Three Ways to Work with KurzSolutions

Critical Fill – Need a Home Run?

If you need a home run and have only one “up-to-bat” left, do you want to put Barry Bonds at the plate or an unknown, untested rookie? It seems obvious, doesn’t it?

We chronically encounter GOVT contractors with mission-critical staffing vacancies who fall into faulty thinking when choosing a strategy. The most common is what I refer to as “The Leaky Bucket Strategy.”

The Leaky Bucket Strategy – Many Federal Contractors have a strategy based on hoping that putting enough leaky buckets together will lead to a successful fill of the holey bucket. So they engage an ever-increasing number of usually smaller, less-experienced GOVT staffing firms to do what they have been unable to do. Let me just say that “hope is not a strategy” and having a dozen firms “trying” to fill your positions in JV or contingency role is not a winning strategy.

CONTINGENCY VS. RETAINED SEARCH

Recruiting industry guru and thought leader, Jonathan Bartos, shares enlightening statistics regarding the relative success of different types of relationships with recruiting or staffing firms:

  • Non-exclusive contingency recruiting relationships where you work with several or more firms to fill a position result in success in one of eight searches – 12.5% Success Rate
  • Exclusive contingency relationships where you contract with only one firm yield a better success rate of one in two searches – 50% Success Rate
  • Engaged or Retained relationships have the best result – 90% Success Rate

LIMITED CANDIDATE POOL AND ELITE CANDIDATE MARKET

Furthermore, when the mission-critical vacancy has to do with the physician market – a market in which less than 4% of the talent pool is EVER open to new opportunities – retained or engaged search is the silver bullet. Let me explain…

  • Physicians belong to an elite talent market and want to feel targeted and special. Getting calls from several different companies for the same role gives them the impression that you are desperate and that you must be hawking a less-than-ideal position (this is the feedback we get from physicians).
  • Given the limited available pool we have learned that if you don’t land an available candidate on the first attempt, subsequent attempts have a poor conversion rate. In this context, you usually only get one chance to hit the ball. In this elite sales environment, you don’t want an inexperienced recruiter making such an important pitch to possibly the only candidate available for your location within your target salary parameters in a given window of time.

“Some companies have learned that one strategy to combat the low fill rates of most contingency firms is to simply hire more of them for the same search. This is the kiss of death when there is a limited talent pool” (“Sales Talent,” – Chris Carlson)

MARKET DEPTH

Most JV partners and most recruiting firms will indeed accept your mission-critical assignments on a contingency basis. Most would not engage in a retained agreement with you because they are not confident they can fill your vacancy. They simply do not have the market depth and expertise to ensure success.

KurzSolutions has more than a decade of experience in the GOVT staffing space. Most of the candidates we provide our clients are providers we have known for years and who have worked for us at another MTF. We are not hoping for success, we guarantee it. Fills at more than 90 Military Treatment Facilities in all branches of the military substantiates our expertise.

Barry Bonds or an untried rookie? You make the choice

Call me today at 505-379-3306

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 interesting 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 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.

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

Physician Satisfaction Is High – Geriatric Psychiatry

Geriatric JournalThere is a critical shortage of access to care for geriatric psych patients in the U.S. that is only surpassed by the shrinking size of the pool of geriatric specialists. The American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry has seen a decrease in the number of members over the past five years due, primarily, to a higher level of retiring providers vs. geriatric specialists entering the workforce. Geriatric fellowships number about 46 nationwide, each turning out one specialist per year, and only two new fellowships are being launched in the near term. Current rates will result in a continuously-shrinking workforce between now and 2022, just when the geriatric population of boomers begins to swell the patient ranks.

In 2010, President Obama signed in to law the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” intended to address the grim future for geriatric patients by authorizing two studies of the issue by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Government Accountability Office.

Meanwhile, all champions face significant challenges to providing adequate geriatric care:Geriatric Satisfaction

Scarcity of Expertise – 1,700 geriatric specialists nationwide
Clinical Complexity requiring intensive management, involving considerable risk of adverse outcomes, and medical complications
Financial Disincentives – inadequate Medicare compensation is putting many geriatric practices out of business.

The most surprising fact related to the case is the high satisfaction level of physicians working in the geriatric space! A study by the UC Davis School of Medicine discovered “that geriatric physicians were more likely to have very high career satisfaction than 32 other specialties” (Archives of Internal Medicine).

The Silver Bullet

We represent the established leader in geriatric care in the northeast and a new paradigm (care model) that addresses many of the aforementioned challenges. Improving quality of care requires a vocational commitment to geriatrics from top to bottom in the organization and a commitment to specialization. Our emerging geriatric brain trust involves multi-disciplinary teams of psychiatrists, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners, psychologists, and family nurse practitioners led by an administrative and executive team that has mastered the space, including billing and reimbursement. We focus on back office, our providers focus on what they do best – patient care.

We are experiencing 400% growth in evidence that we have created a facilitating environment for change and are at the transformative learning stage in the paradigm shift. Why not join a winning team?

FOR DETAILS CALL – ROB KURZ 800-506-0884 X5647