anatomy of a qualified relode referral - part 2: decoding the job description

We recently explored the three phases of candidate screening in order to better understand how you, the agent, can help your candidates get hired—the resume screening, the phone interview, and meeting the employer.

Of these three screening phases, the most critical step in the process is the first one—qualifying your candidate. You can’t control cultural fit or nice-to-have characteristics, but you can make sure a person you refer is qualified and meets the job requirements.

We recommend paying close attention to a few key identifiers before digging deep into the job description. This will help you quickly determine if a candidate isn’t a fit, so you don’t waste time.

The job description spells out the “must haves” and “nice to haves” for the position. You’ll benefit by paying special attention to these three areas:

First: Care Setting (and why it matters)

This is especially important for nursing applicants. Within the medical field, each specialty requires unique skills. Some are transferable, and some aren’t—meaning just because someone has been a nurse for five years doesn’t mean they’re qualified for a position that requires five years of a specific experience in a specific setting. While some skills are transferable, a nurse with a focus on clinic experience isn’t generally qualified to be in both an operating room and the ER. Similarly, a doctor with bone surgery experience is not qualified for heart surgery.

In Relode's job descriptions, the Care Setting will give you an idea of the particular background an employer requires: • Acute / Hospital: Likely a hospital or facility where a patient receives short-term care for a severe injury or illness, medical condition or recovery from surgery. • Ambulatory / Outpatient / Rehabilitation: These outpatient facilities are where a patient receives a pre-scheduled service like surgery or dialysis, meaning a less high-pressure situation than acute. • Clinic/Medical Office: Think routine doctor’s appointments and checkups or a specialist providing preventative care and diagnoses.

Second: Acuity or intensity of care required (and how it can be a deal breaker)

The best rule of thumb when determining if your candidate is a fit for a particular care setting is if they have experience with the acuity of patients (or the intensity of care required) in that setting. Someone with that experience, can move down into a lower-pressure setting, but it’s much more difficult for someone to move up into higher acuity setting unless it’s an entry-level position.

If you’re not sure if your candidate is qualified or if their skills are transferable, reach out to us and ask! You may find out they’re not the best fit, but that we have another position that could work well with their skills or acuity background.

Important Note: Just because your candidate has transferable skills, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a fit. If you’re referring someone with gaps in their work history in a specific specialty, make sure they haven’t been out of that specialty for more than a year. Healthcare is always changing, and one year away from a high level of acuity or a specific specialty can disqualify a candidate.

Third: Education, Experience, Licensure (and why they’re non-negotiable)

It is vital to make sure your candidate meets all of the required qualifications—education level, years of experience, licenses and certifications (including compact licenses [] for RNs which can make it easier to obtain a license in a new state).

For example, if you have a candidate with an associate degree, but the position requires a bachelor’s degree, they’ll be automatically rejected. Unlike other fields, years of experience don’t balance out your degree level in healthcare.

The Bottom Line:

What does a qualified referral include? A candidate who… • meets all of the job description requirements • has the right facility and patient acuity experience • meets education, experience, and license minimums • may have gaps in experience, but if so, you can explain them • is transparent about any licensing issues like a restricted license

If you’ve reviewed the qualifications described in the job description and your candidate seems like a solid fit, then make the referral. Ensure that you’re uploading the candidate's most recent resume. Our Talent Advisors look forward to getting to know your referrals and helping them land their next job.

Ready to start referring? Learn more about becoming an agent.