruitment aspect of it is the first job that we teach them but concurrently we're also teaching them how to have discussions with healthcare professionals on things that they study for years to learn but recruiters need to be able to learn in a short period of time to be able to communicate with them effectively so we spend a lot of time continuing our training we've invested money in training spaces to be able to accommodate our entire staff when we have material that's worth teaching but that's our biggest thing is we want to always make sure we took the time to bring these people in to hire them on board we don't stop there we continue that training ongoing throughout their entire experience here at Health Carousel.
Then our last as we make significant investments in people and when I say that I mean we we do not hold back in terms of providing them with the best technology we do not hold back and providing them as much time as we possibly can from our managers we even go so far as you'll learn in a little while as to establish some systems around them to make sure that they have access to resources that they'll need to be able to perform their job effectively and that's really kind of where our main focus lies is in hiring the right people and making sure we continue to train them on going and then we make significant investments in those people so that they know that their time the efforts that they're putting in are being backed by a company that cares.
So our next slide our recruiting initiatives for 2018 really have been to keep the candidates at the center of the hiring process and engage throughout that entire hiring process as I had mentioned we do that through a series of shadows a series of interviews I always like to reference my experience being hired on to Health Carousel it dates back to even when I started close to seven years ago with the company and back then I think I shadowed for the position at least three or four times before I signed a letter of commitment to work for the company and I spent that time doing that because I understood I needed to actually know what I'm getting myself into and it gave me an opportunity to receive feedback and to actually see the job taking place.
And that's something that we offer to all of our candidates who want them to feel like you they know what their job is going to be before they walk in the door on day one and then of course focus on empowering our recruiters and we do that through giving them updates on key nursing trends on a regular basis we found that all of our recruiters feel more engaged when they're constantly being updated on new topics new adjustments to our market things that are going on instead of having to seek this information out themselves we gather that info and present it to them we have trainings on a weekly basis on new initiatives or new tips and you know tricks of the trade things that they can learn and just their recruitment efforts to be more successful in the long run so we view our and recruiting initiatives not just as a one-time hire but as a continual experience throughout their entire employment here at Health Carousel.
So next slide we centered more specifically on four key steps that we found to be able to really outline how we're able to get our recruiters up to speed and successful as quickly as we possibly can and we view that as more of a holistic approach and we view it that way because it's not something that has just done once or done for one individual and then moved past everyone in our organization is involved and interconnected and everything that we do and you'll learn more about that as I talk about our support systems and what those will be but we'll talk about how we educate our recruiters our branding and social media strategy establishing our strong support systems and establishing a clear documentation process and then throughout that whole process whether it's for our internal candidates or for our nurses we always make a point to keep them at the center of our process and as engaged as we possibly can we understand that each touch point with an employee or what their potential recruit will be impactful so we want them to know at that time that they are the only focus during those interactions.
So our next slide obviously this is our header here A Holistic Approach to Recruiting at Health Carousel and like I said we we mentioned holistic because each and every department and each and every person working within our company is working interconnectedly to make health care work better which is our ultimate goal. So step one educating our recruiters and you'll see here in this photo we have very large training room in which we're able to house our 50-plus recruiters here in our office as well as additional size training rooms in each of our other branch offices we do this specifically because we want the recruiters a to have a place to come and learn together but also to have an opportunity to sit down together and to share thoughts and have discussion points and the only way that we see best fit to do that is to get everybody together at one time to where they're going to have an opportunity to ask questions and have recruiters or recruiting managers or trainers for that matter answer those questions in a setting that will allow everyone to hear what those answers are what that best solution might be.
But we begin with a baseline knowledge of Nursing and specialties when we start program and that's really where it starts with us is that in addition to teaching them how to go about prospecting the different ways that we have available to them so whether that's database calling or social media outreach email outreach text outreach whatever those things might be beyond that we really focus in on learning the position for which you're recruiting people and we do that through a combination of classroom sessions usually led by our learning development team or by one of our recruiting managers we have labs so as they learn our computer system we let them sit down with computers and learn the system on the go as they're working through it themselves.
We've developed what we call Health Carousel University which is a series of videos and webinars similar to this giving information on the profession for which they're hiring as well as company policies the idea behind this is that they will find time within their day to complete these videos and then beyond that most of their learning is done on the go or through role plays or discussions in which we have and role plays are a big center to what we do for the most part our role plays take the place of our weekly training sessions in some cases to learn situational topics and be able to discuss those with recruiting managers who have likely gone through those situations in the past or who may be able to put them in touch with somebody who has.. so a lot of our role plays centered around that.
We also leverage an in-house L&D team which is basically our Learning and Development team and we've collected those individuals from throughout the company based on experience expertise and their ability to train and lead others. We use that L&D team in cooperation with manager input to be able to implement some of the adjustments that we've identified that recruiters need to make while our managers may not have enough time in their day to spend with each individual recruiter addressing these issues we have learning development coordinators that are available to take those instructions from the managers and be able to implement them with the recruiters.
Beyond that we have our monthly informational sessions on client facilities so we'll usually get the recruitment teams together with our account managers once a month to share updates on each of our clients to be able to provide them with what may be new requirements for that one maybe new opportunities coming available to us or I need to be able to perform for a particular client in order to maintain or to improve a contract arrangements that we have.
So we take we take the time to make sure the recruiters are aware of not just what they need to know further for recruiting nurses but also the information that they need to know on the business side of things so that they see what we need to do to maintain our status with our clients or to improve that status. And then we use business analytics for analyzing daily performance and I say daily performance because we view at least recruitment within the healthcare field as something that if you lose a day you lose a week and unfortunately it comes down to that for a lot of recruiters so by measuring our performance using metrics on a daily basis we're able to analyze and see if there's a recruiter that's becoming disengaged or if there’s a recruiter that maybe is struggling and converting their you know new discussion candidates over to submittals we try to identify when those trends are happening on a daily basis and a weekly basis and then assign them with lessons through our learning and development team to help to correct those things and to try to work to improve their their ratio of what they're able to convert from one field to another and that's really kind of where we focus in on as managers is helping to interpret the data based on daily and weekly performance to identify where training needs to take place and then being involved in that training if it's required.
But that's the biggest thing that we focus on is educating our recruiters not just on how to recruit but the profession for which you're going to be hiring individuals it's really hard to gain trust and respect and buy-in from a candidate if you don't speak on a high level about the things in which they are going to be dealing with on a daily and weekly basis and for us being contract employees those change every 13 weeks so the recruiters need to be able to effectively communicate the information from our clients to those nurses and to be able to do in a way that it doesn't sound like it's their first day on the job each time they have those discussions.
Our step two that we focus on is our branding and social media and this is not exactly my wheelhouse but I have the folks from branding and social media come together with me to give me a good understanding of what it is that they focus on and why they focus on the things that they do and it was really a strategic decision for the corporation or for the company to invest in a strategic marketing department for both branding and social media initiatives and that means we have one in-house marketing team that manages our brands for all of our company and set all of our individual business unit lines but we know we'd be looking at completely different audiences with those different service line.
So the biggest thing that we wanted to identify was it or to realize that you don't attract a locum tenens doctor the same way that you would attract an international nurse or the same way that you would attract a domestic nurse for that matter. So in realizing this we really honed in on the realization that we need to identify what our differentiator was because if we don't know why the candidate is going to pick us we can't necessarily expect them to want to do that so we viewed it as and as you'll see an examples here across moving left to right our next travel nursing brand really focused in on having a good connection with your recruiter both on a professional and a personal level and they did that through the use of bitmojis they extended that out beyond just what we're doing internally but also when we have an engagement with a nurse or a physician or sorry a nurse or a medical technologist or a lab professional.
We take the time to identify who they are if we are able to find photos of them we'll create a personalized bitmoji our first introduction to who we are and give them a little bit of a feeling of feeling connected to us right out of the gate and then of course that extends beyond once they begin working with their recruiters but it's that first introduction to that brand line really kind of gets that home feel for tailored healthcare it's more along the lines of the nurses do everything so we want our recruiters to be that resource that will handle everything else almost as if you're a sidekick or an Alfred back at the lair taking care of things while Batman is out saving the day. We really kind of honed in on that we've owned that as our brand super nurse is really the big thing that we push out to the market we seem to get a lot of good response because the nurses realize that it takes a lot to be a travel nurse and really in a lot of cases they are viewed as superheroes in the situations in which they walk into.
Medical staffing options there's is very localized so we focus more on the map and the idea of where you want to be will find you jobs next lo next locums we focused on a concierge service we knew we are reaching higher level clients so we wanted to reach them with a concierge service in mind which is why the bell is in a lot of their marketing images and then passport USA the big thing here is focusing on you're going to have an opportunity to come to the United States and work in the United States and earn a wage in the United States so we focus a lot of that around getting your I guess having a way to circumvent the passport requirement to be able to come in through visa sponsorship through a third-party company.
So that was really our big focal point with what's our differentiator why would people want to come work with us and then once we've known what it is then it's a matter of just continuing and be consistent with the message that we bring the market and that's really been a big differentiating factor for healthcare cells we've identified who we are and then we've really pushed the market this is who we want to be this is why you should come work for us.
Next slide step three is establishing the strong support system and I'm going to spend a little more time on this one than some of the others and more specifically because I think this has been the most influential portion of building out our company and to the way that we have over the last few years.
When I say building a strong support system I mean both internally and externally we identified restriction time right out of the gate through daily journals as well as focus groups with a lot of our recruiters to figure out what are the things that are slowing them down what are the things that are keeping them away from finding more people and bringing more candidates through the pipeline and we did this in an effort to be able to take some of those tasks away from them anything that's not specifically feeding into their ability to recruit individuals we wanted to take off of their plate altogether and that's a big thing too a big task to take on as a company because there's always going to be more that a salesperson or a recruiter wants to take off of their plate to pass on to someone else so we really honed in on what are the biggest things that take time away from the recruiters that also impact our travelers or our employees in the field the candidates which we're recruiting and in doing that we identified some big key factors that help people decide what companies they choose to work with in doing that we we try to monitor forums as well as have discussions with our current clients to see what are the biggest pain points or the hot-button issues that that people really want to have addressed in our industry and travel nursing specifically a lot of those issues that came up were things like the credentialing process can be difficult without a good helping hand throughout the process the timekeeping process and making sure ours were reported and paid correctly was a big nightmare for a lot of our travel employees out in the field.
Being able to figure out how they're going to get to where they're going and where they're going to stay when they get there another giant pain point for our staff out in the field and then of course clinical support most of our recruiters are not nurses have no medical background so when an urgent situation arises they want to feel like they have some support someone who knows what they're talking about when they try to bring up these issues address them with our clients if we need to.
And then of course laughs was learning a development most of our recruiters identified we didn't feel like we don't have enough time to go learn about what's taking place in our market. So in figuring these things out we really just decided these are the biggest points that we want to focus on in making corrections to our current processes but in doing that we didn't want to take time or effort away from shoring up our essential resources our marketing team our payroll team our IT these were all things that we wanted to ensure that we had down we consider these the blocking and tackling of our industry which is if we can't get these things right we're probably going to lose every game. So we really truly honed in on making sure that the basis of our business our marketing our payroll and our IT were all set in place to where we felt comfortable before we move forward with expanding out and then from there we started with finding strong
leadership for each of the departments that we were hoping to spin-off and and be able to provide extra services for and I listed down below credentialing employee support travel and housing clinical support learning development as we went through our expansion process to be able to build out these support services for our internal and external employees we really focused on finding the right leader for each of these departments to begin with. Naturally once we found the right person to lead that department a lot of times they were a one-man department for a period of time until we had enough business or enough service available to be able to expand that department out it's not to be expected that that department is going to be a ten to fifteen person department right out of the gate but we know that over time as we expand it as we grow those departments are going to grow along with it and really those have been the areas like I'd mentioned the credentialing process being one of the bigger pain points employee support these are our employees internally that make sure that hours are report correctly that people are paid on time but really all of this decision-making to get this process in place was all centered around how do we help make our recruiters more productive how do we free up more time for our recruiter and that was really what we found to be the most influential portion of our growth is the fact that we freed up more of our recruiters time to find more candidates to make more placements to provide more revenue and more gross profit to be able to grow as a company over time and individually the recruiters have all developed much quicker because of that because they have the opportunity and the time to devote and people available to them as resources to assist them through that whole process.
Next slide so our step for Establishing a Clear Documentation Process. This is all about IT guys I mean really when it comes down to it you have to have a strong documentation system otherwise you're going to drop things along the way. So really we took some time over the years that I've been with healthcare so I've seen us in a number of different CRM systems or relationship management systems but we made a strong decision about three years ago to really invest in Microsoft Dynamics or what we call Merlin because we were able to take the time to develop our own system outside of what is normally available through Microsoft Dynamics based on what we know to be our business practices so we really found a technology that would help work with the systems and the processes that we have in place and then we committed to it we spent time and resources to make sure that it fit with what we wanted to do.
We utilize in-house developers as well as contract employees to customize it to our business and business needs and all along that entire process our senior leadership had a very clear expectation and clear vision on what we wanted to do with that system.
But what they didn't do was just outline it and say this is what we're going to do everyone be prepared for it they took the time to meet with key stakeholders from each departments as well as from our recruitment staff to make sure that we were implementing and developing things that would help make their jobs easier. We always use a particular line over here so what's in it for me line most recruiters have heard this before but we really kind of take that mindset into into consideration as we talk to each of the different divisions or each of the different departments because we want to have that buy-in from each of those people and the only way you do that is by finding a way that this particular change or this particular update will make their life and their job easier.
So we did that primarily through test environments so we would set up essentially an opportunity for us to work in what we call the sandbox to be able to to try out some new and different things we brought in focus groups to practice and try out different things a lot of trial and error we like to believe we are a company of constant change and that's going to be a consistent thing in staffing you have to be ready and willing to make changes when the need is there and we've identified that and we make that a part of our culture is the realization that not everything will stay the same and if it does it's a problem we want to be changing at all times so we found that if we gather information from our key stakeholders get their input and develop the systems to be able to solve problems for them then it made that adoption a whole lot easier when it came time to roll out the final form of that.
But the big focus in switching over to Microsoft Dynamics and Merlin specifically for us was that it allowed for one place where everyone can access the information that they need we found that over time too often the left hand didn't know what the right hand was doing and because of it it was causing us extra work or it was causing us issues with our clients either our placements or the clients that we're billing and working for.
So really we wanted to make it so that everyone knew exactly where to go to for all the information they might need whether it was our payroll team they knew where to find the billing information if it was our compliance team they knew the recruiters uploaded the documents into a place where they would be able to find them each time if it was our travel and housing team they knew exactly where to that person's a permanent address as well as that person's location for their next assignment.
To be able to pull that information allows us a for everyone to have as much information as they possibly can but also to allow us to put our best foot forward and our best face forward to our clients because if we don't know all of the details when we go to address something with a client or with the placements or with the recruit that we're working on a lot of times it will end up shooting any sort of credibility that we may have had.
So we allow that to happen both for all of our internal departments but also for the recruiters to be able to identify and track the leads as they're being followed up with we have very very strict call requirements for our recruiters or outreach requirements for our recruiters to where not many leads in our systems system will go any more than seven to ten days without being contacted at least once and with all of that outreach happening so often being able to identify when that last contact happens when the last message happened what did addressed in the last message and who might have left it will give the recruiters a reference point to be able to say someone from our company called you last week about a position for such-and-such location and then just being able to reference the fact that we have good records usually it allows for extra buy-in from the candidates that we're trying to reach knowing that we have our stuff together that we know what's going on at all times and that we're not just blindly calling into our database trying to find people that may or may not be interested.
So that was really a big focus for us was establishing that clear documentation process so that everybody knew exactly where to look but also so the recruiters knew that any information they needed to have access to whether it's the person's home state of license what their interests are what their specialty might be they always have that information at their fingertips so that they don't have to spend time researching in order to be able to contact our candidates.
So summing it all up and boy is it a lot to sum up so what we learned and really our biggest thing and this is what we learned is that spending time teaching and learning is probably the most important thing that we can do for our recruiters to make them as successful as possible. I always say if you don't know what you're talking about why would they want to work with you and really that's what it kind of comes down to is you have to be knowledgeable on the topic of which you're recruiting individuals for otherwise they're going to find another recruiter another company that knows more or is more helpful and I even encourage people to go beyond just the basic knowledge the same things everybody else is learning but extend it out and think about the things the problems that they may incur or experience throughout their entire cycle of their recruitment process and be able to anticipate that and provide them solutions before those problems arise so whether that and I even take it to a further extent and say you're away from home you're a travel employee you're spending money on restaurant food and travel expenses on a regular basis and this is just one example but find a credit card that rewards you for all of that money that you're spending that way you can eventually take a vacation for free at one point in time.
These are things that normal recruiters wouldn't normally jump to thinking of but if you can provide them extra value either through your own knowledge or being able to anticipate what a problem might be it will help set you apart from anybody else.df We really focus on reviewing successes and challenges daily and that was really a big focus for us and my moving too management from recruitment this was one of the things that I really focused on was I knew that the only way to learn is by experience in these things so a lot of it is finding out what someone learned from each of those experiences providing some additional input some ability availability to practice with someone other than a potential clients and then finding ways to help them improve their processes not just what they're saying and doing but also how they're going about tracking people how they're going about planning their day or their week so that's a really big focus for us as making sure we spend time to review that with them daily or if it's not daily at least weekly and then acknowledging the successes that they're having as well and and making sure that we extrapolate on the things that have worked for them from that point.
The big thing from my marketing team identify your differentiator and this will be the same for a recruiter as well if you can' people why you're a better choice than somebody else then you're probably never going to win that business so being able to identify what makes you different and then being able to communicate it in a way that is very clear to your clients is going to be a big factor in deciding how successful you're going to be in your recruitment efforts if you can't tell them 100 percent that you believe you're the best solution for whatever their problem may be then perhaps they need to go somewhere else and nobody wants that so you need to find a way that the services and the solutions that you can provide will solve the problems that they bring to you and the only way to do that is to know how you're different.
We obviously segment roles and functions to allow our optimum customer service and that's really building out our support system making sure that everybody has a key focus on what it is that they have an opportunity to impact that particular candidate with throughout the process so you know if that means making sure that when you call to verify their hours that you are the most bubbly person and as friendly as possible we want to make sure that that happens so we also put our people through customer service training in addition to the training for the departments or the function in which they're going to be practicing.
And then last and this was really extends beyond IT but invest your time and resources into proper applicant tracking because knowledge is power and I really truly mean that if you cannot track and be able to reference back to when your last contact attempt was or your last conversation was it's going to be very very hard to be able to build a consistent recruitment strategy you need to be able to know who you talk to when you talk to them what you talked about to be able to reference back and to identify who are the good candidates and who are the candidates that are not the greatest for you.
So proper tracking will definitely allow more robust search capabilities within your system in addition to allow the recruiters to be able to you know to be able to reference the information they need to to be successful. Our next slide so our focus for 2018 and beyond really our focus for the next year going forward has really been centered around building a community of employees we reference back to our branding and social media strategy I didn't get a opportunity to talk a lot about the social media strategy at that point but really that's been our focus from this point going into 2019 is that we want to build a community of our employees ad that means connecting our various travel employees all across the country into one community where they all feel some while they're all individually in different locations across the country we want them to feel like they're a part of our community and we did that by establishing our Daisy Awards so now without each of our divisions we send out our our clinical support team to location for at least one person in each business unit per quarter and present a Daisy Award and if any of you aren't familiar with the Daisy Award in healthcare but it is a prestigious award that's normally only offered to staff employees so we really made it a point to try to offer that to contract employees as a way to make them feel as though they're a part of a community and that their work is being appreciated.
And then even internally here within the company we really make it a point to build a community of employees by doing a lot of engagement and outreach beyond just our 8:00 to 5:00 work day we try to incorporate morning or evening yoga sessions we have regular happy hours we have sports teams that we sponsor to make sure that everybody feels like it's not just a place to work but it's a part of your life we are really averse to the idea that or the concept of work-life balance we like to believe it's work-life integration that what you do outside of work very much influences how your day goes at work and the same vice versa so we really try to make it a point to push building a community of employees both with our internal staff as well as for our contract employees out in the field and we do that for internal employees not just through obviously the fun things to do but also through their individualized training and development both the L&D team our managers other recruiters within their same department or division everyone gets together on a consistent basis to be able to have discussions about the things that are going on in our industry the things that they're struggling with and to be able to figure out best practices and be able to go from there and then we have shared celebrations naturally it's a big thing anytime someone it's a milestone or as a group we hit a milestone we do a good job of making sure we take the time to celebrate those wins because recruitment is a tough job takes a lot of time we always say four out of five days are going to be bad and you're hunting for one good day and we are always looking for the opportunity to celebrate those one good days when they happen.
And then for our contract employees like I'd mentioned we had our Daisy Award but also we have our brand ambassador program which is a new roll out we just rolled it out a couple weeks ago and really we want to give nurses and our contract employees an opportunity to to endorse the brand which they've chosen to work for in a way that we're providing them with the resources to do that so when instead of having to look for opportunities to review our recruiters or our company we have someone here internally that sends them conversations through social media that they can hop in on and provide a kudos or shout out to their recruiter or company to be able to to assist us in expanding our brand just beyond the people that we engage with through direct recruitment efforts.
So those are really the big things that we kind of focus on for this year and going into next year knowing that we really want to make it a point to build a bigger community of people so everyone feels like they have something they're a part of because we really truly feel that you know if you're a part of something and you feel apart of a community that it makes your work much more memorable and much more appealing.
So that's all I have for the for the discussion today I mean this is our focus as we look at it from the Health Carousel point of view I'm happy to take any questions that anybody has I know there's a lot of info you didn't get a much of an introduction to our healthcare recruitment strategy in terms of nursing requirements and information so if you have any questions fire them at me now I'm happy to answer anything I can.
Angela: Great thanks Blaine and I encourage everyone to please chat in any questions you have to Blaine in the Q&A chat box at the bottom of your screen we have a couple questions to start off with Blaine the first question I have here is around aligning stakeholders I know you
mentioned that in your presentation is it's crucial to make sure that all stakeholders are aligned so the question is how do you go about actually aligning these stakeholders.
Blaine: So our biggest focus I mean it we found that in time if every decision and discussion that we have is only done at a high level that normally that adoption is not really taken over as well or accepted as well so our biggest focus in aligning our stakeholders is making sure a that everybody knows how the decision or what we're going to be doing is going to affect the.
I mean I really mean that when I say the what's in it for me mentality while we like to believe everyone is concerned about everyone else in all reality they all want to know how is this going to affect me and how is it going to affect my department so we spend a lot of time discussing
pulling together focus groups not just the leaders of those departments but individuals that work in the service roles to be able to share what their biggest struggles are to be able to share information on how they feel this change might impact them and then our senior leadership does a really good job of making sure that they take that feedback into consideration and adjust our approach accordingly.
Normally we found that as long as we do slow rollouts so an idea presented at first to get the buy-in from our individual department heads will help us align on what the goals we want to achieve are and then once we've figured out what those goals are then we include others in the focus groups to be able to discuss these are the goals that we want to achieve these are the things that we're thinking we want to do to achieve those goals how do you feel this is going to impact you do you think it's going to be an advancement and then being open to change I mean making sure that everyone knows that we're willing to adjust our strategy I think all too often we found in early years we found that if we became too beholden to one idea that and forced it through solely because we had made that commitment to getting that solution solved or that solution in place we found that it wasn't necessarily always the best use of our time because we wound up just fixing those problems outside of you know once that implementations already gone in place.
So really our focus has always been on making sure a that we're getting everyone's input but more so making sure they all know that if what we're rolling out doesn't work for their particular department or doesn't help to align with what their tasks or their goals are that we can make an adjustment as needed to be able to accommodate as much as we possibly can with the overall goal in mind which is normally discussed and agreed upon by our senior leaders.
Angela: The next question I have here is you talked a lot about the different steps to build the holistic recruiting strategy. But how do I get actually get started with this strategy at my own company?
Blaine: I would say the first step is going to obviously be making sure that you educate your people I really listed them out in terms of steps because I truly believe that's where your focus needs to start with it's no good to have a great documentation system if your recruiters can't speak to this to the topics and the specialties and the areas that they're trying to recruit for and the same for support systems are no good if you don't have enough people coming through the doors.
So it all starts with recruitment and making sure that you invest as much time as you we can and educating recruiters and that goes beyond just talking with them that means researching sources of information giving them access to forums encouraging them to spend time outside of their workday to learn things that they may need to learn but a lot of that's done through just trial and error and experiencing it on the go. I would say to start off with though building that baseline of education and understanding that you can't hand someone a phone and expect them to be able to recruit professionals right out of the gate that they need to know what they're talking about ahead of time I mean we have a very clear expectation early on that your first three weeks on the job two to three weeks on the job are spent learning and then really from that point forward then we start to ease them into phone calls and discussions with individuals and until usually about the three to six month mark they're not usually knowledgeable enough to have a vast impact on their roller on the company so we continue that training throughout that whole first three-month process to make sure that once they hit month three there as geared up and ready to go as they possibly can be and then once we've got our recruiters in place and we feel confident then we push branding in social media in order to drive as many people towards them as we possibly can knowing that our recruiters will do a better job of closing the deal when the time comes.
Angela: Okay thank you and the next question we have is around Next Locum the question is you know if Next Locums service offers dentists and/or oral surgeons?
Blaine: I don't believe they do at this time I think they're our sole focuses acute care hospital settings or I believe they do some outpatient settings but most of those it's not a high-volume business by any means like when I look at our you know nursing field were you know signing probably close to 30 or 40 contracts a week when you look at you know the Next Locums or the process for bringing on a an employee or a doctor is a much longer process so because of that they end up focusing a lot of their more time and attention on acute care settings where there turn is available to them.
Angela: Great and we have one question here on what tools or sites you use to stay up-to-date on trends?
Blaine: Talking specifically about travel nursing we do a lot of our focus on I mean staffing industry analyst provides us with a lot of information regarding some of our largest competitors some trends that are taking place in the industry staffing industry analyst has always been a good resource for me they continuously post news articles and tips and tricks that I always make it a point to read up on but in our industry specifically a lot of the value is taken from forums and from the difference I guess it would be engagement sites that have popped up over the years so these are groups like Travel Nursing Central, Highway Hypodermics, Blue Pipes all of these sites are centered or geared a lot towards the candidates that we're trying to recruit and how to coaching them up on the industry overall but we found that usually the best way to educate our recruiters to is to educate them on the viewpoint of the candidate which they're recruiting so the best way we found to do that is to give them access to the same things that the nurses themselves are reading up on in order to be able to negotiate better to align with the right companies and then of course making sure we are hitting on the topics that are going to end up coming up in conversation and we monitor that through as many forums as we possibly can.
Angela: And the next question we have here is onis Merlin a CRM or recruiting management platform that links all your main processes you use? Please explain for of how it helps you.
Blaine: Yep so Merlin is our version of CRM Dynamics which CRM Dynamics is an excellent tool but not it wasn't necessarily built for our industry travel nursing specifically so we've kind of adapted CRM Dynamics to fit our business processes as much as possible so when a lead comes into our system either a paid lead or an organic lead that information is entered into our system our recruiters have access to at least their contact information and some baseline info on where they are from and what their interests are and then beyond that it then takes it through a step by step process in collecting documentation and uploading into the system once that info has been uploaded into our system then the recruiters have the ability to share that file with the account managers who will submit them for job opportunities once that job opportunity has been aligned we do a lot of back and forth between our account managers and our recruiters updating on some middle statuses where they're at in the process all that stuff all managed internally within either the candidate record or within an assignment record if you match them to a job and then once we get once we've gotten them into a position all of the documents that are needed for each of the ancillary departments like credentialing or travel in housing all those things are housed within the candidate record or within the assignment record and both of those can be accessed one way or the other so you can go through the assignment record and get to the candidate record or through candidate record to the assignment record but all that information is all housed right there and then we have a back-end system that links up with our CRM system so that even the direct deposit info and any info in relation to their payroll processing so that's W-4 tax info it's all housed in that system and our back-end processes will pick up the info that they need out of that system and utilize it for processing our payroll on a weekly basis.
Angela: Got it and the next question we have is on investment in top technology the question is you mentioned the investment in top technology for your recruiters are you able to provide a general guideline of how much you invest? Example being a percentage of patch rating budget or a percentage of profit etc.
Blaine: I don't have those figures on hands we really kind of set a baseline on what do we need to have our recruiters that have to be able to do their job on the go the candidates that we staff different from other industries they work a 24/7 schedule there's no such thing as Mondays there's no such thing as weekends it's all the same to them so we really equip our recruiters first and foremost with a company cell phone when they come in to make sure that a they have access to be able to respond to text messages and phone calls but also we link up their cell phones with some of the different chat tools that we have so that should a candidate access our website and look to chat with a recruiter that a message goes out to those recruiters and they have the ability to chat with those candidates in real-time.
So cell phones are a big focus for us when they first come in the door and we take the time to make sure that everything's set up they have the necessary apps to link up with our systems and then beyond that we provide laptops to each of our recruiters while they're working here because we know the job never stops you're going to need to recruit from wherever you go so we make it a point to make sure they have those in place and we have the necessary safety precautions in place with them like remote locking and things like that but we really want to make it a point that if a recruiter has the ability to be able to work outside of business hours to become more successful that we give them the tools to do that and really we encourage that as much as possible because we know it takes a lot to be successful working eight to five so we want to give you all the tools necessary to be able to do a little bit more if you need to.
Angela: Right! Thank You Blaine and I think we have time for just one more question and the last question is what challenges are you facing when recruiting passive nursing candidates? Example being calm shift etc.
Blaine: With our passive candidates the biggest challenge that we run into normally is location strangely enough compensation is normally not an issue Travel Nursing is one of the more lucrative nursing professions that you can get into outside of nurse practitioner or like a nurse anesthetist but the travel nursing truly is I mean it's very very lucrative the biggest problem that we run into is location most people in order to be qualified for a travel nursing assignment must go at least 50 miles from home and really it's a distance far enough to have to duplicate living expenses and that's the struggle that we have is a lot of our nurses or a lot of nurses that we find that aren't necessarily looking and don't reach out to us want to be in a particular area the way we work around that or the way that we kind of have adjusted our approach to be able to accommodate those candidates as well is we've educated all the recruiters on understanding the differences between doing a local contractor versus a travel contract and then not only that but finding ways to see if travel is a real possibility for them so it might not be that they're able to go six hours away from home but if they can find an assignment that is maybe within three to four hours from home that gives them plenty of availability to return back to where they need to be on a consistent basis to see family friends take care of a home whatever that might be.
So locations always been our biggest struggle and it's that way with True Travelers as well people wanting to be in a particular location it's the recruiters have the best upper hand in those situations when they have a good understanding of why the people have or need what they need and then being able to clear articulate to them their options should they want to do something like that so it doesn't necessarily mean they have to go all the way across country to take a travel assignment but if they can find the availability in their schedule or in their life situation to be able to take an assignment to three hours away from home those can be just as lucrative for them and still be able to you know to appease whatever that that needs they have to be near where they are.
Angela: Yeah thank you Blaine. Unfortunately that's all the time that we have today we're right at the top of the hour so I want to take the opportunity thank you Blaine for presenting on our webinar today and thank you to all the participants for joining if we weren't able to get to your question today if someone will be reaching out to you either tomorrow or by end of week so again thank you everyone for joining and have a great day.
Blaine: Yeah thank you