The Recruiting Lessons I Learned from Running

by Michael Georgianna, Account Director

Hitting the pavement the other day, it occurred to me that training for a race is a bit like Qual recruiting.  I can’t just get up on race day and start running; I have to train all year long. Qual recruiting is the same way.  Our recruiters just don’t call physicians randomly, and physicians don’t just up and participate in qualitative research. We maintain positive relationships with our healthcare professionals consistently day in and day out, so they respond to our calls. Our recruiters and project managers are like the lean, weathered runners I see on the annual Broad Street Run. With an average tenure of 15+ years, our team has honed their craft through thousands of recruits.

During regular weekly runs, I work different skills – endurance, speed, hillwork, to optimize my training.  The Reckner team does the same and utilizes multiple methods to tailor the recruit for each specific study.

When running, I have to think ahead to the upcoming race: what will my strategy be, what will my starting pace be, where will I need to conserve my energy, at what point will I want to pull ahead?  Our team is always looking ahead to visualize the screener in action: are there gaps between what the client wants and what the screener says, what quota challenges might there be.

Even with all the prep – eating healthy, getting enough sleep, stretching – I sometimes find that despite doing everything right, I may pull a hamstring or sustain another type of injury. It’s frustrating, but I won’t be beaten. I might have to take a step back, rest, stretch, maybe do some PT in order to heal thoroughly.  And so it happens with recruiting – at times it may not go as quickly or as easily as we would like.  So, we have to pause and think strategically about what needs to be done, changed, add to the efforts, and continue on.

I’m pretty good sustaining a race, but then there’s the final leg: I’m near the finish line, but there’s an obstacle, maybe a steep hill or a cramp sets in. It’s the same with some recruits. We’ve pulled out all the stops, and we’re nearly there but there’s an obstacle, maybe we can’t find that last perfect recruit. But, like my race, we push through, because not finishing is not an option.

When I look back on my race day, I know that the whole process was about doing my personal best, the pride I have in my accomplishment. For my teammates at Reckner, their work day provides a similar sense of satisfaction. It’s our corporate culture to go above and beyond each day, for our clients, our teammates and ourselves.