Hello! For this week, I have my first Guest Blogger! George Mathis has been in the industry for many years and we have had a great working relationship for 16 of those. When I moved to Arizona in 1995 I was in his territory with the manufacturer he worked with. I was also only a few years out of Graduate School and was still learning the ropes when I purchased my first office. George was a wonderful sounding board and helped me along my journey. He now has started another path of his career and is using his connections to match offices and people up. As an office owner it sometimes is daunting to try to figure out how to find the right person when you have an opening. So George will educate us all on one way we can go about it. Enjoy and comment!
Your staff audiologist comes to you and says, “Boss, we need to talk.” Somewhere over the next few minutes you find out that she’s pregnant, or his high-powered spouse just got transferred to another part of the country, or “I’m getting deployed,” or “It’s time for retirement.” Maybe you made the decision to allow a staff member to ‘explore career options elsewhere.’
In any event, you find yourself with a staff vacancy. As a business person, you know that position is making some form of contribution to the success and profitability of your practice. In reality, every day that position remains empty it’s costing you something.
So what are your options? Typically you can ask around, post an ad, or work with a recruiting agency.
We all know about asking around and posting an ad, but what about working with a recruiting agency – sometimes known as “Headhunters”? Since this is likely the option we’ve had the least experience, let’s explore this alternative.
Typically recruiters offer two forms of agreements, retained or contingency.
Normally, a retained recruiter is paid an up-front fee (often non-refundable) to begin the search, another portion of the total fee is paid at an agreed period during the search, and the balance is due upon hire. Many times retained search firms take an ‘exclusive’ position with the hiring company.
In a contingency search, there is no fee paid up-front, the fee tends to be a little bit higher (because the agency is bearing all the risk), and the entire fee is due upon hire.
In both instances a reputable recruiter will typically offer a guarantee that if the candidate separates for any reason within an agreed time frame, the recruiter will offer a replacement.
When you or your staff are tasked to ‘ask around,’ the reach, or sphere of influence, may prove somewhat narrow. Further, we get around to it when we get around to it. When posting an ad, you are passively waiting for someone to fly into your net. You must pay for the ad whether you get any calls or not, and must continue to renew/pay for the ad as it expires.
So what does a recruiter do? A recruiter should have a substantially broad sphere of contacts, and they actively work full-time for their client companies. You are allowed to run your business and do what you do best, and the recruiter runs their business doing what they do best – find candidates.
When selecting a recruiter you can go to a general agency, an industry agency, or a specialized niche agency.
A general agency is just that, a general agency. They place candidates from all career paths and may not have the focus or data base of contacts specific to your industry.
An industry agency may focus, for example, on healthcare. They may place a nurse one day, a radiologist sometime later, then a medical biller after that. They are more targeted than a general agency, but may not have your specific industry expertise or the data base of contacts.
With a niche agency the recruiter is dedicated solely to your industry. The best will have direct industry experience and intimate knowledge of office operations. The sphere of contacts is usually very large and the industry contacts are more long-time professional and personal. It’s like hiring a good former IRS agent to do your taxes.
When it comes to your staff, personnel selection can prove one of your greatest joys, or most challenging of nightmares. Just as you would not consult with a podiatrist for a hearing problem, if using a recruiter you would want someone who specializes in your industry and has lots of contacts. That will prove your greatest formula for success.
George Mathis is owner of HearingHealthcareRecruiters and can be reached at George@HearingHealthcareRecruiters.com.