Confessions of a Healthcare Recruiter
~ CHAPTER 3 ~
8 Perm Placements in One Day
Really, how does that happen?
Let me tell you a story.
By: A Former Healthcare Recruiter
If I recall correctly, it was Friday, August 19th, 1994.
I was a healthcare recruiter at Medical Search, Inc. in Atlanta,
The day began with a nearly $30,000 double perm placement of a
husband and wife physician assistant and nurse practitioner team at
an urgent care clinic in Minnesota.
The same day ended 6 more closed permanent placements later.
Medical Search had witnessed its first day — ONLY DAY EVER —
that a recruiter closed 8 perm placements in a single day.
Again, if my memory serves me well, the total billing was over
$120,000.00 … for that day alone. Medical Search can check the
records to verify the exact amount.
Nevertheless, that month of August saw billing at over $230,000
by the same recruiter.
Now I have confession to make here.
The secret to that success, which I never told the vice president of
the firm who was also my manager, happens to be the same magic
formula of success for any sales and service industry.
It’s true: my boss David Alexander was always trying to figure how
I did it. The truth of the matter is that SO WAS I !
David knew that I approached the recruitment and placement
process in a radically different way from the norm in the industry.
He was especially aware of the crazy service that I rendered to
both candidate and client alike. That’s just the way I always did
business. You know: “Do unto others what you would have
them do unto you.”
What David didn’t know is that I did not make any of those
placements by myself. We’ll come back to that part of the
confession in a moment.
Management knew well, and I was notorious in the company, for
leveraging the placement process ANYWAY I COULD. As we all
know in the biz, not only is time precious, but time kills.
When you’re making anywhere from 70 to 140 calls a day like I
did, you simply don’t have time to waste. And the “close” must be
accomplished quickly and successfully without endless negotiating.
Above all, the close must be durable. Who ever wants to return a
substantial fee after you’re received your commission?
Well, how does anyone ever do that — CONSISTENTLY —
especially when making 8 placements in one day?
Answer: They don’t do it by themselves!
In point of fact, they get a lot of help…whether they know it or not.
That assistance, by the way, is available to everyone, but very
few folks ever get it.
Yes, David, Lowell and Barbara Alexander, as well as Ron
Washburn, helped this particular recruiter like no staffing
company ever supported their perm recruiters. But I’m not
talking about that stellar support from Medical Search
You see, the “eagles” of medical recruiting — those who fly the
highest — intuitively understand two things.
In order to really soar in the ethers of the very difficult recruiting
business, they know that they must keep both wings flapping
vigorously as they make their steady ascent over years.
Without each wing flapping strongly and simultaneously, the eagle
either goes in circles, or plummets to the ground. We all know the
Most importantly, the top eagles knows how to ride the upwelling
heat waves which keep it rising ever higher as if by heavenly grace.
Now just what are those two wings?
The first wing is called “self-effort”. Every good recruiter knows
what that is.
You not only work hard, you work smart.
You make the calls every day to both sides—to the most qualified
candidates and to the best clients who are eager to pay. And, you
always know when to “go milk another cow” (Lowell Alexander’s
great quote, not mine).
There’s a ton more to the “self-effort” piece, but you get the
picture. You simply put in an honest day’s work, each and every
week. And you work the system that best fits you, always taking
advantage of your strengths and improving your areas of
The other wing that needs to flap like there’s no tomorrow is
known as the wing of grace.
Most recruiters are not aware of this essential part of the
placement process, and yet it’s even more critical to understand
and regularly put into practice than self-effort.
Let’s face it: this can be a very tough business because of the
challenging nature of the two-sided sale. We’re dealing with
highly unpredictable and demanding people on both sides of the
recruiting and placement process. Hence, a LOT can, and does,
This is where the wing of grace keeps the eagles aloft so that
they reach their destinations — a successful and enduring
placement — with ease and confidence.
You see, the eagles know that they fly only by the grace of
the Higher Power.
They’re acutely aware that anyone who makes 8 perm placements
in one day only did so by the grace of God.
With this crucial understanding, Mr. or Mrs. Medical Recruiter,
it’s time to take your business to a whole new level.
CONFESSION: Invoking grace each and every day was the
crucial piece of making 8 perm placements in one day.
Therefore, however you pray for grace, just do it. Do it now.
Do it often.
And do it with all your heart and mind, body and soul.
One last confession:
My boss David was also unaware that I quit my job at Medical
Search each and every Monday morning over the first many
months of recruiting. I frequently told my wife “I’m done!” before
office hours every Monday. “I’m not going in today… or any day.”
“I’m through!” became my weekly refrain.
Then, in spite of myself, on my way driving on the Perimeter to
Medical Search inTucker, Georgia, I would always summon the
help of the Higher Power through fervent prayer… usually out of
sheer desperation. Not only was I not ready to be fired for lack
of performance, I had a lot of bills to pay.
Little did I know that those sincere prayers were being listened
to. And that they would all be answered … in due time.
While several of my peers said that those 8 placements in one
day were nothing but “luck”, I came to know differently.
Medical Search founder Lowell Alexander taught us that “luck” is
really spelled H A R D W O R K. And I knew he was he was right.
But I also knew that lots of luck only came with lots of grace.
Because when you pray for GRACE at the same time, that hard
work will produce real miracles … … … like 8 perm placements
in one day.
Really, how else does anyone ever make 8 perm placements
in one day but by the Heavens letting loose a massive shower
of grace and blessings?
*This recruiting session is only for the spiritually inclined and/or
Written by the Manager of Quality Healthcare Solutions, a
Division of Elite Medical Search
Excerpt from “Confessions of a Healthcare Recruiter”