Since starting QM Staffing twenty years ago, I’ve learned many valuable lessons about the industry, life, and most of all, people. When I look back, it was never the traditional things that people attribute success to that got Quality Medical Staffing to where it is today. It was the little things that many people ignore, or think aren’t important that really made the difference. In this business, I have found that staffing professionals, recruiters, directors of nurses, HR, or anyone involved with the staffing process tend to be overstressed, unorganized, and unproductive. This is why I want to help them by sharing some of the secrets of success that we’ve been using since the beginning. Our team’s accomplishments are not by accident. They are the result of creating a blueprint for success as staffing professionals that we have followed for two decades. And believe me–it works just as well today as it did back then! What is remarkable about many of these secrets is that they apply, not only to success in your business life, but to life in general. Turns out there is a connection there!

1) Loving people is essential. Success will be difficult if you don’t sincerely love working with people. Staffing professionals should always be interested in building relationships with clients and team members. You never know when a new contact might come through with a huge opportunity, or when a new friendship could be developed.

2) Honesty and Integrity. Working with the highest level of integrity and value is essential to building a reputation that people respect. Successful staffing professionals strive to build and maintain the trust of their team members, colleagues, and clients. Trust is not a commodity that can be bought. It must be hard-earned.

3) Under promise, over deliver. Commit to what is possible, but always plan on doing more. This doesn’t mean you should promise something that you can’t deliver. It does mean that going the extra mile, even just a little bit, can make a huge difference to your clients. Give freely, and people will remember.

4) Implement a staffing strategy. A consistent staffing strategy will increase productivity. Not having a strategy in place will lead to confusion and disorganization. By building a proper staffing structure, your employees and clients can be reassured that your business will be dependable, and consistently deliver what they promise.

5) Don’t take it personal. Healthcare in itself is a highly successful industry, but when you have the responsibility of making sure staff is in the right place, it’s very demanding. The pressure can often get to people, and they might take it out on you, even if you didn’t do anything to deserve it. You have to let that negativity go like water off a duck’s back. This can be a very difficult skill to learn, especially if you are in touch with your emotions. Always be professional, and never respond back with negativity.

6) Take a break. I require my staffing professionals to take at least a five-minute break every hour to step away from the schedules, computers, and just relax. This helps keep the entire team focused. Five minutes of breathing, taking a walk around the office, or even eating a snack can reset your mind and keep your productivity up. By the way, this secret applies to you too! Don’t try to power through–take a quick breather and you will be able to see an improvement in your stress level and concentration.

7) Be solution focused. Rather than getting stuck focusing on the problem, address every issue with a solution in mind. We employ strategies to focus on opportunities to prevent recurrence of problems. Oftentimes, you can end up in a cycle of discussion and disagreement about the problem. This is a trap, and arguments are a distraction. When everyone is focused on finding a solution to a problem rather than “winning,” then issues can be resolved faster.

8) Education. The staffing industry is continually evolving. It’s important to seek out educational opportunities to keep up-to-date. Not only are we heavily involved in training staffing professionals for success through our consulting programs, but our own staff continually seeks out opportunities to enhance their knowledge base as well. We work hard to keep on the cutting edge so we can be an asset to the staffing professionals that we serve.

9) Effective communication is a priority. This goes for both interoffice communication and communication with clients. The goal is to be clear, straightforward, and not to leave room for interpretation. This also means that you and your staff will need to work on listening abilities, as communication works both ways. Effective communication is a skill, and practicing will quickly reveal positive results.

10) Goal Setting. We work with our clients to make sure that we understand their short-term and long-term objectives. We use this information to tailor our staffing program not only to fit their immediate needs, but to align with their overall objectives. When you work in this industry, you have to remember that it isn’t about you. It is about your clients. Their needs are your business and there is no such thing as “one size fits all.”

11) View the individuals who you staff as people rather than “human capital.” Don’t become disconnected with the human side of staffing. The individuals who provide services through a staffing relationship should be valued as an outsourced and essential part of your team. This increases morale across the board. You want to create an environment that supports the entire team, whether they are patients, co-workers, family members, staffing agencies, or anyone else involved in the staffing process.

12) Create a routine, but allow for flexibility. Staffing is very fast-paced and unpredictable. It’s important to create a routine and consistent way of carrying out daily tasks, but you must allow room for flexibility. You know the old phrase, “The tree that does not bend, breaks?” Exactly that. Flexibility allows for adaptation of both immediate and long-term changes in the industry.

13) Allow yourself room to grow. Realize the impact and value that you are adding to the world through your position as a staffing professional. You do an important job that makes a difference in the world. You are allowed to feel pride in that, and that pride will push you to do better every day.

I love my work. It brings me great joy to be involved in the medical community and help them do the best job they can. If our consulting services could be of help to any organization out there, it would be my privilege to step in and do whatever I can to give them the edge they need to succeed in this industry.