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Was looking for a new job on your New Year’s resolutions list? Great idea, the job market is hot right now! But maybe it’s been a while since you job searched, and you’re confused about trends in nurse recruiting. Or, maybe you’re always in the job market (as a travel nurse, say) and have a lot of experience with recruiters. You’re no newbie, but you might still want to elevate your job search game.

Who’s better positioned to advise nurses on job searches than a nationally recognized recruiter? That’s why I reached out to Nick Corcodilos, publisher of the widely-read website Ask The Headhunter. Nick’s work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, USA Today, The New York Times, Fast Company, and PBS NewsHour.

He agreed to answer some questions for our readers about cyber trends in nurse recruiting. In this Q&A interview, Nick delivers hints and tips for job hunters at any point in their nursing career journey.

What digital trends do you see in recruiting? For instance, nurses report getting bot recruiting texts as well as direct messages on social media. And not just on LinkedIn, but on Snapchat, too. Even digital natives aren’t quite sure how to handle these situations. 

From my experience, 99% of digital or e-mail “recruiting” solicitations are a total waste of time. If an employer or recruiter is seriously interested in you, they’re not going to send you a boilerplate e-mail and tell you to submit a resume or to go fill out an online application. That’s not recruiting—that’s spam!

A real recruiting call from someone who actually knows something about you is very rare. You will recognize it instantly as legit. The rest are spam! Don’t waste your time.

How should a nurse go about applying for a job, then, beyond submitting a resume to hospital career portals and waiting to get a call from recruiters for an interview?

I would avoid digital recruiting and digital (or online) job applications at all costs. This process does little but ensure you will be competing blindly with enormous numbers of other applicants. This hurts you because it allows the employer to process you rather than thoughtfully consider you for hire. Worse, humans are unlikely to decide whether to interview you—a software algorithm will. Odds are very high that you will be overlooked or rejected without any real consideration. Employers don’t realize how this process hurts them, too, because it costs them potentially great hires.

What’s the best way to apply for a nursing position, then, if not directly to the HR portal or other career site?

Studies again and again suggest that up to 70% of jobs are found and filled through personal contacts, not random digital applications.

The smart alternative is to invest some time tracking down either the hiring manager, or at least someone who works for or with that manager. Nose around the organization! Your contact might be another nurse or doctor, an administrator or clerk, a patient or even a vendor.

By triangulating like this to get information about the actual decision maker, you will meet lots of people connected to the organization—and that’s how you’ll get one or two valuable personal referrals. Invest your time in that—not in filling out forms. This personal approach is also more enjoyable—and you’ll make new friends, too.

(For tips on how to build your network “without feeling ‘icky’ about contacting people you don’t know,” Nick recommends his blog post: Please! Stop Networking!)

Any final food for thought for our nurses embarking on a job search?

Real job opportunities come from contacts you make with real people, not from random solicitations you receive from people you don’t know and who don’t know you. So you must reach out. Don’t wait for some “recruiter” who is “dialing for dollars” to send you spam!

Jebra Turner
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