Our Best Recruiter Left but we didn’t Lose Her

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Beth was an incredible recruiter focused on filling nursing and other allied medicine professional positions. She wasn’t a recruiter who wanted to be doing something else in HR, she loved the whole process of sourcing and wooing candidates!

She was going out on leave for 3 months to have her first child. This was during one of the several nursing shortages that I have experienced, so we were eagerly anticipating her return.

Near the end of leave, she decided that she really didn’t want to return to work and leave her child. Her husband was a young lawyer and, while money would be tight, they thought that they could make it financially.

This was going to be a real loss for our department. She was a star. However, she made a suggestion that turned out to be a winner and I ended up using it at other organizations.

She wanted to stay home with her baby but didn’t want to stop working. She requested that I consider using her as an Independent Contractor and let her recruit nurses for us on her own.

We worked out an arrangement that we would pay her $100 for every interview and $2000 for every hire of RNs and other allied health professionals. Did it work? In her first two months, she made $12,000 working at home.

This was a win for us as well. Beth knew the organization, was well connected, and sourced the candidates on her own dime. As an independent contractor, we were paying a flat fee (for results only) and had no costs related to payroll taxes, benefits, nonproductive time, etc.

How is this different from using an agency? The main difference is the cost. Most agencies will charge 20% or more of the first year’s earnings. This was much less costly for us plus a win for Beth that had a good work-from-home income stream. Sometimes we have tunnel vision and think our only choice is between in-house recruiters or the use of an agency. This experience showed me a third alternative.

There have been other occasions at different organizations to use this strategy. An experienced recruiter is relocating, retiring, or changing careers. The individual has great skills and we ended up maintaining this relationship.

While it might be unethical to continue to use them if they are working for a competitor, when they relocate out of town or change industries, I am ready to make incentives available to them to send us candidates.

This is a perfect job for work-from-home or IC status. The actual hiring is still being done by the organization, but the sourcing and screening of candidates can easily be done from any location at the the individual’s convenience.

I often think of all the experienced recruiters out there who are no longer working in recruitment. Regardless of location (or because of it if they are near nursing schools, medical programs, etc) it seems that any organization could reach and use them.

Just a thought.

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