The phrase Hurry Up and Wait is very common in the healthcare information technology (HIT) industry. Well, at least in the consulting world of HIT, it is very common. When the pressure is on to find a qualified candidate to fill a position – simply put, it’s a race that starts as a sprint and quickly evolves into a twiddling-your-thumbs waiting game. Hurry Up and Wait, the phrase might seem humorous, but it is no laughing matter. Clients, consultants, and recruiters are enveloped in this phrase on a daily basis.
Some say that clients are to blame. But really, who can blame them if they are not in a hurry to fill their needs? Some clients will send out their openings to almost every staffing firm in the country. Why? They want to find the best talent at the lowest cost. They don’t care if they have to sift through 500 candidates to find the right one, because in the long run it’s going to save them money. This approach is understandable, but not practical in today’s HIT market. Recruiters can only hold on to their candidates for so long. And the majority of the time the candidates are not making any money during this “waiting game,” unless they are on a company’s bench. Tick tock, tick tock, clients. Another day, another dollar – gone from the candidate’s pocket!
Consultants/candidates need to “hang tight.” We’ve all heard that patience is a virtue, and it is absolutely true for consultants. God bless the candidate that I placed last week. She had to play the Hurry Up and Wait game for three months. At least she had some part-time work to keep some cash flow coming in. That waiting time was very frustrating for both the candidate and me, but our relationship grew strong from it. I spoke with her multiple times every week and kept her informed about other projects that were opening up in our company. Feedback is not always going to take that long, but communication is imperative between the recruiter and candidate. Even if the candidate gets tired of waiting and finds another position, they will at least remember you the next time they become available. If a candidate has trust, patience, and good communication with their recruiter, then good things can develop. Hang tight but make a living – we understand!
Recruiters must work hard to follow up with their candidates. Always keep the line of communication open. I personally set calendar reminders quite often so I don’t forget. A good recruiter will use the tools that are given to them to benefit the clients, candidates, and themselves. All a recruiter needs to do during this Hurry Up and Wait is update/communicate with their candidates. Oh, and one more thing – RECRUIT. Continue to get as many people in process as possible. If not, recruiters are bound to lose the candidates who have been playing the “waiting game” for too long. Also, the line of communication needs to be open with the recruiter and the account manager. The last thing an Account Manager wants to hear is that the client wants to interview a candidate that is no longer available. Fingers get pointed and the blame goes in one direction – yes, toward the recruiter. If recruiting in the HIT industry was an easy job, then everyone would do it!
Hurry Up and Wait… Clients, consultants, and recruiters are enveloped in this phrase on a daily basis. Some deals are easier than others and some can just seem to drag out and take forever. When it feels like time is NOT on your side, realize that sometimes it’s worth it to Hurry Up and Wait.