That Shiny New Technology & Your GOVT Staffing Firm

New Tech & Recruiting

Be wary of geeks bearing high-tech gifts….

We live in an age when the lure of technology is intoxicating. New recruiting tools arrive daily. Some are from new startups still in “stealth mode” which means so secret they can’t tell you the company name. Others promise to transform your sourcing process while you sleep. And ALL are essential lest you be left behind in the dust like a proverbial Luddite.

The promise of these new recruiting tools is outsized and, in most cases, severely exaggerated.

ZipRecruiter is my favorite. Using their “secret matching technology” you can get qualified candidates for your job within the first day. Just “click and post.” After all, how can a million customers be wrong?

According to HRExaminer, an online newsletter that focuses on HR technology, companies get five to seven pitches every day about new technology, most from vendors using data science to address recruiting issues

Recently I was pitched by an online video interview company promising to delight my clients and candidates and make video interview simple resulting in:

·        60% higher interview completion rates

·        55% faster client response time

·        33% faster placement times

Those of us who jumped on the “first wave” of the video interview concept soon discovered that there is nothing simple about video interviews and most of us do not want to allow our candidates to create their own video interview to be sent directly to the client!

Here are some reasons for embracing the new tools with a bit of caution:

1.      Lack of Science – For all their boasts about using data analytics, most of the tools have not been adequately evaluated with reference to improving recruiting workflow and success as a function of the learning curve and cost.

“They bring a fresh approach to the hiring process—but often with little understanding of how hiring actually works.” (Peter Cappelli, HBR) 

2.      Lack of Integration – The number one challenge for a recruiting professional is a fully integrated workflow. Nearly every new tool is essentially a new ATS or CRM that requires management. In spite of APIs and Zapier, unless you have the acquisition budget of Salesforce or a full-time API integration team to run Lightning Platform, every new tool is another plate to keep spinning.

3.      Lack of Accuracy – Matching technology (algorithms) including semantic search is only as accurate as the skill of the creator. If it is not you, the person trying to fill the requisition, it will be off the mark. Machine learning has a long way to go. Linkedin and Glassdoor have both matched me for aerospace engineering jobs, in spite of my complete lack of experience or education in the field. Indeed.com candidate matches are laughable. Our experience after more than 3,000 hires is that it is only about once in a literal “blue moon” that an actual candidate is discovered by an “algorithm.”

All this to say that the shiny promise of technology has not yet been realized. But, more importantly, discovering a qualified, available candidate is only 10% of what is required to get the job done.

Talent Acquisition is sales and neither an algorithm nor Ai can sell!

I am fond of telling the story of an Anesthesiologist Recruited for Anchorage.

Our client asked:

“So, what are his reasons for wanting to move to Alaska?”

Our response: 

“He wasn’t at all interested in moving to Alaska. In fact, he was happy where he was at in Little Rock, Arkansas. If he were to consider a move, he wanted to move to Arizona! Our team sold him on relocating to Anchorage and your substandard salary.”

Put that in your algorithm! 

Create Your Own Special Sauce

Creating a Competitive Edge in GOVT Staffing

THE ONE THING

Gaining a competitive edge in GOVT Staffing is not about having the right certifications, the perfect RFP response, or even a crack business development team. There is only ONE THING that makes a difference – PAST PERFORMANCE. Or, to put it simply, your ability to deliver.  

“beneath intensely complex things such as loyalty, success, or marriage there is a core concept…The One Thing…a controlling insight that can make the difference between average and excellent. ” – Marcus Buckingham

That is interested because many of the companies we have worked with are intensely focused on RFP production while their recruiting engine is barely running. If your product is results, filled positions, that’s a problem.

I want to propose an alternative strategy – Focus on staffing fills rather than winning awards. Past Performance trumps everything else.

So, let’s dream for a moment….

What would it take to create a competitive staffing edge – your own special sauce?

KEY COMPONENTS OF YOUR SPECIAL SAUCE

1.      Understand that recruiting is marketing, NOT HR. Most of the firms we work with have recruiting embedded in HR, which means it is compliance-oriented, not sales-oriented. This is very much like sending a potential car buyer to the finance department to fill out loan forms before they actually look at a car. Any good auto dealership wants you to smell, touch, and drive the care of your dreams first.

2.      Put your money where your mouth is. If “fills” is the result you are selling then you have to invest in your recruiting engine including hiring the best people and providing them with both the best tools and training. In other words, train the talent acquisition team.

3.      Invest in the best tools, not the legacy products you are currently using. You are not merely competing for talent with other GOVT staffing agencies, but also top-notch commercial companies on the bleeding edge (see below for an overview)

Are you aware that a recent study revealed that the most-successful staffing firms in the U.S. respond to candidate inquiries within 3-5 minutes?

Essential Tools for Developing Your Competitive Edge

·        AI – Artificial Intelligence. AI is transforming the staffing industry by creating never before seen speed and efficiencies. Staffing is all about speed. Are you aware that a recent study revealed that the most-successful staffing firms in the U.S. respond to candidate inquiries within 3-5 minutes?!

·        Advanced CRM – that automates and integrates candidate management by importing and parsing resume, matching candidates with opportunities using semantic search, and allows for email, text, and social media contact through a single platform

·        Social Media Marketing – You have read that “email is dead” and you know resume databases represent a “burned-over” district of recycled candidates that are being contacted by literally everyone. A robust SM marketing platform is essential to a competitive edge.

·        Optimized Mobile Experience – In 2017, mobile job applications outpaced desktop for the first time (63% versus 37% desktop), which means that if you do not have a mobile-optimized job search process you are missing 63 percent of the potential candidates.

if you do not have a mobile-optimized job search process you are missing 63 percent of the potential candidates.

·        An Avalanche of Advanced Tools – Google, Apple, and Facebook acquire their nascent competitors. At a minimum, we have to be aware of advanced apps and software that give us an edge: Flow tools, micro-blogging, chat-bots. On and on it goes….

But how do you “stick to your knitting” and build a kickass recruiting function when you are responding to nineteen LOIA’s per day? How can you become an expert in Talent Acquisition, stay on top of industry trends and innovation and run a GOVT-contracting operation with all that entails?

THE SOLUTION

There are only two answers:

1.      Hire a whole bunch of top-notch experts

2.      Partner with a company whose sole expertise and focus is talent acquisition

That’s where KurzSolutions comes in – Talent Acquisition is our sole specialty. We have the cutting-edge tools, stay on top of industry trends, and provide the special sauce necessary to give you a competitive edge. And, we are a whole lot less expensive than option #1.

Call me directly – Rob Kurz – 505-379-3306

Or schedule time with me here

This just happened…

Government Contracting

Another thing just happened….

One of our clients has a contract with DC Government to provide psychiatrists. Fulfillment is challenging in that a DC license is required and the population of DC license holders is limited. We have placed several physicians and, after a year, know everyone in the market. Our focus has been on newly-licensed physicians, many of them recent residency graduates.

We landed the ideal candidate….

Having just completed his residency he had made the deliberate decision to pursue inpatient psychiatry (this is an inpatient setting). His fiancé lives in DC, so he is motivated to relocate to the District. The day we talked to him he had just received his DC license.

Score! Right?

Wrong.

We presented him to the client who in turn presented him to DC mental health. Several days of silence ensued. Finally, we were informed that DC was doing a direct-hire of our candidate, a severe end run.

Truth be told, we were aware that the candidate had applied directly to DC back in October 2018, just shy of a year ago. However, he had heard nothing from DC Mental Health until he was presented to them as a potential contractor. Despite significantly less compensation, they convinced him he was better off on staff.

We were skunked! Not entirely, as the client will contractually still owe us a fee. Still trying to get rid of the stink!

“Do it alone” is not the best growth strategy for your business

Strategic Business Partnerships – Key to Business Success

Growing a business can be a lonely proposition, but doing it alone is a foolish one. Smart leaders harness the strengths and abilities of others from different corners of their ecosystem to scale growth, innovation, and to solve complex challenges. All with this in mind, deliver faster and better what their customers need. Strategic business partnerships are key to any successful business. 

Here are some ways a Strategic Partnership with KurzSolutions can make a difference in your success.

Stick to Your Knitting – Jim Collins (Good to Great) identified this as a key secret to great companies. They focus time, attention, and resources on what they do best. Often, in the Federal Contracting Environment, talent acquisition is a sideline or necessary evil of engaging in staffing contracts. KurzSolutions does only one thing – Talent Acquisition. We are the only Recruitment Process Outsourcing Company in the U.S. with long-term expertise in staffing in the GOVT space. We have placed hundreds of health providers, IT professionals, facility managers, instructional designers, etc, in more than 100 locations with the Federal Government. Our expertise in staffing Federal Contracts is unsurpassed as is our proprietary database (1.3m strong), and cutting edge technology.. Partnering with Kurz allows you to focus on business development with impunity; without concern about fulfillment. We have helped many 8(a), VOSB, WOSB, DVOSB companies scale their growth and improve their capacity. 

Partnerships as a way to speed up a business growth already seem to be working for thousands of ventures. According to PwC’s annual CEO survey, 49% of the corporate leaders are planning to get their businesses involved in some type of business collaboration this year. 

Upgrade Your Internal Team – We also provide top talent for your internal needs including Capture Managers, Proposal Writers, Program Managers, Human Resources Professionals, Site Managers, and C-Level team members. For Example – We are currently representing one of the top Proposal Managers in the U.S.with $150b in wins on record and an average of 7:10. Just last month we placed one of the best Capture Managers in the U.S. with one of our clients. 

Improve Your RFP Responses – An RPO Partnership with Kurz means that we provide pricing support, market intel, and pro forma recruiting for your RFPs. Kurz assists with as many as 39 (average) RFPs per quarter including qualified candidate resumes and qualifying documents when necessary. Kurz then supports your response when the award is made. As you know, seldom are the original candidates still available at the time of award, so Kurz practices a continuous recruitment strategy to ensure customer satisfaction. 

Handle Difficult or Esoteric PWS Requirements – Kurz has responded to requests for Maximo Engineers, Sodium Scientists, Cryocooler PhDs, you name it. The more difficult the search, the better we are. We like to say, “the difficult will be done at once, the impossible will take a bit longer.”  When we perform miracles, you get the credit and your customer will never forget! Two things create raving business fans: (1) Real honesty, and (2) Remarkable delivery and follow-through. 

The key to forging great partnerships is identifying the GAP or challenge you need to solve and then finding the right partner to meet the need. “I’ve seen the greatest success when opportunity drives collaboration. Partners – whether internal or external – need to first identify the specific challenge they can solve. Look at your customers and consider what their pain points are, what worries them or what would help accelerate their growth.” – Paul Parisi, Paypal President, Canada.

KurzSolutions stands in the GAP for many of your competitors, why not you? Feel free to call me directly at 505-379-3306

The “Speed” of GOVT Business

What better image for the “speed” of Government business than the Sloth!

The sloth is an interesting creature; the slowest animal on earth with a maximum speed of .0003 miles per hour. Even slugs are faster. However, the Sloth’s seemingly “slothful” behavior has an explanation. They have an incredibly slow digestive system. It can take them up to a full month to digest a single leaf! As a result, they have only two choices, eat more or move less. Since they have been on the earth for sixty-four million years, their choice to expend as little energy as possible seems a winning strategy.

Government business is slow. It is the nature of bureaucracy to have a plodding pace and comedians have gotten a lot of mileage out of this criticism including Disney. But it seems that GOVT Contractors adjust their pace of business to the bureaucracy layering an additional delay upon an already infinite timeline. In our experience, very few contractors have a sense of urgency about what they do…

Recently I ran across a new Contractor whose company name is almost an oxymoron in this environment, Fast Enterprises (they refer to their staff as “fasties’). If so, they are an anomaly in my experience.

GOVT staffing contractors have synchronized their speed with the speed of GOVT business almost like the Sloth to its digestive system. They pursue business deals, candidate closures, and business development with the earnestness of a glacier. Positions are open for months, sometimes years with seemingly little concern to fill them. And while we have built our company specifically for speed, we have found that no one really cares if you are fast or not.

One of my colleagues suggested that the benefit of being slow is that you don’t make mistakes. A word to the wise. Even the Sloth makes mistakes. On occasion, due to the fact that they move in slow motion, a sloth mistakes his own arm for a tree branch and falls to his peril to the jungle floor!

If you have open positions to fill, when you get around to it, give us a call – 800-506-0884

The Primary Care Crisis & GOVT Contracting

The Recruiting Challenge

The U.S. faces a severe primary care shortage at a time when many veteran primary care physicians are facing retirement. Resource scarcity makes prices skyrocket creating recruiting challenges for Government Contractors who seldom have the best salaries to offer. In most cases we are selling a patient-focused work environment, the American Flag, mom, and apple pie.

Changes in the primary care environment are placing increased pressure recruiting efforts…

Changes in the Primary Care Environment

  1. Rising Salaries – At the end of 2017 the mean salary for Family Practice Physicians had risen to $241,380 with Internal Medicine docs pulling in $238,000, not including benefits and bonus. Awarded GOVT contracts tend to be 25-30% under this target.
  2. Ratio of Available Positions – The ratio of open positions compared to available physicians is 3:1 for Family Medicine and 6:1 for Internists. Most available physicians are in conversation with 3-5 unique opportunities
  3. Evolving Compensation Models – In recent years the number of employed physicians has risen from 53% to nearly 97%, which means the number of providers willing to accept the all-too-common independent contractor model is extremely small. Locums Physicians (only 5% of physicians work in the locum space) are accustomed to enhanced compensation, housing, travel, and per diem – typically not available in the GOVT space.
  4. Increasing Specialization – Fewer and fewer internists are working in the primary care space with 2/3 entering more lucrative subspecialties. More than half of all internists are working as hospitalists with attractive seven-on/seven-off schedules and lucrative compensation. A growing number of Family Medicine Physicians are deciding to serve as hospitalists, further exacerbating the primary care shortage (Fueled by changes in Medicare’s payment model).

Requirements for Primary Care Recruiting Success

  • Clients Who Understand the Shortage – It is imperative that our clients understand these dynamics and are prepared to work in an environment of scarcity. This includes being swift to hire, recognizing that the provider pool for a given location is finite, creating a “sales rich environment” for the candidate (more on this later).
  • Specialization – Having partners with market-mastery in the physician space is crucial to having an adequate pool of qualified, available candidates and the bandwidth to market your open positions.
  • Customized Compensation Models – GOVT Contractors who are moving away from the IC model are experiencing greater success in fill ratios. Creating some flexibility in the structure of offers also enhances hiring success.
  • Bandwidth – Working with an RPO with nationwide reach, multiple-specialty experience, and a wide pool of physicians with government experience and a database of ready to separate providers means a wider audience for your open task orders.
  • Automation/Ai – Advanced technology is the key to a competitive edge. Only specialists can stay on top of rapidly evolving machine learning and its applications to the recruiting industry in order to speed delivery.

KurzSolutions sole focus is talent acquisition. We are the only US-based RPO specializing in the Government Contracting arena and have placed physicians in all specialties and health providers of all kinds at more than ninety military treatment facilities nationwide. We offer a full suite of related services such as expedited credentialing, pricing support, market intel, etc. to support our preferred clients

Give us a call to find out how Kurz may be your Solution.

The First 72 Hours in Hiring Are Critical

The First 72 Hours in Hiring Are Critical

Whether it’s solving a crime, responding to a disaster, treating an injury, or search and rescue, the first seventy-two hours are critical. As it turns out, the same is true in recruiting. Failure to understand the crucial first seventy-two hour cycle in passive candidate recruiting is a common reason for candidate fall off and yet another reason that the hiring process must be streamlined and swift.

The “burned-over” district…

Fifteen percent of employed adults are actively seeking employment at any given time. The competition for this low-hanging fruit is intense. So intense, that the candidates in high-demand career fields find the attention overwhelming. An active candidate may receive up to fifty calls a day, particularly after posting a resume. Many of these active candidates are chronic job seekers with checkered work histories and besmirched backgrounds. All are heavily recruited.

The fresh, green fields…

Meanwhile a full eighty-five percent of employed adults are happily and productively working with no interest in new opportunities. These are the choice candidates and the most difficult to find and recruit. But these are also the employees who are most likely to be happy in their next job and to stay for a long time. This is the province of the top notch professional recruiter who is not only able to locate and contact them, but sell them on considering new possibilities. This is the big leagues.

The window for harvesting….

Like picking Black Walnuts the window for harvesting passive candidates is short. Many hiring authorities fail to get this for the following reasons…

  1. Hiring authorities are still in the mindset that they have the goods; that the job is the commodity rather than the employee. But these passive candidates do not NEED a job, they are happily working and well paid in their current position. We are in the position of having to sell them on us. Recently we recruited a physician for an Alaska assignment and the client asked us, “so why is he interested in Alaska?” The accurate response is: “He was not interested in Alaska. In fact, he was not looking for a job. If he relocated he wanted to move to Arizona! We sold him on Alaska and a substandard salary. That is what good recruiters do.” However, once we get them excited about your position that enthusiasm has a short shelf-life….
  2. Employers tend not to understand the chemistry of passive candidate recruiting. Passive candidates are frequently almost offended when asked if they are open to new opportunities, after all they are not on the market! But once a savvy recruiter convinces (activates) them that they should consider an alternative, it doesn’t stop there. They almost immediately begin to look around, which means they start online window shopping. The result? An activated passive candidate very quickly becomes an active candidate. They view jobs, upload a resume, set a job alert and search online for your job, one among many.
  3. Most hiring timelines are excessively long – An activated passive candidate’s enthusiasm for your new opportunity lasts for about seventy-two hours. If they don’t get an interview, interview and receive no feedback, or are forced to jump through too many preliminary hoops, their interest in the new opportunity begins to wane. Meanwhile, other companies and recruiters are showing interest in them and their current employer may notice the change and make a counter offer. Disillusionment begins to set in.
  4. The GOVT hiring timeline is almost eternal – If the department has the right of review they may take 10-20 days providing an approval. Many GOVT Contracting Companies take days or longer to put together an offer. Then credentialing may be necessary adding another 30+ days. This protracted process puts the candidate at risk of receiving a better offer or simply second-guessing the decision, deciding to stay put, and not move forward with the new opportunity.

Best practices would indicate that we should capitalize on the first seventy-two hours and be prepared to make hiring decisions and issue offers and contracts within the first three days realizing that this process is not about us – it’s about them. The first seventy-two hours are not only critical in rescue and recovery, but also to the hiring process. We need to be prepared to:

  • Remove as many preliminary barriers to review and approval as possible
  • Put the review, interview, and decision-making process on a short timeline (24 hours)
  • Have offers and contracts prepared and ready at hand to facilitate the candidate’s commitment

Make the most of the first 72 hours.

The challenge of managing the protracted credentialing and security timeline is covered in a related article here….

Can’t hire fast? – you lose!

Can’t hire fast? – you lose!

More on the primary care shortage and its impact on Government Contracting

This morning we spoke with a Family Practice Physician who confirmed what we all must know – there is a severe primary care shortage in the U.S.

The physician candidate in question just relocated to Colorado and received a job offer immediately over the phone, sight unseen. During the credentialing process for the new employer (NOTE – they have not yet met her) they called to ask her if she would accept the Medical Director Role. Not having been “on the market” recently, she was literally blown away! In her words, “it was even difficult looking for a new position because I get so many calls every day it is hard to figure out what is real.”

In this competitive market the race goes to the swift. If you cannot hire quickly you will lose candidate after candidate to employers who are more nimble. The company in the above story is not a small multi-specialty group, as you might think, but a billion dollar provider in 36 states. However, they understand the concept of FAST.

In the Government space there are some things outside our control, however, we discover that many contractors do not understand the concept of FAST and have not streamlined their processes on the front end to lock physicians down quickly.

KurzSolutions provides many services to accelerate revenue including helping you develop a quick hiring solution that includes expedited credentialing. Why not give us a call to find the competitive edge you need to win in the war for talent?  800-506-0884

Sleek. Agile. Fast.

It’s not an advertising slogan for a motorcycle or the name of a video game. It’s how you need to hire.

Government Contractor – Accelerate Your Revenue

Expedited Credentialing Services

KurzSolutions exists to accelerate revenue for your company in two ways:

  • Expedited recruiting – <15 days
  • Expedited credentialing <14 days

KurzSolutions provides expedited credentialing for all Provider Credentials Files. Our experience includes all branches of the military and more than 90 separate base locations. It is not a boast to say that we are the fastest and best in business. Files are completed on an aggressive timeline and sent FedEx to the base in question for next day delivery. Here are the latest metrics to prove it….

Credentialing Statistics – Last 90 Days

  • Average days from credentials file start to ship date – 11.4
  • Percentage of files needing no correction – 89%

Our expedited credentialing services are included at no additional charge in our RPO relationships.

These are just two of the sixteen services offered by KurzSolutions RPO Relationships: click here to view our complete offerings.

While we cannot control the government timeline, there are things under our control that can be expedited. KurzSolutions can accelerate your revenue by as much as  50%.

 

Call us to talk about accelerating your revenue stream – 800-506-0884

 

Recruiting Physicians for the DoD Market

Five Essential Keys to Recruiting Physicians for the DoD Market

Physician recruiting in the DoD space is a unique phenomenon. We are chronically selling physicians on working in remote locations for substandard salaries during the most severe physician shortage in U.S. history!  Often our primary sales features sound similar to “mom, apple pie, and the American Flag.” Although there are other “features” to sell (see my blog on the subject), competition for available physicians is stiff and the recruiting challenges abound. If we want our men and women in blue and green and their families to have the best care possible, we need to ensure that we have the best recruiting strategies in our arsenal.

Obtain a copy of KurzSolutions, Whitepaper #203 –  “Five Essential Keys to Recruiting Physicians for the DoD Market”  – click here