I have been working in allied healthcare staffing for over nine years. I have learned that in the travel industry everyone knows everyone. And, if the manager doesn’t know you yet, they will soon.
Every hiring manager is making a decision based on several factors. Some of those factors are measurable (tenure in the industry, certification, and license) and some of those factors are non-measurable (reputation of the travel company, reputation of the traveler, charisma). Every manager has their process for hiring but if your reputation precedes you, does it help or hurt the manager’s decision?
The difference can be drastic. If you have a positive experience with several managers, they can recommend you to other managers in the area. Then you can work for years in a small circle of potential hospitals. As an Account Manager, the best call to a manager is when I have a great candidate going back to a hospital that they worked at the last year. When the manager says, “Absolutely, I will take your candidate back; I loved them”, it means continued employment and positive reputation building.
Here a few ways to separate yourself from the pack and build a great reputation:
- Do what you say you’ll do. It sounds so darn simple, but think about it. How many times did you request that your banker send you something, that your co-worker pick something up, or that your vendor call you back, to no avail? You then have to remember to follow up and hope that they keep their word. Now think of a time when someone told you they’d do something and delivered on it. You probably think of them as reliable and dependable. You trust them. And in all likelihood, you’d give them a strong recommendation or referral, right? Aim to be that person.
- Go out of your way to help others reach their goals. Being reputable goes beyond a concern for yourself and your own advancement. Foster a mindset of helping other people. Is your coworker’s child in college and looking to get some insights into the business world? Offer to spend some time speaking with him/her to offer guidance and answer questions. Do you know someone in sales who is looking for a job? Ask them if you can help by making the right introduction. Does one of your co-workers need to leave 30 minutes early for a family commitment? Offer to cover for them.
- Go a step beyond what is expected. Did someone ask for a reference from you? Offer three. Did you say you’d save them 10 percent? Save them 15. Did you say you’d follow up in 24 hours? Follow up in 12. If you had a great meeting, send a hand-written thank you note. These small gestures go a long way and will make you stand out.
- Make other people look good. Have you ever been thrown under the bus? No fun, right? It’s important to find ways to make other people look good (for reasons other than not being a jerk). Did someone refer you to a company as a possible client or for a job? Make sure to make them look great as a thank you! Get there early, be prepared, and follow up accordingly in a timely manner with both parties. By making the referring party look great for introducing you, your reputation continues to grow.
Aureus Medical has a simple mission statement. I live by it day in and day out. One of the core principles is to “doing what we say, doing it right, and doing it on time.” That way I build the best reputation I can so that I can be the staffing provider and employer of choice by helping people and clients achieve their goals.
Walter Bell is a Team Lead in the Cardiopulmonary and other Allied Health division of Aureus Medical Group.