[Podcast] Industry Spotlight | From the Ground Up: Justin Bellante’s Rise in Community-Centric Healthcare Recruitment

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Show notes

In this episode of “The Full Desk Experience,” Justin Bellante, CEO of Titan Placement Group, offers an insightful dive into the world of healthcare recruitment. With nearly a decade of expertise, Justin shares his journey from starting as a healthcare recruiter after leaving a call center job to leading a successful recruitment firm.

Amidst the rapid changes in technology and shifts due to the pandemic, Justin discusses the evolution of hiring practices, the importance of networking, and the strategies that have helped him overcome challenges in the recruiting landscape.

This episode is packed with valuable insights into creating a positive workplace, the strategic implementation of technology like AI, and the critical role of continuous learning and adaptation. Join us as we explore these topics and much more with Justin Bellante on “The Full Desk Experience.”

Connect with Justin on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/justinbellante/
Follow Crelate on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/crelate/


Kortney Harmon [00:00:01]:
Hi, I’m Kortney Harmon, director of industry relations at Crelate. This is the industry Spotlight, a series of the full desk Experience, a curlate original podcast. In this series, we will talk with top leaders and influencers who are shaping the talent industry, shining a light on popular trends, the latest news and the stories that laid the groundwork for their success. Welcome back to another episode of the full Desk experience industry Spotlight welcome to the full desk experience industry spotlight, the podcast that takes you behind the scenes of staffing and recruiting industry. I’m your host, Kortney Harmon, and on today’s show, we’re putting the spotlight on Justin Bellante, a healthcare recruitment expert and the CEO of Titan Placement Group. Justin has over a decade of experience in healthcare staffing world and his mission is really to bridge the gap between high quality candidates and the organizations that need them most. So Justin and his team, a Titan placement group, are dedicated to finding the perfect fit. In this episode, we’re going to dive into Justin’s inspiring journey, the challenges he’s faced and the strategies he’s employed to build a successful recruiting firm.

Kortney Harmon [00:01:16]:
We’ll also explore some latest trends and what it takes to thrive in this dynamic industry. Justin, thank you so much for taking the time to join me. So tell our listeners a little bit more about you and the Titan placement group.

Justin bellante [00:01:28]:
Awesome. Thanks Kortney, for that introduction. That was wonderful. Yeah. Hi, my name is Justin. I am the healthcare recruiter co founder over here, Titan placement Group recruiting company. Specialize in community based nonprofits, but willing and have the ability to basically do anything in healthcare.

Kortney Harmon [00:01:48]:
So you’ve been in this industry for a while now. So tell me a little bit about your background, how you, Justin, what happened to your journey and your passion for healthcare recruiting? Were you always in healthcare recruiting? Kind of give me the backstory of you, yeah.

Justin bellante [00:02:01]:
Okay, so let’s see here. So almost ten years ago, I’ll be ten years in May, I was, ten years ago, I was working at a call center and in this very same building, actually, it’s another story. My girlfriend, partner Beyonce at the time, was also working there. Decided to leave, wanted to pursue something a little different. Just didn’t, wasn’t scratching that itch, if you will. She started pursuing some. She went into dog grooming. She loves animals and she really loved that.

Justin bellante [00:02:33]:
And I thought about myself and I really wasn’t, you know, feeling super fulfilled doing inbound calling, you know, at a call center. So explored my options, saw a Craigslist ad, of all things for a recruiter and did a little research. Typically it looked like something that even at the entry level, required a degree. I didn’t have one. So I was like, sounds good to me. They’re willing to train. I’m in. So went to go interview and met with Barb at Biobrain and did a shadow day.

Justin bellante [00:03:06]:
She gave me like, a script and a list, and I had to just book appointments for her to go meet with CEO’s to talk about recruiting. And I booked like three appointments, you know, in like a couple hours. And she was like, you’re a great appointment setter. Like, if you want the job, I’ll teach you how to do this. So I signed up, and at the time, I didn’t know any better, but it was, you know, $10 an hour. I think it was like thousand bucks a placement or something like that. Decent wage, and definitely a lot more than what I was making at the call center. And I felt like I had made it, you know, and that’s kind of my intro.

Justin bellante [00:03:38]:
Started with healthcare, basically been in healthcare the entire time. So that’s all I know. Started with primarily and really only headhunting. So the joke is, like, people say, like, when they started recruiting before the Internet, well, I started. It was like, before LinkedIn or right around the time LinkedIn, it just became a thing. And all I had was Google and phone, really. So just excel sheets and lots of talking. Basically building your own ats, if you will, on an excel sheet.

Justin bellante [00:04:10]:
Did that for a few years. We were doing pretty well. So I thought one thing led to another. Came in on a Friday, tapped on the shoulder, essentially laid off. The whole business was shutting down. They were up and moving back up to Ohio, and they were like, good luck. And it was a little bit of a shock, as one could say. Right.

Justin bellante [00:04:29]:
Any layoff, I’d say it’s a bit of a shock. Talked to a couple of friends to see what they were doing, you know, a couple of colleagues. They ended up finding something pretty quick. I wanted to kind of see what else was out there. Interviewed for a few different companies, got some interest, which was really surprising to me because I didn’t have a degree, but I did have a little bit of experience, so that was really cool. Interviewed, offered a couple different companies. I found Robert and Bill over at a company called QD Professional Placement Solutions, which is now, I think it’s acuity Healthcare. And that’s where I met basically everybody.

Justin bellante [00:05:02]:
Where it really started, the metaphorical, I guess, snowball effect. My network worked there for several years. While I was there, a couple guys left and they split off and went to go start their own thing. At the time, they wanted me to leave as well with them. I was scared of your pants, decided not to go. One thing later, another pandemic happened. That’s right around that time, nobody was hiring. I was salary plus commission, and my salary disappeared.

Justin bellante [00:05:32]:
So my options were opened, called a few friends. Lo and behold, the people who left were doing really, really well. Just kind of improved on what they had learned previously and made it a little bit better and created a positive work environment. So I laughed, basically. They offered me a little bit of equity, which is nice. So I left acuity, went to integrity placement group, worked there at those guys bar. Congested. I felt like my job was to kind of help, because when I was at acuity, one of my mentors friends, Steve Anderson, taught me a little bit more about recruiting.

Justin bellante [00:06:09]:
Tell me more about the ins and outs, more of the fundamentals. A lot of the training previously was more of just traditional sales approach rather than a consultative approach, if that makes sense. So he really, like, sharpened me up, and I left acuity ten times the better recruiter than I was when I first started. And I was really to take all of what I had learned with me to integrity placement group. We took our average placement fee and, like, tripled it, basically, in the time that I was there. And that was super exciting. I felt like I played an integral role there as well. But it was still just, you know, it was part of it, if that makes sense, and it wasn’t necessarily mine.

Justin bellante [00:06:45]:
One thing led to another. It sounded like same thing that was happening. The last company people were leaving without me. I wasn’t letting it happen this time, and here I am. So we quit six months non compete. I didn’t work for six months. It was a blessing and a curse. And at the time, my wife was pregnant, so I got to get the baby room ready, got the nursery ready and everything.

Justin bellante [00:07:04]:
I converted my garage into my office now. And that time was really something that I really, looking back on, really value at the time, you know, it’s a little bit unnerving, I’d say, started Titan placement group, and here we are. That’s a long winded way of saying I’ve been recruiting for ten years, and a lot’s happened since then.

Kortney Harmon [00:07:23]:
I love it, though. That’s amazing. Now, how long have you had Titan placement group open at this point?

Justin bellante [00:07:28]:
Yeah. So we officially opened October 18, 2022. So exactly six months after the day that I quit.

Kortney Harmon [00:07:34]:
So, yeah, look at you. Timing is everything.

Justin bellante [00:07:37]:
Yeah, no kidding.

Kortney Harmon [00:07:39]:
Well, obviously you’ve been in this industry for a while. It is evolving. You saw a pandemic there. I mean, you’ve seen the ups and downs typical with this industry, but also amplified.

Justin bellante [00:07:50]:

Kortney Harmon [00:07:50]:
What notable shifts have you witnessed in healthcare recruiting landscape over that time?

Justin bellante [00:07:55]:
Yeah, so a few, actually. It seemed like when I first started recruiting, when you were headhunting, I feel like executives were a little bit more approachable, only because I feel like it was prior to, like, this big technological boom for recruiting and where I could just call CEO, get through the gatekeeper pretty quickly, and then boom, I’m on the phone with the CEO of a major hospital system within three minutes, and now it’s a multi channel, multi step sequence approach. You try. I still do some of the old school cold calling stuff, and sometimes it works, but it’s a totally different shift and approachability for clients, if that makes sense. In healthcare specifically, I’ve seen companies, especially bigger hospital systems, do a lot of centralizing. They got the bill at the end of the year. You know, a lot of these companies, and they’re like, whoa, if we just paid someone to do this job ourselves, we could save so much money. So that, you know, it’s made it easier for the clients that are more.

Justin bellante [00:09:02]:
That midsize. Right. But those bigger clients, a little bit more of a challenge, to answer your question. That makes sense, but I still definitely see, like, a massive need for recruiters. You know, there’s still a lot of value there.

Kortney Harmon [00:09:13]:
Yeah. And I know you and I have talked before. I know we’ve talked how the industry has been overall, and you guys seem to be faring well out of this whole process where there’s other organizations that are down 15% to 30%. Give me your perspective. I know we almost said you were part of the special club before we started. Yeah. Talk to me about your perspective of how things are going.

Justin bellante [00:09:34]:
So I almost feel like. Cause I’m an. I’m very empathetic. I almost feel, like, bad. And I was saying, feel like I’m in my own little bubble over here. I almost, like, can’t relate, like, at all. And I feel bad because I see it on LinkedIn all the time. Like, these people are like, these people are struggling.

Justin bellante [00:09:49]:
And I take calls. Sometimes people reach out and they’re like, hey, can we talk a shop and get your perspective? And I’m going to get out of this hole, you know? And I just followed up with one today, and she’s like, no, I haven’t made a placement yet. You know, and I’m like, just keep trucking along, you know, it’s coming. Keep doing the things. So, yeah, really well here. And I can’t relate too much then trying to give it a lot of thought as to why, you know, and how we got here. I think a lot of it has to do with just a lot of the reasons why we started this place is just to. I wanted to create the environment that I always wanted to work in.

Justin bellante [00:10:23]:
I just want to come to work, do a really good job, get rewarded, very well acknowledged, and get to go home and, like, enjoy my time with my family. And that’s it. And I feel like we have done really well at creating something like that. We treat everybody with respect, you know, and kindness. Treat everybody like adults if you’re not here. 08:05 okay. I just assume you got something going on. Like, I have a friend, known it for a long time, and first started, it’s like, hey, I gotta do this, I gotta do that.

Justin bellante [00:10:52]:
I gotta go here, gotta do this thing. And we’re like, hey, you don’t need to tell me. I assume that you’re not here. Like, you’re doing something important. That mentality, I feel like, has been, like, integral for our growth, and a lot of it’s been organically, I think, because of that, I love it.

Kortney Harmon [00:11:06]:
It’s really, truly the human element. Not only are you putting that forward to your candidates and clients, but you’re also putting it towards your own internal employees, and that’s often a third audience that staffing and recruiting firms forget about. So I love that you’re putting the emphasis on them.

Justin bellante [00:11:21]:
Heck, yeah. Thank you.

Kortney Harmon [00:11:23]:
Well, okay, so you talk. We talked about things going well, so that’s amazing.

Justin bellante [00:11:25]:

Kortney Harmon [00:11:26]:
Congratulations. I love that for you. But talk to me about, with a decade of experience in your field, what would you say have been some of the biggest obstacles that you’ve confronted and how have you overcame them?

Justin bellante [00:11:37]:
Yeah. So it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows, just, you know, being honest. I mean, there’s just been a lot of new challenges that I completely did not foresee coming my way whatsoever. I’ve been doing this a long time, and there’s plenty of opportunity where I absolutely did give responsibility to other people, you know, or like, they were like, oh, hey, I’m going to handle this situation. And I’m like, by all means. And now I’m the guy. I’ve got to really be a little bit more methodical. I got to think about every single decision because it’s not just affecting me.

Justin bellante [00:12:10]:
In my book of business, I’ve got 13 people now that really count on me. So every single time I go into a meeting where I’m having, like, a high level challenging call, here’s one comes to mind. Client we’ve got some success with. I’m doing some good work for them. And as an owner, you know, I try and mitigate my own risk, right. Cause I’m an owner operator. I have to manage my own book of business. If it gets to be a little too much, I’ll pass off client, somebody else, they can manage it, basically.

Justin bellante [00:12:40]:
Right? So did that, and she did really, really well. Every single thing that we’ve taught her to do as far as account managing, set expectations. Manage expectations. Clearly found good quality candidates that are qualified, interested, and available, that have recent realm experience for the client. They loved them, they interviewed them, and then right before the offer, they want to negotiate terms for agreement. It’s like, well, that’s not really appropriate. So that’s a whole new challenge I’ve never had to deal with. And how did I overcome it? Well, I think just being transparent and honest with these people, you know, it’s like, well, I felt like it was a win.

Justin bellante [00:13:15]:
We’re still waiting to see what happens, but being like, hey, you know, I understand the american way. Let’s get a deal, but let’s talk about a deal, like, after these funds, because these are in the process now. And then we’ll go from there. So that’s an example of one challenge that we’ve had to encounter, for sure. Then there’s the other stuff. When it comes to, like, being almost a manager, I don’t do a whole lot of managing. We hold each other accountable here. So it’s a little different.

Justin bellante [00:13:41]:
It’s not like, micromanagement. Yes, we do track stuff, but it’s for yourself because we set our own goals here. But working and managing and dealing with 13 different personalities in the same room because we have, like, an old school call center type pit mentality. Like, everyone’s in one giant open room together. So kids, a little chaotic. And although, like, a lot of us really, really, really close, sometimes tensions are high. So that’s been another challenge that I really didn’t foresee because I felt like when I was a recruiter, I could kind of just put my blinders on like a horse, you know, and just kind of stay in my cube, put my soundproof headphones on, and go to work. And 05:00 comes, I say goodbye to everybody.

Justin bellante [00:14:21]:
I can’t really do that as much anymore.

Kortney Harmon [00:14:23]:

Justin bellante [00:14:24]:

Kortney Harmon [00:14:24]:
So that’s been a challenge, too, but it’s amazing. I love that you’re in the same place as them from a learning and development perspective. It is amazing for other people to get to learn you and know how you respond to things and how you’re successfully doing things because they can hear you, they can listen to you. That’s been a big challenge for a lot of people with a pandemic as they went to remote worlds because they don’t have that pit environment that they can listen into calls from top performers. So I love that you have that. Your office is blessed, whether they realize that or not, to be able to have that type of environment to learn and grow off of each other.

Justin bellante [00:14:56]:
I appreciate you saying that. And that actually reminded me of another challenge that is a little controversial. And you kind of hit the nail on the head, like, because we’re all in the same room together. There’s, like, a unique element that you do not get working from home. There was someone I tried, I was really excited about with last year that has some experience, and we’re going to bring them on remote, and I’ve never done it before anybody other than, like, agency experience and was quickly met with reality. We don’t have, like, we are so new. I can train someone, like, you want to build a home? Like, here’s a hammer. Let’s go build a home.

Justin bellante [00:15:30]:
Like, that’s my training mentality. And we’ve done a lot more since then, but it’s really hard to do that when you’re not there. Like, you’re really present physically because, like, it’s like 75% of the training, it seems like, comes from just being in the room with us. And I know that that might be controversial because we decided that we really don’t want to hire anybody right now remote unless they’re a rockstar because it’s like, it’s a disservice to them. So basically, we found, we got to this point where it was like two and a half, three months in. We were realizing, like, oh, no, they’re not catching on as fast as we would like them to. And it really. The onus is on us.

Justin bellante [00:16:05]:
So it was like, well, what do we do? And then what a challenge that is, right? You’re dealing with a human being’s career here. It’s a little different when you’re a third party recruiter and you can kind of be like, oh, well, this. I know exactly what you should do, mister hiring manager. But when you’re the guy, you know, it’s totally different then you got to do like the right thing. Sometimes can be really, really challenging, which could be to let them go before they’re out of money. It’s gone too far, you know, if that makes sense. So.

Kortney Harmon [00:16:31]:
No, it makes complete sense. I love it. Obviously, you talked about opening up in October of 2022. Talk to me. You talked to me about some of the success, but any key strategies that you’ve employed to drive your rapid growth October 2022 to 13 people now, huge growth. So talk to me about what drove you to that. How have you established your presence in the healthcare market?

Justin bellante [00:16:54]:
Yeah, I think kind of simplifying what we do. I think it’s really easy to overcomplicate what we do because there is 8437 tasks to do in a day, but that’s possible, right. So trying to like, simplify it. So when we first started, we didn’t have any jobs to fill, so we had to do some bd, right. And we spent basically every waking hour we had doing business development and we were doing old fashioned, old school business development because we didn’t have any money, so we didn’t have a lot of technology to lean on. And I think that, number one, having that mentality, it was kind of like the Alexander the great’s burn the ships mentality. Like, we got to Persia and says, burn the ships. They’re like, well, how are we going to get back? So we’re getting back on persian ships, man, I got a baby now.

Justin bellante [00:17:40]:
We got bills to pay. So that fire inside of you definitely helped, but no structuring your day too. So when we started to get clients, starting to split our day and our time into recruiting and bd because number one, you have to get the clients or else we don’t have a business and then you have to find candidates or else we don’t make placements. So then splitting our day. So we spend half the day doing bd, half the day doing recruiting until there was so much of a need on the bd side that it was either we stopped doing business development, slow down and really put a lot of time and attention to the clients that we have or hire somebody. In the first 90 days, I think we had like, we had 100 jobs. It was a little overwhelming. Old school cold calling, just cold calling and bugging the heck out of people.

Justin bellante [00:18:28]:
Professional persistence. For me, it was like really, truly valuing the work that we do. And my thought process is like, I can’t really bug someone at all if I’m conveying value. I will never bug you. And, like, if you’re not interested, you let me know. And then if I call you again, then I would be bugging you. So that’s like, there’s like that line, but I go right up to it, though. Like right here.

Justin bellante [00:18:48]:
Yes, sir. I am absolutely wanting to call you every single day about this physician position that you have, because that’s how important it is to your community. They’re like, whoa, all right, dude. Splitting our time, doing BD. Lots and lots of BD every single day. It’s like eating the frog. Do it first thing in the morning to get the most challenging thing out as soon as you can. Where they say the most productive hours, too, between eight and twelve.

Justin bellante [00:19:11]:
So do BD in the morning. People seem to be a bit friendlier. Mood, too. I don’t do a lot of BD on Fridays, too, because people are just ready for the weekend, just like me. And then one thing, too, I think that’s been huge, is that there are things that you can do to determine whether or not, like, a client that you’re working with is viable or not. Like, to gauge how much time and attention you should really spend on their need, if that makes sense. So we’ve came up with some criteria called rank our clients. It’s just like a ten step checklist.

Justin bellante [00:19:45]:
We rank them once a quarter. We’ll go through our clients and say, okay, here the. Here’s the really, really good ones. Here’s the half decent ones. Here’s the ones we probably shouldn’t be working with, but we are anyways. And then here’s the ones that we probably should let go. That’s helped us a lot. Prioritizing kind of staying close to the placement.

Justin bellante [00:20:05]:
What do you call it? Say like an internal recruiter sometimes can be like. It’s like. Like a dog. As our analogy we use sense of smell is really good, right? We’re like, we’re like trained hound dogs. We know exactly where to go. It’s not like we’re just in the woods like, oh, squirrel. So there you go. That answers that question.

Kortney Harmon [00:20:22]:
No, I love that you hit on something and you talked about kind of a process. You’re talking about ranking your candidates. I love that. Not enough people do that. But as you establish successful recruiting firms, you obviously have to have the right processes, the right team, the right culture. There’s a lot of pieces that play into that. So maybe share some additional insights of how you approach scaling, whether it’s expanding your team of recruiters. We kind of talked about that a little bit or just really fostering effectiveness in your culture.

Kortney Harmon [00:20:50]:
So you talked about, hey, you’re implementing new process for your clients. You’re evaluating. Is there anything else that you’re like, hey, we’ve got to do this. Or even if you focus on your BD, you do number of calls, you do call blocks. Give me the lowdown. Give me a little bit more insight to kind of the things that you’ve implemented in your organization.

Justin bellante [00:21:07]:
Yeah. So sops, that was the first thing. So we did standard operating procedures for our, basically everything that we do. So there’s like, there is a process basically if it doesn’t work out for whatever reason. Okay, well, let’s look at the process. Did you do all of it? You did? Okay, well, we’re dealing with people here. Chalk it up to the game. Right.

Justin bellante [00:21:26]:
Oh wait. Oh, you didn’t prep them? Oh well, hahaha. There you go. Well, we know to prep the candidates, right. So stuff like that. That definitely helped for sure. For BD more, I think we time blocked. It was from when we first started.

Justin bellante [00:21:40]:
It was like from 911 and it was like this is our dedicated time. So it’s like we’re not booking any recruiting calls during this time. We’re not like gabbin too much. You know, during this time we’re just gonna, we’re gonna focus, we’re gonna be real diligent. And I think too, there’s some synergy when everybody’s doing the same thing at the same time, having the same type of high level conversations. It makes the next call you make just a little easier and you feel more empowered. When somebody does give you an objection, especially if you hear somebody say it and they overcome the objection, like, right. And then 30 seconds later someone says, well, your fees are too high.

Justin bellante [00:22:18]:
And you’re like, well, compared to what? And then they’re like, I don’t know. I’m not working with any recruiters, so. Okay. That definitely helped for sure. Processes. Let’s see here. Scripts. I’m a big fan of scripts.

Justin bellante [00:22:30]:
Well, here’s the theory. Here’s my theory. When you first start recruiting, well, it’s quality or quantity, right. And when you first start recruiting, all you have is quantity because you don’t know what you’re doing. How could you? Over time, the quality increases. The amount of calls you need to make is decreased. Right. Similar to the scripts.

Justin bellante [00:22:50]:
I say, here’s what to say. Once you figure out how to say, then say whatever you want, basically. So I think that’s been super helpful. We did some training, a lot of coaching, too. We hired some coaches last year. We hired some help. Asking for help was a huge process that I had to develop myself. Lingo sheets.

Justin bellante [00:23:12]:
I come up with this thing called lingo sheets, basically, where it’s like, whatever industry you’re in, different industry lingo keywords. Even if you don’t know what you’re talking about, at least make it sound like you do. I’m a big proponent of sticky notes. It’s a little rudimentary, but there’s that. I also. I try and keep everything kind of very systematic. So, like, when we work on a position, we have what’s called saturating a position. So, like in science, when something’s over saturated, like, if you’re putting sugar in your coffee and you keep putting sugar in your coffee, at some point, like, the sugar doesn’t mix in anymore.

Justin bellante [00:23:48]:
That’s when it’s oversaturated. And that is when a position has been worked efficiently. If it hasn’t been saturated, well, it really hasn’t been worked efficiently. Right. So you can’t just, like, post a job and pray that somebody good applies. I do that, too, sometimes. No, I will say, but, like, we have a little thing here. So it’s like, literally just a list of resources.

Justin bellante [00:24:09]:
And every single thing that you can do with resources, guess what the number one is. It’s crelate. It’s crelate. There’s a lot of stuff you can do, and then basically you start with the job. Whatever job you’re working on, you go to crelate first because it’s a great ets and we’ve really built it out. And you do all the stuff that you can do in crelate. Most of the time, you find somebody in there. If you don’t, well, then you go to the next resource and you do all the things you can do with that, and then you go it again.

Justin bellante [00:24:33]:
And even if you get through all of it still technically not saturated, because recruiting is about timing. I can do all that and then come back tomorrow and do it all again. Somebody pops up. Also do a lot of tracking as far as activity and productivity. Came up with this little sheet. It’s kind of like a spin off from something that my old, old, old boss used to do that we all hated because he made us do it. And we’ve kind of, like, reframed it, you know, and made it more of, like, a thing that we all use for, like, bragging rights together. So dials, touches, talk time, business development, reach outs, name clears, submissions, interviews, offers, hires, agreement sent, signed job orders.

Justin bellante [00:25:12]:
And then we do wins and learns every day. And we do this every day before morning meeting. So that’s really exciting. Everyone gets in rallies. It’s kind of like team huddle. Everyone brags about how well they did yesterday. That makes sense.

Kortney Harmon [00:25:24]:
Yeah. I love it. In morning meetings are great. I mean, I’ve seen some of the most successful morning meetings. They work on responding to resistance. They talk about candidates and placements. They talk about numbers and metrics and KPI’s to make it more fun. Fun versus big brother.

Justin bellante [00:25:40]:
Well, right. Well, the way we’ve tried to do it is we try to make it shorter because nobody likes a long meeting. In the morning, we focus on business development. So our morning meeting is usually business development related. It’s usually like best practice or training or experience or challenge that we’ve all had. And in the afternoon we do recruiting, training topics, crelate, training, tags, you name it.

Kortney Harmon [00:26:04]:
Amazing. I love it. I love that you said curlate. I did not. I did not empower you to say that.

Justin bellante [00:26:09]:
It’s not a paid advertisement.

Kortney Harmon [00:26:10]:
It’s not a paid advertisement. Okay, so let’s switch gears. Let’s talk about economic landscape. We talked a little bit about this, maybe compared to previous economic cycles. How does today’s hiring demands and candidate dynamics differ from what you’ve seen in the past?

Justin bellante [00:26:26]:
Well, in the pandemic, it seemed like people really didn’t care too much at all or like, send me a body. Well, when I first started recruiting, you had to be good at it. And then it seemed like with all the technology, you didn’t have to be as good at it. And then internal people got the technology, so then you had to be a little better. And then the pandemic hit and nobody could find anybody. That was a huge shift, I think, for sure, because then we had to get reskilled again. You couldn’t just call into a facility and say, I have a nurse. And they’re like, send it.

Justin bellante [00:27:00]:
Oh, 30%, no problem. Now they’re like, oh, I got a guy down the street who’s doing it for, you know, three chickens and a bag of skittles. You have to, like, really work to convey your value so well. And that’s been a huge challenge, for sure.

Kortney Harmon [00:27:13]:
Yeah, absolutely. And we have to, like, meet them where they are. It’s. We’re not paying over. I think there’s been probably an over correction in the market, too, at this rate. So have you noticed any different changes with client priorities, budgets, requirements for hiring during our economic pressures. Right now, yes.

Justin bellante [00:27:32]:
With what I do, a lot of it’s grant funded, so a lot of it’s like, at the mercy of the federal government. There is just this big thing that just went, passed through, and it could have been part of the reason why they got some of the funding that they were going to get or not. So that is a little tricky when you’re dealing with community based nonprofits. I’ve seen a big push for physicians, especially recently. As far as, like, client priorities go, there’s always been a need, right? There’s a huge need. But I think there’s a new shift with what’s called value based care. And in primary care, it seems to be, like, the forefront of, like, the future for primary care. So that’s, like, really cool, exciting to see.

Justin bellante [00:28:11]:
It’s more of, like, holistic approach to care. A whole person care. It’s on my lingo sheet. Everybody works together rather than like, it’s like, integrated care is what they call it. So, like, rather than like, you go to your doctor and then you go to your dentist and they’re completely separate, and then you go to your therapist, hopefully you should. This is more like where they’re all together. They all like, oh, if you go to your primary care doc and you’re anxious, might send you to the therapist right then. So that’s really critical, I think, for people who might not know that therapy is accessible or.

Justin bellante [00:28:42]:
And they focus a lot on the underserved populations. So especially poor folk like me growing up, they didn’t know that you could go to a place like this and get help for free. To advocate for more people, too, and get some of that out there is important. But, yeah, big need for physicians, mental health clinicians. Huge. And a big uptick in dentistry as well. A lot of people are sick and tired, I think, since the pandemic. The pandemic shut down dentistry as a whole.

Justin bellante [00:29:08]:
So it’s cosmetic. Right. So basically what we’ve noticed is big corporate dental practices are getting a little. It’s like guerrilla competitiveness, if that makes sense. So the average salary for a hygienist in Florida, 21, $30 an hour, you’re doing pretty well now. You’re looking at, like 50 plus an hour. Like, good for them. But what’s been difficult is when those.

Justin bellante [00:29:33]:
What they’re trying to do is they’re trying to recoup their one and a half year loss and they’re working you to the bone, and these people are calling me like, man, I just want a regular job. So it’s been good for us because with the people we serve, it’s more of like a regular position, if that makes sense.

Kortney Harmon [00:29:50]:
No, that makes complete sense. You talk clients, you talked a lot about business development and how you guys focus on the front part of your day to be business development. How has that changed? What’s your approach to business development today? Where maybe it wasn’t that way two years ago.

Justin bellante [00:30:05]:
So the boss used to say, like, always do BD. And you’re always just like, yeah, man, I know, you want me to get more clients for you? Like, okay, all right, now I like, kind of see why? Because the goal isn’t to have 5000 clients. You don’t need all that to be successful. Like, no, I’m trying to make, I want to make seven placements a month. That’s my goal. Right. So you don’t need a thousand clients to do that. Right.

Justin bellante [00:30:27]:
You only need like one with seven positions or a few openings. So when I first I used to just do BD, get a couple of clients, work with them until they got all the invoices. And either I conveyed my value so well and I had such a great relationship that we got to keep working with them or they got the bill and the CFO said, we just hired three new recruiters, not you. And then going back to BD basically when I had nothing. And now I understand, like, how important it is to constantly do BD so you don’t find yourself with all your eggs in one basket. And so that way you’re constantly like, I don’t want to just have, you know, I want every client I have to be a clients. And with recruiting, that shifts. My a clients four years ago are my C clients today.

Justin bellante [00:31:15]:
So I’m looking constantly for the A pluses. That’s what I’m doing when I do BD every day. It’s more focused than when I was a recruiter. And I think that I’ve been able to help convey that message to the rest of the team. So hopefully they don’t find themselves in the same pitfalls that we’ve all been in.

Kortney Harmon [00:31:31]:
Absolutely. The running quote back when I was training was a call block. A day for BD keeps poverty away, and it’s that balanced desk. So I love it. I love that. Let’s shift gears a smidge more technology. We talked technology before we even started. AI is changing the process.

Kortney Harmon [00:31:48]:
Talk to me about maybe how you’ve innovated with your teams, with technology. On how to do your jobs better, more efficiently. What does that look like? What have you done? Give me the deets.

Justin bellante [00:31:58]:
Yeah. I like to think I have a unique perspective. I don’t know if it’s that unique, but when I first started was just Google and phone, that was it. And I feel like every piece of technology has been new. So when we started here, I finally had like, the keys to the castle, if you will. And every time I wanted to try a new piece of technology, it’s like, ah, go make another placement. We’re doing well. Like, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it kind of mentality.

Justin bellante [00:32:19]:
So been able to try all the different tools and technology since we started titanium, I didn’t really know too much about, like, data enrichment technology that’s been like a game changer completely relying on just cold calls to obtain information, which I feel like is silly. Nothing like the 27 page of Google too. You can find some really, really cool passing information on there sequencing that’s been super helpful. Even just a formal cadence of an approach to BD or recruiting or whatever it is that you’re working on. Something is always better than nothing. Even if you’re not an expert recruiter. Like, coming up with some ten step, 1112, whatever step process is going to be better than nothing. So I think having that, being able to use that is good.

Justin bellante [00:33:05]:
Tracking the emails and the campaigns and stuff too, something I’ve never really done before. I feel like a third grade recruiter that just happened to make a lot of placements five years. Because all the stuff that I learned, it’s like, wow. I knew about Boolean and I knew about resume databases, but I didn’t know about, you know, posting, really jobs. I didn’t know too much about that. I didn’t know about SMS campaigns, email campaigns, tracking who’s opening, who’s clicking sequences, multi channel approaches, multi step approaches, automated approaches. We do a lot with like, alerts too. So, like, we set up a lot of stuff on the front end to basically have it do the job for us, which is super cool.

Justin bellante [00:33:48]:
And then chat GPT. Love chat GPT. Yeah. Big AI guy. Really big on technology. It’s like, I see it as a tool, I guess you a lot of like, pros and cons, I think, if you will. I think the natural human response is to take the easy way out and I think that AI can make the job really easy. Doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be effective.

Justin bellante [00:34:12]:
It’s more like that quality and quantity type stuff. But that being said, there are plenty of opportunities where you can use it for productivity as like a hack, if you will. Cut down the amount of time it takes to do job descriptions, relaying notes, and maybe feedback to client a little more articulately. I didn’t go to college, so sometimes it can change your tonality. You can change how professional sounding you want it to be. That’s super helpful. And then you can use it for everything that I just listed. As far as the technology goes.

Justin bellante [00:34:43]:
Use it as a brainstormer too, and it’s definitely been really helpful. I’m starting to get into more of like the more advanced chat GPT AI stuff. Trisha Tampgan over at Morse essentials, they do like a lot of training and coaches and classes and stuff like that. I just did one of theirs and mind blowing. I thought I was doing a lot with chat GPT only to see like, I just got started. And then you got bard now, which is also a lot of fun. They just added a whole Gemini feature to Google workspace, which is really cool. I’ve been playing around with that.

Justin bellante [00:35:17]:
Yeah, I know. I love AI too. It’s interesting. I feel like it’s still so new. It’s so hard to make such grandiose statements, like it’s going to take over recruiting or it’s going to take over the world or our jobs are leaving. But it is a little scary when I hear that my colleague’s property manager quit and they replaced her with an AI. So that’s a real life story.

Kortney Harmon [00:35:35]:
We just dropped an episode today with Maurice Fuller and it’s like two parter today and Thursday. It was enough to make you go, hmm. Some of the things that he was saying. He was saying the new gold standard for automation is 100 automations per staffing organization. He was talking about where AI is going and it was like, whoa. Yeah, I would encourage you to listen in. He was really a wealth of information. It was crazy.

Justin bellante [00:35:58]:
Oh, holy cow, I’m in.

Kortney Harmon [00:35:59]:
I love it. Okay, so let’s look ahead for the future of you and the Titan placement operations. Any future changes or pivot to maybe remain competitive through these economic fluctuations.

Justin bellante [00:36:12]:
Well, I think we’re constantly enemy learning. I think that you can’t get stuck in like the this is the way we’ve always done it mentality. Recruiting two years ago is not what it is today. Someone I haven’t talked to in two years that I talked to the other day, and they’re like, well, what’s changed since you left? I’m like, you know, like, so much has changed. Yeah, no kidding.

Kortney Harmon [00:36:33]:
Well, how do you stay abreast of it all? I mean, there’s so much information, there’s the shiny tech that kind of lures you like. How do you stay evolving with AR industry, what you should be doing? What do you do?

Justin bellante [00:36:44]:
I try to stay connected to my network. I try to do networking beyond just for business development and recruiting. I try to network with people like you and listen to podcasts, too about, especially when it comes to recruiting, especially different industries, because I feel like you can get stuck in your silo very easily. So, yeah, podcasts, networking on LinkedIn, and I think, too is just getting yourself out there to network locally. I think it’s open a lot of doors for me, too. People love doing business with people that are local. I would prefer to do business with someone who’s local. I think if they’re going to be working on my house or something, I want to fly some guy in from different state.

Justin bellante [00:37:27]:
One thing I think that’s really helpful for us is that I love taking and hearing opinions and thoughts and ideas from people who’ve been doing it for six months or less. Some of these people come in and they never done recruiting. I have a guy who’s never done recruiting a day in his life. Classically trained actor, spart tenon, for nearly a decade while he was acting. And I mean, man, this guy, like, he has such thought provoking questions and like, says things that I’ve never heard a client say. I’ve never heard a recruiter say, never heard a candidate ask before. And just roundtable sit in a room and it happens every day, basically. And they’re like, I don’t know what you call that, but, like, the ability to roundtable and brainstorm with the team.

Justin bellante [00:38:07]:
Like, we get 13 smart, hungry, ambitious people in a room together. Like, we can come up when, take over any situation and overcome it, if that makes sense.

Kortney Harmon [00:38:17]:
I love. I love. Collaboration speaks volumes, especially when you have people that are open and receptive to new ideas. That’s where you move mountains. All right, I only have one more question for you, Justin, I promise.

Justin bellante [00:38:29]:
Okay? Yeah.

Kortney Harmon [00:38:30]:
What advice would you give staffing and recruiting professionals that are here, they’re looking to grow. What advice would you give them because you were here not only a year and a half ago? What advice would you give your earlier self or someone that was in your position?

Justin bellante [00:38:44]:
If you don’t have a process, find one. If you don’t have one, make one. Something is better than nothing. And having something I think could just you can find ways to improve it, but if you don’t have something, you don’t know what to improve.

Kortney Harmon [00:39:00]:
I think that’s great advice. I support that conversation. I definitely think that it’s a starting point. You have to start somewhere and I think it’s a great place to start. Well, Justin, thank you so much for your time today. What an insightful conversation. I love your passion for people and healthcare in really serving the communities in which you shine. So thank you so much for joining us today.

Kortney Harmon [00:39:20]:
I think your expertise and your journey has been where many of us have been or currently are. If you’d love to connect with Justin, we’ll put his LinkedIn profile in the show notes as well. And as to our listeners, thanks for joining in. We’ll be back soon with more of inspiring instructors, stories and actionable insights from leaders in the staffing and recruiting world. Until then, keep growing, keep learning, and keep making your desk a fuller experience. Have a great day. I’m Kortney Harmon with Krilate. Thanks for joining us for this episode of Industry Spotlight, a new series from the full desk experience.

Kortney Harmon [00:39:57]:
New episodes will be dropping monthly. Be sure you’re subscribed to our podcast so you can catch the next industry Spotlight episode and all episodes of the full desk experience here or wherever you listen.

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