How Not to Recruit Nurse Practitioners

Here is a message I received in my email today, completely out of the blue, from a nurse recruiter. (As Dave Barry says, I am NOT making this up. This is the actual, unaltered text of the message):

Dear Ruth,
Please tell me you can move to wherever there are jobs. If you cannot I am so very sorry but I cannot help you. My focus is on meeting the needs of my communities and find them candidates who will practice there. It is not, sorry, on focusing on the candidate’s specific job needs. EXCEPT as to how they meet the needs of “my” communities.
And I have to say, unfortunately I do not have hardly any communities with which I work in SW Washington, not to say there is not need. And I don’t do Oregon.
Look forward to your response and I do hope we can work together. Sorry for seeming so blunt but I find being honest and to the point saves us all a lot of time.

Apparently, this person got my information from one of the job posting websites I’ve browsed through while seeing what potential nurse practitioner jobs there might be in my area. So as far as I’m concerned, this was a cold contact by a recruiter, connecting with a potential job candidate in a profession for which there is a HUGE demand. I wonder how many eager new recruits they have rushing to work with them?

Here’s my response, which I wrote instead of going to sleep after night shift like I was supposed to be doing:

Dear ***,

I’m confused. If I had actually approached you with a list of totally unrealistic expectations and asked you, at great inconvenience to yourself, to go out of your way to help me find a job, perhaps such an unprofessional response might have some merit.

But I didn’t. YOU contacted ME, and as far as I could tell at first, completely out of the blue. It wasn’t until after I’d been bowled over by your message that I reached the bottom where the information from *** was attached, and realized why you were even emailing me in the first place.

I have absolutely no prior knowledge of who you are, what you do or don’t do, or what constraints you operate under. Nor do I have any expectations of your doing anything for me that won’t benefit you (or your clients). So basic societal norms (read: cultural competence!) would indicate that you don’t start right off making assumptions and blasting me for daring to not have the exact qualifications you are looking for, or for being interested in jobs in a state that you don’t handle.

Perhaps a friendly introductory letter explaining your focus, describing your territory and the rural locations of the available jobs, and offering the fact that relocation is usually a requirement, would convey the same message at the same level of honesty, while not souring potential candidates on the idea of having anything to do with you whatsoever.

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