What to do with COVID-19 Downtime

What to do with COVID-19 Downtime

Formerly busy streets have been deserted, conference rooms remain empty, and workers all across America continue to adjust to a different kind of business day. There’s absolutely no question that the novel coronavirus has changed the world as we once knew completely upside-down.

After more than 50 days of self-isolation and social distancing, several states have begun lifting their shelter-in-place orders and rolling out individual plans to reopen their economies. Although the strategies seem to change daily, it appears that many will unfold in phases, which means it still could be months before we see any semblance of normalcy.

If COVID-19 has negatively impacted your staffing agency, know that you are certainly not alone. Sadly, many companies (both large and small) have had to furlough employees while others have lost significant contracts. We recognize that your calendar may have a lot more free space than it had only a matter of weeks ago, so we’ve compiled a list of activities that you can work on now to endure this period of uncertainty:

Personal Branding & Networking

  • Improve your LinkedIn Profile – Often, the professional networking platform is the first place people visit when looking for talent or searching for a new job opportunity. Increase your chances of being found by the right person by optimizing your LinkedIn profile.
  • Participate in networking – There may not be many in-person networking events happening given the nature of the situation, but that shouldn’t stop you from connecting with others. Look to LinkedIn and other social networks to grow your network.
  • Author a personal blog – There are dozens of benefits to creating a personal brand, including earning trust, gaining authority and developing an “always-on” funnel of opportunities. Spend this extra time by building your voice and showcasing your expertise on a personal blog.
  • Explore other marketing channels – Anyone marketing a business in today’s digital world knows that marketing plans are always evolving. If you’ve been hoping to add another channel to your strategy, such as creating a podcast or developing videos, there’s never been a better chance to get your feet wet.
  • Reach out to clients, candidates and contracts to check-in – Chances are you are not the only one in your network feeling the effects of the novel coronavirus. Take a moment to check in with all of your contacts to see how everything is going. Remember to keep the current economic state top of mind, by focusing on providing helpful resources rather than selling.
  • Participate in outreach to thought leaders and authorities – Right now, it seems everyone is determined to help out during this time of need. Consider reaching out to thought leaders and other authority figures to learn more about their current take on the industry and any other feedback they may have garnered during this unpredictable time.


  • Focus on community development – Times of crisis hold the most opportunity to make direct connections in your community. If there is a certain area that holds a special place in your heart, volunteer to lend a helping hand during this time of need. If you are one of the lucky few who has not lost business due to the pandemic, you may want to consider participating in charitable giving.
  • Create COVID-19 resources – After connecting with clients and candidates, you will likely notice patterns in their situations. Use these insights to develop COVID-19 specific guides or other practical resources to help others navigate through this challenging period. After all, too much information doesn’t exist in a time like now.
  • Create a scholarship program – What better way to support your community than by helping a deserving student offset the cost of higher education? Here’s what you need to think about when starting a program.


  • Clean up your ATS/CRM – Isn’t CRM/ATS management just one of those tasks that always falls to the bottom of the priority list? Now, there are no excuses. Take some to review your database by updating contact information and changing the status of your applicants. Your future self will thank you!
  • Clean up your workspace – Science has proven that a clean desk helps immensely in the productivity department. If a previously busy schedule has been keeping you from giving your workspace a thorough deep cleaning, now is the time.
  • Enable your team to work remotely – We are in the midst of a revolution. Many believe the WFH era is here to stay, even after the coronavirus has ended. Work with your team to enhance the virtual workplace. Consider asking for feedback from your team to see if you are capable of making their work easier.
    You may also be searching for ways to build team camaraderie remotely, think about incorporating an instant messaging tool (if you haven’t done so already,) and setting up weekly one-on-one video chats and virtual happy hours. Take a look at these other fun team-building activities.
  • Improve your home office – Since you have been primarily working from home, you may have noticed your home office is not set up nearly as nicely as your typical workspace. Now that you’ve had a chance to acclimate to your new office, take some time to recognize its downfalls and work to find the right resources. Here are 18 must-have items.
  • Evaluate your finances and save money – Unless you have a specific passion for numbers, bookkeeping may very well be your least favorite job of business ownership, and may often get pushed down to the bottom of your To Do List. Place more of an emphasis on the evaluation of your bookkeeping, reconcile your transactions and run reports to see how the year was progressing before COVID.

Marketing & Branding

  • Adjust your messaging – Avoid sounding tone deaf to the struggles of others. Be genuine and sincere in your messaging. Take down ads that might miss the mark during these times. Create ads that focus on brand awareness rather than conversions. “When this is all over, we’ll be here to help you get back to work” rather than “Apply now to land your dream job”.
  • Redesign your logo – Although it may be hard to believe, remember the pandemic will eventually come to an end. Prepare for that period by taking a good hard look at your brand. If your logo is in need of an update, this might be the right time to move forward.
  • Create graphics – One of the most challenging elements of digital marketing is having the necessary graphics readily available. Work with a creative employee or freelance designer to create an image library of digital assets. You may want to consider display ads, infographics, brochures, flyers and more.
  • Participate in reputation management – When was the last time you googled your business name? Take some time to research your business’ reputation. Review online comments from clients and candidates to identify whether or not internal circumstances may be contributing to negative publicity. Brainstorm ideas on improvement tips, if necessary.
  • Improve business listings – When reviewing your online reputation, you may find old or incorrect business listings with the wrong phone number or address. Update them by using a service like Moz Local or Yext. These tools will also allow you to create new local business listings. If your company is mostly based on referrals from local traffic, focusing your efforts on creating consistent citations is a great place to start.
  • Analyze Google Analytics – If you already have Google Analytics set up, you know what a priceless resource it can be for acquisition, but up until now, you may not have logged in as often you should. To get the most value, identify potential conversion tracking improvements, identify referral sources that could be nurtured, exclude spam traffic, and look for additional content opportunities. Stay tuned to find more ways to improve your company’s Google Analytics account.
  • Review your website’s SEO – Determine how much of your website traffic is coming from search engines. Dig into Google Search Console to discover keywords with ranking that could be improved upon, and find pieces of content that are working well. Begin recognizing patterns and find more ways to do more.
  • Audit ad accounts and conversion sources – Use Google Analytics and your ATS/CRM to identify lead sources that outperform others. Use this newfound information to influence your future marketing efforts.
  • Improve conversion tracking – If you can’t currently see where candidates/clients are coming from in your ATS, find a solution to integrate tracking. Knowing where client and candidate leads/conversions are coming from is imperative to your marketing success.
  • Perform a cost-benefit analysis for advertising – More than likely you’re familiar with the old adage, “Half of my marketing is wasted – the problem is I don’t know which half.” Become a smarter marketer by creating a cost-benefit analysis. Determine your ROI for your advertising campaigns by comparing Indeed vs Monster vs Google Ads.
  • Conduct a survey or a poll – As we mentioned, we are all living in unchartered territory, which means that we’re all amateurs learning as we go. Take some time to conduct a quick survey or poll to gain more insight on what the current economic state means to clients and candidates. Don’t forget to distribute your findings to your network later on!
  • Host a webinar – We guarantee that you are not the only one with time on your hands. With that understanding, use this opening as an opportunity to share your knowledge with others through a webinar. Possible topics could include optimizing your LinkedIn profile, learning how to negotiate or improving your resume.


  • Improve your website – Before physically reaching out, a client or candidate will likely already be familiar with your company based on your website. Take some time to improve and think about user experience. Take off your owner hat and put yourself in the shoes of your visitor; determine what they may be looking during their visit and how your website holds up to the challenge.
  • Write content – After reviewing Google Analytics, you may notice “holes” in your content, or pages where visitors are most likely to drop off the site. Determine if there are certain pieces of content that may help the visitor through your sales funnel. A few ideas to get you started include FAQs, blog posts, or other informational pages. It may be helpful to begin with keyword research to get a better idea of what people are looking for during certain search queries.
  • Improve your job board – Again, after reviewing your website analytics, you may notice trends on your most valuable pages, including your job board. Seek out opportunities to improve the search-friendliness, conversion rate and user experience. Don’t forget to create a benchmark now to monitor your progress.
  • Write better job descriptions – Today’s job seekers are looking for more than just a job, they want a fulfilling career with an organization that shares their values. That’s why in 2020, it’s not enough to simply outline the position opportunities. Take a good hard look at your company’s job descriptions to see where there may be room for improvement. Check out this recent post on job description best practices.
  • Evaluate mobile responsiveness of your website – You never get a second chance at a first impression. Since we know that over half of all job searches start on a mobile device, it is imperative that your website and job postings are mobile-friendly. See how your site scores on the Google Mobile-Friendly Test.
  • Upgrade your hosting – If you’re like many business owners, you chose the most cost-effective hosting option when developing your first website. Now, you may be left wondering if the starter package is still the best option. Check out these signs to know if it is time for an upgrade.


  • Research competitors – Do you remember the last time you were able to keep an eye on your direct competitors? If you’re like many of us, it was probably your first month on the job. Take a few spare moments to follow their social media profiles, sign up for their newsletters and review their websites. Familiarize yourself with their services and look for areas of improvement within your own organization.
  • Research verticals or revenue opportunity – Have a list of ideas for vertical services that you have been saving for a rainy day? There may not be a single cloud in the sky, but the day has arrived. In today’s day and age, recruiters with a niche focus have the upper hand due to their specific experience in the field. Start exploring new industries and service offering expansions to increase your agency’s competitive advantage.

It’s been said dozens of ways: we are all living in unprecedented times and watching history unfold in real-time, but trust us, the pandemic will eventually come to an end. By accomplishing a handful of these tasks now, you will be prepared for worklife post-COVID.

Why You Should Treat Everyone Like You’re Told To Treat Millennials

Why You Should Treat Everyone Like You’re Told To Treat Millennials

Why You Should Treat Everyone Like You're Told To Treat Millennials

Millennials. The internet is full of articles telling you how to treat them in order to get the most out of them in the workplace. I’ve read countless articles about how you should treat Millennials differently than individuals from other generations. I’m sure you’ve seen them too. Millennials are often touted as being needing extra attention or care. This article will explain why this wrong, and why you should treat all your employees with the same attention with regard to culture, recognition, and respect. The headlines below are pulled directly from articles that advise on how to treat Millennials differently.

Create A Healthy Team Environment For Millenials

Why would this apply to only Millennials? Creating a healthy team environment is good for everyone involved. We spend so much time with our coworkers it’s incredibly important to have a workplace that encourages healthy communication, work-life balance, trust, and cooperation. In doing this you’ll create a productive, collaborative environment for everyone, not just Millennials. It’s pretty straightforward.

Give Constructive Feedback To Millenials

This is good advice for any organization employing staff of any age. There’s a common misconception about treating Millennials with a gentle touch, providing more constructive feedback than you’re used to. But the truth of the matter is that employee retention and company culture has been increasing in importance in recent decades. It’s a good idea to focus on culture and happy employees, but not because they’re Millennials. It’s because research has shown that happy employees produce more and stay with organizations longer. By giving constructive feedback, you ensure that employees know how to do their job correctly and they feel valued. It’s the same for people of every age. Hiring new staff and training them is expensive. It’s more affordable to keep an employee happy.

Be Transparent With Millennials

This goes along with constructive feedback and company culture. Transparency is something that has become increasingly important in corporate culture throughout the last few decades. It just so happens that it coincides with Millennials becoming an increasing factor in the workplace. Transparency isn’t important because Millennials need transparency, everyone values transparency. It contributes to a good company culture in which your staff feels informed and trusted. Being honest and constructive with feedback is important but it’s also important to be upfront about company goals, organizational changes, and other major shifts that may be coming. Nobody wants to be caught off guard, it’s not just Millennials. Open communication has been promoted as a method for fostering positive personal relationships for several decades. Its the same when it comes to company culture. Just do the right thing and be a good leader, you don’t need to placate Millennials. An article I recently read on The Muse claimed that an employee from Generation X would simply say yes to a task rather than asking why they should do the task. Meanwhile a Millennial would want to know why they’re assigned the task. This is misleading because it assumes that Millennials are the only ones who want to understand the goal of their assignment. It also assumes that Millennials are the only generation that has curiosity or wants to know the purpose of their work. It’s completely hypothetical, and it’s an anecdote that can’t be applied to all 75 million Millennials.

Respect Their Individuality

I find it hard to read some of the articles that tout individuality as a trait that’s unique to Millennials in the workforce. Just because past generations may have had less freedom to express themselves in the workplace doesn’t mean that it’s a requirement unique to Millennials now. Respecting your staff will go a long way no matter their age. It’s a common decency that has become more culturally appropriate with society as a whole. This is a no-brainer.

Give Responsibilities To Millennials

Young people tend to be hungry for achievement and success. If you’re just starting your career you’re eager to move up the corporate ladder. This has always been true since corporate America has existed. We’re just now attributing this behavior to Millennials because they’re the young generation that’s now behaving in this way. Many want to argue that being raised with the internet, computers, and mobile devices Millennials are accustom to instant gratification. I’d argue that most people have become familiar with instant gratification at this point. The desire to contribute in the workplace and see the results of your contributions aren’t unique to Millennials. Nobody wants to be a cog in the machine. The idea that Millennials want purpose more than individuals of other generations is misguided. Some (infuriating) articles I’ve read aim to patronize Millennials by giving them menial tasks like organizing team lunches as a means to gratify this need. Meanwhile, other recommendations include obvious recommendations like recognizing individuals for their success with positive reinforcement. As if this method wouldn’t be applicable to staff of other generations. Again, recognition for achievements isn’t something that only Millennials value. It applies to everyone. Bruce Pfau, who is a Corporate H.R. Advisor & KPMG Partner, ellaborates on this idea in his article published in the Harvard Business Review:

“A growing body of evidence suggests that employees of all ages are much more alike than different in their attitudes and values at work. To the extent that any gaps do exist, they amount to small differences that have always existed between younger and older workers throughout history and have little to do with the Millennial generation per se.”

Embrace Their New Ideas

If it’s a good idea, it’s a good idea. You shouldn’t pay extra attention to the ideas of Millennials while ignoring the ideas of your older (or younger) staff. This is very closely related to having a healthy team environment and building company culture. Millennials have bad ideas too, they’re not the generation of brilliant ideas any more so than any generation before them. Treat everyone with the same respect, and be open to new ideas. Your organization should be open to feedback from all staff, not just Millennials.

Invest In Millennials

I’ve seen this recommendation more often than most. It makes sense if you buy into the misinformation campaign surrounding “how to treat Millennials in the workforce”. It makes even more sense if you substitute “Millennials” with “employees”. The argument from the misinformation camp is that you should train and build relationships with your Millennial workers. That building personal connections and investing in the things that Millennials value will help to grow your company. The problem is that this should be applied to all members of your workforce, not just Millennials. By investing in your people, you invest in your future, no matter their age. If you’re attempting to placate any age group you’re going to run into problems alienating other groups (or even alienating the group you’re trying to placate). Equality in the workplace applies here. Judge individuals on performance, not age.


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Executive Spotlight — Justin Allison, Director of Locum Tenens Recruitment and Marketing

Executive Spotlight — Justin Allison, Director of Locum Tenens Recruitment and Marketing

For the latest executive spotlight, we spoke with Justin Allison about his time starting and growing a healthcare staffing company, why it’s important to create content to attract new candidates, and ERO’s overall approach to gaining a competitive advantage through its marketing.

On starting a career as a recruiting working in healthcare staffing:

I can speak for at least 90 percent of the recruiters that I know, that most of us that are in staffing, in this game, are in it not because we sought it out. We happened to fall into it for various reasons, not really knowing much about it.

I didn’t really know that travel nursing existed, or hey, I didn’t even know what locum tenens existed until they’re having a conversation with somebody that’s in that industry. That’s common. It’s not extremely well known outside of the space itself.

I got into staffing at an extremely early age. I was literally fresh out of high school, and I moved out to the Sacramento area where my older brother was playing college basketball. We had an older cousin who was really big into IT staffing in the 90’s. This is the early 2000’s, by the way, is when I got into it.

Summer, right out of high school, I’m working as a lifeguard, and our older cousin, who we were living with at the time was reading the newspaper one day about the nursing shortage. He’s like, “Screw it. We’re going to start a healthcare staffing company.” And he did – him and his business partner. My brother and I, that’s how we got our foot in this industry. My very first experience in staffing, I was sourcing hospital organization charts, so I was calling into the administrative offices and seeing if I could source their org charts so we knew who the decision makers were, so we could go after those clients and get the contracts.

That was my initial entry into it. I learned a ton at a very early age. It was quite the experience, especially being that young. That’s where it all started, and from there, that company, Pulse Healthcare Staffing. It’s obviously long gone now. It grew like crazy for three years, and it was sold to a publicly traded company. A little time passed. We jumped on with Health One, which, they were an international nurse staffing company. Due to the laws changing, Visas et cetera in 2006, 2007, they weren’t going to be able to continue on as an international nurse staffing company, so they had to start a domestic travel nursing protocol.

I had come from a previous startup and been a significant part in building that, so it was a perfect match at that time. I came on board to essentially start the process of building that travel nursing vertical. I recruited my brother to come, and long story short, Health One became Rise, as Staffing Nerd met us. We rebranded about halfway through, after the great recession. The great recession, it was crazy. Everything tanked, and healthcare was one of the last things to tank, but what happened if the hospitals stopped buying the travelers, right? So, we had to shift a complete pivot from what we knew with contract travel nurse staffing to per diem. Per diem is brutal. We literally were on call 24/7. We’re making phone calls at 11 AM, three in the morning, to hospitals, to nurses, to get them a shift that day or that night, and we had to do that for a long time.

Not to mention, we had to take significant pay cuts so the company didn’t go out of business. So, came out of that and just blew up from there. Grew Rise, and Rise, as you guys know, got acquired. And then we exited and we launched ERO Workforce Solutions and pivoted into locum tenens.

On getting into clinician staffing and growth in the healthcare staffing space:

Locum tenens is growing. It’s crazy. We had never previously placed physicians specifically. We’d obviously done advanced practice clinicians off and on over the years, and the growth of the locum tenens space is pretty big. It’s not as big as nursing, it’s never going to be as big as travel nursing, but from not just the physicians, the MDs/DOs, but another huge, in-demand locum tenens practitioners are nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and CRNAs. PAs and MPs are probably the most in-demand in terms of overall growth percentage. They’re not using as many PAs and MPs as they are MDs and DOs, but it’s been trending the last year and a half. The upside for those is just going to continue to grow over the next couple of years, big time, as the physician population dwindles down a little bit.

So, that was one of the main reasons. It’s in health care. It’s close to what we’ve been doing for our entire 15 plus careers. The rates are a lot higher with locum tenens, so for one physician provider on contract, it’s equal to maybe two to four travel nurses. 

On hiring hospitalists:

They surfaced in the late 90s, that is the first time hospitals starting using hospitalists. But, they’re essentially physicians. If you guys know what a float nurse is, you can kind of parallel it with that to a degree. But basically, it’s a physician that provides care to patients 100 percent in the hospital setting only. They don’t have a primary care outside of the hospital. So, they’re covering for primary care physicians that can’t be in the hospital, and/or, they just simply do not want that additional piece to their career as far as managing a practice or a clinic.

So, they’re the ideal locum tenens traveler, from a physician standpoint, because they’re only working in hospitals. They don’t want to be tied down to a clinic, to a practice setting. So, those are extremely popular in terms of the demand and the growth upside.

On finding / sourcing the candidates that ERO places:

LinkedIn, primarily. LinkedIn is a massively successful platform for the recruiting world. When I started with LinkedIn, when I was still running the desk with Rise and I wasn’t managing, I got to the point with LinkedIn where I was solely placing nurses that I recruited off of LinkedIn, along with the nurses that were referred to me, from my former travelers.

So, LinkedIn was huge for me as a recruiter. As I start managing, building a team, leading a team, I train all my recruiters on LinkedIn, on how to hunt on LinkedIn. So, fast forward to now. Having a ton of experience recruiting on LinkedIn, and naturally, that was immediately what I was going to dive into source clinicians. That, coupled with Instagram, which is crazy. Because as a side note, I personally avoided social media outside of LinkedIn, which is more professional for networking, as you guys know. But I avoided social media like it was the black plague, for nine plus years.

All that changed, literally, in January when I watched Gary Vaynerchuk’s episode on that podcast and I was like, “Who’s this dude?” He completely, in that 50-minute episode, pushed my thinking on social media as a whole. For business, for recruiting, and frankly, you guys are in marketing, you live this daily, but I fully believe that this goes for us, ERO, and frankly, any small business, startup, wherever you’re at is this day and age, this era of the internet and internet 2.0 being social media, that every company should be a marketing company first, a healthcare staffing company second.

That’s a huge part of the strategy right now: where’s all the attention? All the attention is online, right? It’s on social media, and the phone is still always going to be the go-to tool for recruiting. You can’t build long-term relationships without talking to people on the phone or meeting in person, but you can start those relationships online and take them offline.

Justin: Gary. He was on Lewis House podcast in January, launching his latest book, Crushing It, which I’ve read that. I’ve read Crush It, I’ve read Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. Those are the three top of his five books. Phenomenal. If you guys have not read any of those, I would highly, highly recommend it.

On the topic of social media use in healthcare staffing:

There are companies that are out there doing it, but I would say, no.

I had a former colleague that was really big into IT staffing. He was killing it on LinkedIn in ’08/’09. He’s telling me all about this, I was like … I’d never really considered that. I had a LinkedIn profile, wasn’t doing anything with it. I was like, I’ve got to figure this out because nobody in my space, healthcare staffing is doing this: recruiting nurses off of LinkedIn.

So, it’s more common now than six, seven years ago, but overall on social media, no, absolutely not. Frankly, even for the companies that have a presence … I say this with as much humility as possible and I’m very early in all this too, but I’ve just completely been consuming so much content, specifically on branding, on building a brand through social media. So, I’m watching. I’m seeing what others are doing. There are some people that are killing it. There are companies that are doing a good job. But overall, no. I would say, effectively, less than five percent, if I was to throw a number out there. Take it with a grain of salt, of course. But that’s what I would say from my vantage point.

On a top-down approach to getting content marketing and social media marketing off the ground:

Everything starts from the top and goes down, whether it’s to be your marketing strategy, social media branding, or your culture.

Social media was, frankly, never important. That was one of the things … Even myself, personally, as a recruiter. I still had control. If I wanted to build my recruiting personal brand, I could have done that over the years. But even then, like I told you, I avoided social media because I don’t like the spotlight. I’m not doing anything for fame. I have no interest in putting my personal information out there. This was my mindset in terms of putting my personal information out there on social media, I just don’t like that kind of attention.

This is extremely important and we are going to do it, but we’re going to do it by providing value. That’s it. There’s not going to be any expectations in return, it’s just simply, how can we provide value to our community, and to our audiences online, through social media?

On developing systems and style outside of the office:

So I’m a DJ at heart. There’s a lot of preparation that goes on behind the scenes.

Even before I have to do a performance I will research who I’m going to be playing for and try to figure out everything and have multiple sets to flow through to pivot in real time. I put in a ton of work behind the scenes for a performance or before I push out a mixtape. There is so much time and effort that goes into it behind the scenes that nobody has any idea that even exists. The same applies to social media.

I’m putting in early morning late nights in terms of content, ideas, and building out videos or doing audio recordings. I would say on one part is yes it is organized but too it’s also I’m just freestyling because I’m learning. I do have a little system that I’m developing but I’m so early to this game with social media and branding. I’m only five months into it.

I’m formulating a more organized plan of attack with it but a lot of this stuff, ideas, things that I put out, it’s just stuff that is coming up real time and so I’ll write something about it, I’ll record it, little minute video on it or whatever the case may be. But it’s a lot reactive, transparent.

On implementing small growth tactics to larger healthcare staffing firms:

What I know now I 100% believe it would have worked in our last companies, but it also ties back to starting from the top down. Is leadership in on this? Are they sharing this vision on it? Now I get to decide that this is going to be a massive part of building our company. 

On how to reach out and respond on social media channels as a recruiter:

So Instagram, trying to be more on the photo side of it, short videos work. The photos capture the eye, the attention, along with whatever the context of that message is, LinkedIn obviously you get the longer copy, you can write articles. Everyone wants to listen or watch.

I don’t know where that this is all gonna evolve to but frankly I just think even seeing when people just write these novels on Instagram or LinkedIn and Facebook, it’s like who has time to read that? The attention span from some of the stuff I read is that the attention span of people on social media is less than six seconds. It’s less than the goldfish’s attention span.

On consistency and developing a personal brand as a recruiter in healthcare staffing:

Patience is so key with all of this. Be consistent with the effort, you be committed to what your strategy is or just what you’re trying to do and the value you’re trying to provide, the impacts that you’re trying to make. And be patient, I now have 10000 followers.

Ninety-five percent of those are just they’re worthless essentially. It’s just to be patient and to provide value and not expect anything in return, not grasp, ask for anything in return. Because it will all work out over time. I do believe that. 

On how Justin spends his time and what an average day looks like: 

I start my days at 4 am, I get up at 4 am every morning. I go to the gym, I work out, and then from there I’m off and working. The transition, I’m so fired up about everything we’re doing, just building part of the journey, this is the next chapter in our journey. It’s an overwhelming feeling of just excitement and gratitude. 

Every day’s different though, other than my morning routine, I stick to that, I’m not perfect of course. I’m not gonna tell anybody that I’m perfect 100% of the time because I’m not but that is my morning routine. I stick to that and that’s probably the most consistent part of my day. 

And from there it’s creating content, it’s jumping on video conferences in order to work on operations. I’m trying to build out the recruiting platform and the training program for when we’ve started building out our team. And really growing this thing. There’s just so much going on it’s awesome, and I’m loving every minute of it. And a big part of that is who is on the internal team right now, the pillars of ERO, the group of us is just we got an insanely awesome team.

I’m so grateful for my brother, a couple partners. It’s so fun it’s exciting, it does not even feel like work. I know you guys hear people talk about and you guys may feel the same way but it’s not, dude, I want to be in my office on a Saturday because there’s just so much we’re trying to accomplish and we’re trying to make an impact. So let’s get after it, let’s go all in. And that’s the mindset. That’s the day to day and every day’s different.

On differences candidates will recognize when comparing ERO to another locum tenens staffing company:

You’ll have to go back here to gain a little bit more understanding to the answer to that question. What is our purpose, our why? If we have that and as a company, we know why we’re doing what we’re doing. As a collective group, we provide for our clinicians and what we provide for our internal team members.

For the clinicians specifically with all of our experience over the years with multiple companies for all of us, we’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly of it all. All those lessons, everything we’ve learned, the good and the bad it’s creating what we believe into how we’re gonna take care and how we’re gonna provide for the providers. It starts with exceptional service. It starts with being authentic transparency and truly caring about that individual, that nurse practitioner or that physician assistant. Truly caring.

If you don’t care it’s not real, you’re gonna lose in the long run. You might win something in the short term but no thank you, we have zero interest in that. Our purpose for our clinicians is to provide them with that exceptional service, is to truly help them make the smart career choices that are best for them, that is not best necessary best for ERO, right? So it starts with that from the clinician standpoint.

For the clients, our hospitals, our clinics, the care centers — we developed over the years the standard that we have for the quality of our product from the client’s standpoint. From the types of clinicians we provide, the characters of these individuals, the experience is that we truly have set the bar for ourselves extremely high. We do strive for excellence.

I noticed that sounds cliché but it’s real. It’s crazy when you look, you guys interact with a lot of companies but it’s just, for what the majority of our industry does, that opportunity to separate ourselves from the crowd by just being real and authentic and the service we’re providing and truly caring about that individual and trying to really provide them value. That’s why that’s the difference for both our clinicians and our clients.

Now in terms of culture, for our internal team members, that at the end of the day is most important, it really all starts in there and then it radiates out to our clinicians and our clients. 

On personality types that might not be perfect for staffing or recruiting:

Character is extremely important, it’s the number one factor versus experience or education. We’re all about the individual, the character of the individual. High character, hard working, they’re passionate and they’re a great cultural fit. We have seven non-negotiable character traits that we look for in all of our team members which obviously includes your creators, account managers. And they’re not ranked in any order but those seven non-negotiables are grit, positive energy, integrity, drive, passion, inquisitiveness, and gratitude.

So that’s something we look for throughout the entire interview process when we’re considering someone to join our team. Those are very clear expectations that we set, starting with the interview process that we hammer home during training onboarding, and that is just calmly revisited because we believe in those traits.

We also know this is a very competitive industry that we’re in with recruiting. So we also aim to bring on fierce competitors, individuals that no matter how difficult a situation gets they’re still getting after it. They have that relentless effort, that relentless perseverance. They’ll never stop no matter how difficult a situation gets. So that’s what we look for in terms of the personalities. You have to be able to presevere.

That’s the number one. They’re not driven, that’s another huge one. I’ve seen so many different types of personalities succeed in the recruiter role. There are definitely some key traits which are some of the things that I’ve identified. There are definitely some key habits that … The ability to build long-term relationships is super important. How do we build long-term relationships? Being real. Being authentic. Being genuine. Caring about the other person.

That’s probably one of the top habits of a highly successful recruiter. Positive energy, it’s a character trait. Positive attitude, having that as a habit is so important to success.

Again, it’s the ones … the complainers and the excuse makers … the people that fail in recruiting are the ones that make excuses and complain. I guess it’s that simple.

On where Justin wants to see ERO become in the next five years:

My immediate thought is so much has changed in five years. So much has changed in the last 10 years. And the landscape for healthcare staffing, and I frankly, I believe this for any business, any niche that you’re in with the opportunity that exists, again, I know this is being a little repetitive here, but the opportunity that exists with the internet, with social media is so massive that it’s difficult to comprehend.

I was just telling Josh and Kyle this yesterday is we have very specific goals in what we’re trying to accomplish and we’ll re-map the course over and over and over along the way to achieve those goals, but because of what I believe in with us as a team and with the opportunity that exists, that not only are we going to build something great that doesn’t exist in our space yet in terms of a company, the internal makeup of the company and the team, that it’s … we’re going to violate our own expectations, our wildest expectations. Meaning we’re going to exceed them because of what the … the amount of opportunity that exists.

What Buyers Look for in a Staffing Firm Acquisition

What Buyers Look for in a Staffing Firm Acquisition

Preparing for a Sale of your Business

A merger or acquisition is a huge deal for any business, so you want your mergers and acquisitions (M&A) transaction to be a success from start to finish. Understanding the keys to M&A success helps you see the process through from step one to closing and integration.

1. Ensure that your financials are clean and clear, preferably audited or reviewed and easy for potential buyers to read.

2. Analyze the tax consequences of the sale in advance of going on the market. Can you sell assets or do you need to sell stock?

3. Make sure that you have employment agreements with your key staff members, preferably with a non-compete, which can be transferred to the new owner.

4. Strong, healthy companies will always be in high demand. If there is room for improvement in your firm, now is the time to make changes to enhance your future.

5. Limit your attorney’s participation to the legal aspects of the sale. The attorney’s job is to protect you legally, not run the deal. Attorneys are often more accustomed to win/lose transactions than dealing with the win-win approach needed with a prospective partner; some can set the wrong tone for negotiations.

6. Choose the correct method of valuing the business. Make sure all normal and accepted pro forma adjustments are included in your adjusted earnings. Consult an expert in the field, if needed.

7. Price your business in realistic terms. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably needs close examination to avoid the hidden pitfalls.

8. Continue to operate your business until your deal is closed; be careful to keep your eye on your key performance ratios.

Staffing Industry Specific Factors Influencing a Multiple

  • Maintaining earnings growth 96% 96%
  • Legal / insurance issues 73% 73%
  • Size and number of office locations 87% 87%
  • Good record keeping 86% 86%
  • Depth of management 71% 71%
  • Customer concentration 75% 75%
  • Business mix 85% 85%
  • Market position 90% 90%
  • Marketplace 92% 92%
  • Profitability and growth rates 97% 97%

Keys to Successfully Completing an M&A Deal

An M&A deal is the biggest deal of your life, so completing a successful transaction is key. Knowing a few key M&A tips — whether you’re merging or acquiring — increases your odds of successfully completing an M&A deal. Secrets to success include the following:

Retain capable and experienced M&A advisors.

You can’t complete this transaction alone, and a business owner who represents himself in a life-altering deal is asking for trouble. You need a dispassionate advisor, someone who has been through the process before and can guide you to a close. This advice is especially true if you’re selling a business.

Don’t allow yourself to get too high or too low during the process.

M&A is a roller coaster ride, with ups and downs around every turn as a deal you think is wrapped up one day falls apart the next day . . . only to come back together on the third day. You have to be able to keep an even keel.

Check emotion at the door.

Despite the frustrations of M&A, you need to keep your emotions in check. Yelling and screaming don’t get the deal done. Logic, facts, and a cool demeanor do.

Don’t jump at the first offer.

Ideally, you want to have multiple offers before deciding which deal to accept. Having options increases your chances of getting a great deal.

Don’t hold out for a marginally better offer.

If you want to do a deal and the offer is sufficient, take it. Part of something is better than all of nothing, which may be what you get if you wait around for the perfect deal that never comes.

Know when your position is weak or strong.

Overplaying a strong hand can chase off otherwise suitable deals; misplaying a weak hand can scuttle the deal and perhaps your career!

The market is the best way to determine your company’s valuation. In other words, business appraisal services have limited value. Get out in the market and have actual conversations with actual Buyers.

Mergers & Acquisitions in Staffing

A merger or acquisition is a huge deal for any business, so you want your mergers and acquisitions (M&A) transaction to be a success from start to finish. Understanding the keys to M&A success helps you see the process through from step one to closing and integration.

Compile a target list.

You can’t buy or sell a business unless you have a list of suitable Sellers or Buyers.

Contact the targets.

Making a phone call and discussing the target’s interest is important. That discussion allows you to gauge the target’s interest level and whether proceeding makes sense. Knowing how to make a pitch is an art, and believe it or not, being a Buyer is far more difficult than being a Seller!

Send/receive a teaser.

The teaser (sometimes called an executive summary) is the document Seller sends to Buyer to give Buyer just enough information (the product, the customers, the problem the company solves, and some high-level financials) to make Buyer want to learn more. The teaser is usually anonymous; that is, Buyer doesn’t know which specific company is sending the document.

Sign a confidentiality agreement.

Both sides agree to keep the deal discussions and materials confidential.

Send/review the confidential information memorandum (CIM).

The CIM or deal book is the Seller’s bible and provides all the information (including company history, product descriptions, financials, customer info, and more) Buyer needs to determine whether to make an offer.

Submit/solicit an indication of interest (IOI).

Buyer expresses interest in doing a deal by submitting this simple written offer, most often with a valuation range rather than a specific price.

Conduct management meetings.

Buyer and Seller get a chance to meet face to face. In these meetings, Seller provides Buyer with an update of the business and guidance for future performance. Additionally, both sides gauge how compatible they are.

Ask for or submit a letter of intent (LOI).

Based on the material in the CIM and on the updates from the management meetings, Buyer submits this detailed offer with a firm price.

Conduct due diligence.

In the due diligence phase, Buyer examines Seller’s books and records to confirm everything Seller has claimed.

Write the purchase agreement.

Buyer and Seller memorialize the deal in this legally binding contract.

Close the deal.

Closing is rather anticlimactic: Both sides sign lots of papers, Buyer gives Seller the money, and Seller gives Buyer the company.

Handle any post-closing adjustments and integration.

Closing isn’t the end of the deal. Buyer and Seller usually have some post-closing financial adjustments, and Buyer has to integrate the acquired company into the parent company or make sure it can continue to operate as a standalone business.

Steps of the M&A Process

Going through an M&A deal can be an intimidating process (for both the mergers and acquisitions teams), but that process thankfully follows some concrete steps. Here’s the step-by-step process that nearly every M&A deal follows:

Product mix: One of the first integration considerations for Buyer is dealing with the product and service offers of the acquired company and the parent company. Some acquirers largely leave the product mix alone, while others will cut (and perhaps sell off) various products due to customer overlap, low quality, low sales volume, or simply because the product doesn’t fit with Buyer’s vision for the combined companies.

Operations: One of the key reasons to make acquisitions is to realize costs savings in operations. An acquisition can mean Buyer is able to negotiate better terms with vendors and banks, condense operations into fewer locations, and institute improved accounting and inventory standards at the acquired company.

Personnel: After a deal closes, Buyer has difficult decisions to make about the personnel at the acquired company, including whether to retain the management team or insert her own team to run the acquired company. Buyers may be able to realize savings by eliminating duplicate positions.

Personnel decisions are sensitive issues, so handle them with compassion.

How Top Recruiters Help Candidates Prepare For The Future

How Top Recruiters Help Candidates Prepare For The Future

How recruiters can help transform clients and candidates

As recruiting best practices shift to become more applicant-centric, staffing agencies must be strategic in making sure all needs are met. For most recruiters, there are specific events that must happen in order to successfully place a candidate.

True also in sales, recruiters spend much of their time building relationships, instilling hope and conveying business value before it is actually recognized. If you’ve met a recruiter that believes in their company, genuinely works towards building relationships, and can learn easily from mistakes, there is little chance for them to fail to meet their deadlines and quotas. However, it’s in the particular moments of despair when someone is left without key information when something goes awry, and the recruiter is forced to make a decision. In these key moments, recruiters set the precedent for how the client and candidate will act moving forward. It’s relatively simple to take note of the business value added to the client. But how do a recruiter’s actions reflect on the candidate?

If you’ve ever worked with a recruiter, you know that there are some that you can see progress in their career. Others are not. The top recruiters help candidates prepare for the future.

Here’s how:

  • Recognize The Clunky Application Experience
  • Mitigate Confusing Interview Processes
  • Reduce Lackluster Communication
  • Provide Tactful Rejections

Recruiters Working With CandidatesTop Recruiters Recognize The Clunky Application Experience

When you’re starting off any professional relationship initiated with electronic communication, you have to take steps immediately to engage and interact in person whenever possible. Two candidates approached by two recruiters will have a different outlook based on how quickly they get a personal response from the staffing firm. Top recruiters know this waiting period can be painful yet they have been through it before so they take special initiative to go the extra mile. This can have a duplicative effect. If a candidate doesn’t hear back from a staffing firm within 72 hours, how quickly would they expect to want to reply to that communication? If you’re just starting a relationship with a client, put your best foot forward and set the stage for how you would like the candidate to engage with you. The best recruiters make time for new candidates, expect the same in return, and in turn demonstrate responsiveness, not apathy.

Making Confusing Applications EasyTop Recruiters Mitigate Confusing Interview Processes

There is too little attention paid to the importance of the time leading up to the interview. If the client is organized and prepared, the recruiter from the staffing agency has one job, to make sure the candidate arrives on time. Unfortunately, it’s not always that simple. Technical or specialty interviews may require multiple meetings and let’s not forget that the recruiter may be managing concurrent interviews at the same time. Candidates may not have visibility into these intricacies, they should receive top-tier treatment without having to worry about the scheduling of other candidates. Regardless of how much is going on, top recruiters decide to give their full attention to making both clients and candidates feel as though they are the recruiter’s only focus. Candidates may sometimes disregard this attention, though the smart ones will understand that this and model this behavior in the future.

Recruiters Prepare Candidates For The FutureTop Recruiters Reduce Lackluster Communication

You never know what is going on in someone else’s life. One of the worst responses is to take poor communication personally. As a top recruiter, you can’t let lackluster communication, or lack thereof, hurt you or your chances at working there. It’s best to give the benefit of the doubt. Since recruiters often compete to fill the same position, there is a heavy dose of discretion that most recruiters don’t let seep into the client-candidate relationship. Candidates will notice top recruiters as they will have plans for positive feedback and negative feedback. If it’s documented, all parties can rely on the sincerity and expect enhanced communication. If a client or candidate is forced to work with a lagging recruiter once, you can guarantee in the future they will notice that top recruiters exert maximal yet not overbearing communication that is not only tolerated and appreciated but will also lead to a higher referral rate.

Recruiters Building TeamsTop Recruiters Provide Tactful Rejections

Rejection can seem like a negative event, though it provides much-needed closure for candidates. Top recruiters understand this phenomenon and give implementable and constructive feedback that assists to instill a positive past experience with the rejection, remind candidates that there are still opportunities available, and recommends modifications to behaviors or resumes to increase the probability of success moving forward. When executed properly, rejections and rejection letters should leave candidates comfortable with the loss of opportunity and hopeful for what’s to come. Even when negative, clients and candidates prefer feedback and can benefit from it. Use these rejection events to analyze and improve for the next time.



Top recruiters know that they will only be remembered by the last memory they left with the candidate or client.

Part-Time Jobs That Provide Lifetime Skills

Part-Time Jobs That Provide Lifetime Skills

What are some jobs a younger person could get to help build people skills?

This is a great question, and the beauty is that most good relevant jobs can readily be obtained by younger people.

But the long and short of it is any job dealing with the public will give you life skills. In conversations with friends and colleagues, we talk about food service and customer service respectively, and they’re exactly right. A job working with the public will teach you how to work successfully with displeased people. This is an invaluable skill that anyone can use—it’s not just a job skill, it’s a life skill! Just as importantly, these jobs will teach you:

  • how to work successfully as part of a team, and if you are successful,
  • self-confidence, which I think is an under-recognized trait that more people could use in a professional context

Part-Time Jobs Teach Lifetime SkillsFood Service

Food service jobs teach you a lot, but a really key skill that a good food server develops is the ability to survey a dining room and see what else needs doing. Was that table bussed? Is the couple in the corner unhappy with their meal? Has that check really been waiting to be paid for more than 5 minutes? A good server should always have an eye out for those kinds of things. A good server knows that it’s the entire experience the guests have that they will tip on. Anyone who grew up with experience in cafes, restaurants, and general stores were forced to learn to:

  • Greet customers audibly, politely, with eye contact and a smile
  • Take down orders, asking for clarification when necessary and answering customers’ questions as best as possible
  • Occasionally communicate that an error had been made, apologize, and strategize how to make it right
  • Calculate and convey the amount customers owed for the transaction
  • Request and check proper identification to confirm someone’s age before selling them alcohol or cigarettes
  • Collaborate with fellow employees to fulfill orders
  • Thank customers for visiting the establishment and encouraging them to come again

Customer Service & Support SkillsCustomer Service

Customer service jobs teach you a really important trait: creative thinking. Hands down that is the number one job to develop soft skills. You will be forced out of your comfort zone, taught had to deal with stressful situations and stressful people and you will eventually learn how to deal with people. Sometimes the caller has an issue that isn’t addressed in your script. You should have resources to see what your options are to make that person happy.

Let’s face it, people don’t call customer service unless their day isn’t going well anyway.

Being able to fix someone’s problem is why you have that job.

This sometimes requires a creative solution to the issue at hand. As important as social skills are I think it’s more important a young person can touch as many basic work areas as they can to help them naturally gain a sense of self. In my opinion, this is one of the main issues with why it’s such a struggle for a lot of younger generations to figure out what they want to do later in life.

Sales Jobs Teach Life SkillsSales

No entry-level/part-time position tests your resolve in the same way that a sales job will. At the same time, it will teach you a lifelong skill. Everyone uses sales tactics in day to day life to get the things that we want. Sales and persuasion go hand in hand. Experience in sales will help you convince future employers of your value to get jobs and earn raises. Sales experience will also help you understand how sales tactics are used against you allowing you to avoid ending up on the wrong end of a deal. Most sales positions have quotas so you’ll also learn valuable lessons about managing your time effectively, setting & exceeding expectations, and working in teams to accomplish organizational goals.

Experience in sales will be invaluable in many careers and will teach you:

  • How to deal with rejection
  • How to focus your energy on achieving your goals
  • How to overcome objections
  • How to build value and frame propositions in a way that entices your subject to buy what you’re selling