Meet Aaron Quihuis, Accomplished Senior Allied Recruiter
by Doug Bennett, contributor
Helping people live healthier lives is a personal passion for Med Travelers Senior Principal Recruiter, Aaron Quihuis. As a cancer survivor, Aaron enjoys employing his own personal knowledge and experience in health and wellness to help physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists achieve a healthy balance in their own lives.
“My role as a recruiting consultant is to help clinicians reach their professional and personal goals through the travel therapy industry, while also assisting our clients in filling their open therapy needs. The healthcare industry is attractive because I have always wanted to be a clinician myself. Helping people achieve their health-related goals is a passion of mine, so recruiting professionals into jobs in which they get to help people is the next best thing. I get to live vicariously through my travelers on their adventures.”
Aaron started his career with Med Travelers in June 2015 and now successfully manages 45-55 clients at a time, on average. When not working, Quihuis enjoys going to the gym (his “second home”) and doing CrossFit to stay healthy, traveling with his wife and son, playing basketball and sand volleyball, and watching Netflix for an occasional mental break.
So, how does he do it all?
“Strong organizational skills, the ability to multi-task, and prompt communication are the key strengths a recruiter must have in order to succeed. Staying organized is my focus so I am easily able to maintain relationships with my clinicians.”
Building trust and relationships is the name of the game
The opportunity to talk and build relationships with healthcare professionals is what first attracted Aaron to the recruiting profession.
“I have the “gift of gab” so getting to meet new people every day and help them find fulfilling travel contracts is the best part of my job.”
Quihuis considers the long-lasting friendships he has built along the way—with both colleagues and clinicians—to be his favorite part of being a Med Travelers recruiter.
“I have been fortunate enough to meet several of my travelers in-person and have made connections and networked at several traveler meetups and conferences over the past 5 years.”
He credits living by core values such as honesty, transparency, and positivity, as well as providing excellent customer service as the secrets to his success.“It might sound corny, but I live by those values every day in a personal and professional manner. And I have found that most clinicians appreciate the same values.”
Quihuis creates rapport with his clinicians by learning about their interests outside of work and finding ways to connect with them on a personal level.
“Building that relationship and trust on the front-end is the name of the game. Many of my travelers are on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, so connecting with them through those channels is a great way to put a face to the name.”
Customer service with a personal touch
In December 2019, Aaron helped a PT find a travel assignment in San Francisco, California. With the extremely high cost of living in San Francisco, the clinician was having difficulties finding affordable housing. After a week of searching, she struck out on options, but Aaron stepped in to assist by connecting her with another PT who was on assignment in San Francisco at the time.
“My other PT was willing to split housing costs with her and they ended up finding an apartment near both of their facilities.”
But the clinician’s challenges did not stop there, nor did Aaron’s willingness to help out. After the clinician’s new facility found a permanent hire, she panicked because she had already agreed to a 3-month apartment lease.
“With the San Francisco market down during the holidays, we did not have any other options for jobs nearby. I decided to step in and personally make calls to nearby facilities to market my clinician and source a position for her. I was able to find a nearby outpatient clinic that was able to bring her on within 2 weeks and my clinician was incredibly grateful for my efforts.”
Helpful tips from an experienced recruiter
In today’s competitive job market, Quihuis considers flexibility on both location and setting as the key to successful placement for Med Travelers clinicians.
“When the market tightens up and the job supply decreases, it is important to be open to multiple state licensures and settings. It will exponentially increase the chances of landing a travel contract.”
For clinicians who are trying to get experience in a new setting, Aaron promotes any previous experience they have gained on their resume and then tailors their particular strengths to match what the new setting and client are seeking.
“Having positive professional references on file for each job is a strong selling point to prospective clients and helps me sell my clinicians to get them an interview.”
Quihuis says other helpful strategies for clinicians include highlighting EMR experience on your resume, being willing to call in for interviews if the client is not responding quickly, and making certain to keep CEUs up to date for each corresponding setting and skill set.
“I always encourage clinicians to sound energetic and enthusiastic about the position during the interview. Asking questions about the site is important, and informing the hiring manager how their clinical skills will match what the facility is looking for is key. A great candidate is someone who is transparent, responds quickly, and will to adapt to each facility’s therapy style and staff. Being a team player and open to coaching is important as well!”
Traveling out of state or the country can be tough and creates unique challenges. Using his experience gained while traveling to Europe, Thailand and throughout the U.S., Aaron has been able to offer helpful assistance to his clinicians, especially with housing searches.
“I compiled a great list of housing resources that I provide to all of my clinicians. I am also sympathetic with my clinicians when logistical challenges pop up. Setting realistic expectations on the front-end with credentialing, travel time to assignments, and the housing search is crucial. That way, clinicians and clients are both on the same page and the stress level for the clinician is tempered during the busy weeks leading up to the assignment start date.”
Passion and dedication yield success and recognition
This is Quihuis’s first recruiting role. After graduating from Arizona State University in 2012 with a degree in Business Sustainability, he received a job offer to work for a small life insurance broker and ended up managing the firm.
“It was great money but not something I was passionate about. So, after chatting with my friend and colleague, Kalie Simmons, I took a leap of faith and interviewed for a recruiting consultant position with Med Travelers. It has been my best professional decision to date.”
And clearly his colleagues, supervisors, and clinicians agree! Aaron was awarded “Rookie of the Year” in 2015, “Home Health Recruiter of the Year” in 2018, and received “Core Values” recognition in 2018. He was also promoted to Senior Principal Recruiter in May 2019—the highest level of achievement in the recruitment role. In March 2020 he earned President’s Club membership and was selected for the annual company-sponsored Guatemala trip in September 2017.
When asked where he sees himself heading over the next few years, Quihuis says, “I was born and raised in Chandler, so Arizona is my favorite place to visit. My family and friends are back home, so it is always fun catching up with them when I return for a visit. I also enjoy going to San Diego with my family. We visit for summer vacations every other year, and I would love to be able to move there someday. Ultimately, I hope to return to school for a second degree in Dietetics and eventually become a Certified Nutritionist.”
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