Are you about to start a job search and confused by all the changes within the world of nurse recruiting and not sure who to ask?:

“A recruiter sent me a DM on Snap—what do I do?”

“I got a recruiting text from a bot—what do I do?”

“I submitted a ton of online applications to hospitals but I’m not getting call backs—what do I do?”

Well, who better to advise you on your job search than a nationally-known recruiter? Nick Corcodilos, publisher of the popular website Ask The Headhunter has all the answers. His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, USA Today, The New York Times, Fast Company, and PBS NewsHour.

In this Q&A interview, Nick delivers hints and tips specifically for minority nurses, who may have unique roadblocks along their job search journey.

For example, there is some evidence of name-based discrimination in recruiting. So, a resume with a “white-sounding” name will result in calls 50% more often than one without. The University of Chicago study is titled: “Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination.” Though not a health care employer-focused study, the researchers do note: “The racial gap is uniform across occupation, industry, and employer size.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, hospital unemployment is at an extreme low of .9%. And yet, discrimination may be so unconscious that it continues, even in a market where health care employers are scrambling to fill long-empty positions.

job search tips from Nick Corcodilos

Ask the Headhunter Nick Corcodilos

Is there anything a minority nurse applicant can do to sidestep hazards of the current recruiting landscape?

Digital “recruiting” and job hunting create special problems for minority job seekers because—and I’ll be very blunt about this—it enables biased employers to waste your time. If you get selected from an online application and then invest your time for an interview, only to find that the employer suddenly realizes you’re of a certain race or the “wrong” sexual preference or other characteristic, you get suddenly rejected out of hand.

You’ve wasted your time because their bias never allowed you to really demonstrate your abilities and value so that you might be chosen for what you can do.

 How should a minority nurse go about applying for a job, if not through a hospital career portal or a recruiter’s texts/emails/calls?

The smart alternative is to invest some time tracking down either the hiring manager, or at least someone who works for or with that manager.

(Studies, again and again, suggest that up to 70% of jobs are found and filled through personal contacts, not random digital applications.)

Of course, bias can be introduced into the hiring process all kinds of ways, but I find that doing this person-to-person also helps you quickly identify people who are more interested in your abilities than your sex, race, or football team preference! They’re the people who will speak up and personally recommend you.

This is the only way I know to avoid the almost random, rote digital process of recruiting that often results in rejection due to discrimination and bias that surfaces too long after you’ve already invested your valuable time.

Employers don’t realize how this process hurts them, too, because it costs them potentially great hires.

For tips on how to make professional connections, Nick recommends his blog post: “Network, but don’t be a jerk!” Also, read his post on working with recruiters: “How to Judge A Headhunter”.

Any final food for thought for minority nurses embarking on a job search?

All those conversations you have with people who surround the manager will build a very personal picture of what you can do—and that’s how you get presented to a hiring manager as a great worker who’s worth hiring for their abilities.

I would rather have an early opportunity to recognize biased and discriminatory employers so I can avoid them, rather than let them waste my time.

Of course, the very powerful option you always have is to file an Equal Opportunity complaint. But my job is to help you identify and meet worthy employers. And the best way to do that is to get introduced to them by people they know and trust. Your challenge is to cultivate relationships with those “friends and associates” of the hiring managers—people who are not biased and who will recommend you for your skills and great work ethic.

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Jebra Turner

Jebra Turner is a freelance health writer in Portland, Oregon. She frequently contributes to the Minority Nurse magazine and website. Visit her online at www.jebra.com for self-care inspiration.
Jebra Turner
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