How to Keep Healthcare Recruiters Motivated in a Challenging Market

by | Jan 9, 2023

Everyone wants the “dream” job—the kind that launches you out of bed every morning, ready to accomplish something during the day.

But as meaningful as healthcare staffing can be, it’s not all that glamorous. The healthcare sector is thankless, underappreciated, and often taken for granted. This starts with the frontline workers, but trickles down to everyone involved in the value chain. 

What’s more, many recruiters feel the pressure to act as personal support for their healthcare workers, which can take a toll. As a result, many organizations are asking—how do we keep our healthcare recruiters motivated during this challenging time? 

Here are some tips we’ve gathered from working with top healthcare recruiting agencies. 

Why the healthcare sector needs motivated recruiters

Those who aren’t in the industry don’t understand fully how stressful and high-pressure healthcare can be.

At its core, this industry is all about saving lives. This was true before COVID, but the pandemic made the importance of a strong healthcare workforce that much more obvious. While healthcare recruiters certainly have it easy compared to frontline nurses, doctors, and hospital staff, they’re still working with these people day in and day out. 

Recruiters not only want to place talent, but want to be the primary point of contact when that talent is ready for redeployment. Plus, when one of their travelers is asked for a recruiter recommendation, they want to be #1 on that list. 

This requires the healthcare recruiter to invest in the relationship with those healthcare workers, necessarily involving them in the day-to-day stress that they’re experiencing. If they’re not careful, the stress will wear them down, just like their candidates. 

So how do you fight against burnout and keep recruiters motivated? Here are some practical steps you can take. 

1. Keep a positive environment

It’s easy to be motivated when you show up to work in a positive environment. 

We’re not talking about a “toxic positivity” where everyone smiles to cover up serious problems in the organization. We’re talking about a place where people genuinely enjoy working, where everyone has each other’s back.

Communicate your core values

Building a positive work environment starts with your core values. This is about more than just words on a page or a poster in the corner of your office. 

Core values should be embedded in every aspect of your organization, and you should constantly be talking about them. If you don’t, they’re not doing anyone any good. 

When you continually preach your core values, you’re reminding recruiters why they show up, why their work is important, and the difference they’re making every day. Plus, you’re setting clear expectations for the environment, which enables everyone to feel safe and secure to do their work.

READ MORE: Why core values are critical to your success as a recruiting agency

Build a culture of respect

Mutual respect is critical to success in any organization, but especially in recruiting. If your recruiters know you don’t respect them, how can they expect their recruiters to do so? 

Respect, of course, isn’t blind. For instance, you may continually receive feedback on recruiter performance through real-time reviews as a QA process. But when an issue comes up, you respect the recruiter enough to work through the issue, not fly off the handle and chew them out. 

Lead by example

Having the best core values in the world doesn’t work if you don’t embody them yourself. Leadership at all levels should work the hardest to communicate your core values and put them into practice. This will show your team that you mean what you say, and they’ll be motivated to keep up. 

2. Provide support and backup

Healthcare recruiters spend a lot of time supporting their candidates. But who’s taking the time to support them? 

Recruiters are hard workers by nature. They know all about putting in the long hours and extra effort. Problem is, if they feel like they’re going it alone—and that no one in the organization has their back—they’re going to get burnt out pretty quickly.

What’s more, without proper systems and technologies in place, it’s easy for recruiters to overextend themselves in the name of serving their candidate. This can also lead to burnout really fast.

By providing necessary support—both mentally and emotionally, but also through providing them with necessary resources—you can show your recruiters that you value them, and that you’re there for them. This will motivate them to keep going, even when it gets tough. 

READ MORE: How to scale your recruiting firm from local to national

3. Encourage mental and emotional wellbeing

Mental health has become a big topic of conversation in the recruiting sector. With stress and traumas plaguing many healthcare workers, some staffing firms are stepping up and providing mental health and emotional support as a “perk” of their service. 

(For a great example of this, check out our recent conversation with Marvel Medical Staffing.) 

While it’s important to do this for your candidates, your internal team needs this support as well!

This isn’t an act of pure altruism. From a pure business perspective, companies that value their employees experience higher productivity and lower turnover rates, both of which positively impact your margins. 

READ MORE: How Painted Porch Strategies built a culture of employee wellbeing in their staffing firm

4. Continually request feedback and reviews

Every recruiter wants to know they’re doing a good job. And while hearing it from the boss is good, the people they most want to hear it from are their candidates—the people they work with day in and day out. 

Receiving positive feedback can go miles to boosting motivation. This feedback allows the recruiter to see firsthand the positive effect of their work and efforts. 

Even negative reviews can motivate recruiters. It gives an opportunity to coach them where they may need improvement. If done well, it shows that you’re invested in them and their growth. 

READ MORE: Why NPS falls short in measuring candidate and client experiences

Final thoughts

The healthcare sector is by far one of the toughest in the recruitment industry. For recruiters, it can be challenging to stay motivated.

If you want to keep your recruiters motivated, work on fostering positive environments, supporting your team, and building morale. You’ll end up with a happier, healthier, and more powerful workforce. 

To build morale among your team, start collecting feedback from candidates, clients, and everyone you interact with in your business. Get started with a Great Recruiters starter account today.

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