Erica Harvitt, President and Founder of The LIST, on Creating a Hub for Traveling Healthcare Workers

Erica Harvitt, president and founder of The LIST, joins the podcast to talk about her motivation for creating a centralized hub for traveling healthcare workers. As a traveling occupational therapist, she was well aware of the perks and pitfalls involved with trying to find positions. She decided to start a platform where travelers have control, from selecting their own recruiter to applying for jobs that are posted in real time. Erica also talks about improvements staffing agencies could implement to better suit travelers’ needs and how mindfulness and meditation have impacted her personal and professional life for the better.

David Folwell: Hello everyone. Thank you for joining us for another episode of The Staffing Show. I’m super excited today to be joined by Erica Harvitt, who’s the president and founder of The LIST Jobs. Erica, thanks for being on the show today. To kick things off, why don’t you tell us a little bit about who you are and how you got into staffing?

Erica Harvitt: Yeah. Great. Thank you for having me. I’m Erica. I am a six-year travel occupational therapist. And I got into staffing because I was a healthcare worker that was traveling and I just wanted to see all of my options. And at that time, we didn’t have a job board for us. I’m an allied healthcare provider. We found our jobs through memes on Facebook. So I would know about…I tell people that and they don’t believe me. I’m like, “Go ask any travel nurse.” And they’ll do it, and they’ll be like, “She laughed when I said that.” Yeah, that’s a real thing.

Folwell: That’s amazing.

Harvitt: It’s like a funny cat picture, but with a job attached. It’s a weird thing for such a huge industry to have that be the reality of it.

Folwell: Yeah. Well, and I feel like now there’s a push on TikTok, too, so people are probably finding jobs through TikTok videos in the traveling segment.

Harvitt: It’s so weird. It’s so weird. I mean, maybe it’s my personality, but I wanted all of the information in one place in real time. I would have maybe five jobs to choose from and I would just say, “Okay.” Because I’m pretty flexible about where they put me and everything. But I wanted to know what else is out there, what are all of our options. And so I set out to make The LIST just as a resource for me and my peers so that we could just have it. Little did I know how much effort and much of my life this was going to take over. I didn’t see the future accurately.

Folwell: That’s amazing. I saw a thing the other day from, I think it was Malcolm Gladwell, who said, “If you’re a startup founder, there’s a high likelihood that you’re a little bit delusional because most startup founders wouldn’t actually do the startup if they knew all of the things that would go into it.” So you have to be overly optimistic about the future, which is a very positive thing and something that I related to pretty strongly

Harvitt: I know. It’s so true. Sometimes I’ll have that conversation with people and stop, and be like, “Would you still go back and do it?” And I think at this point, at this point the answer is, “Yes,” but I had no idea. And this is best to say, this is my second tech startup, but I have to say also they were very different. The whole process was just totally different animals. So I’ve learned a lot.

Folwell: Awesome, Awesome. Tell me a little bit about what is The LIST Jobs? What is it that you guys do?

Harvitt: Yeah. So we are a travel healthcare job board. So we pull in all of the jobs from any agency that signs up with us in real time. And then the travelers are able to choose their own job and then they can go and choose their own recruiter based on their photo, their star ratings, their traveler reviews, so that when they start that job, when they make that connection, they already feel safe in that position. 

And I think it just ends up in higher-quality placements because I think that your recruiter is your business partner. And that’s what I tell travelers when I talk all the time. If I got placed to an 800 number and assigned to a random recruiter, that is very scary to me. So we just empower the travelers. We’ve had agencies to just feed us the information and we’ll do everything else. And then the travelers can make their own educated decisions and feel really comfortable going into that contract and going into that relationship.

Folwell: Yeah, that’s really amazing. And we had a little conversation about this, but if you tell me a little bit about what’s the performance of The LIST? I don’t know if you want to talk about how it compares to other job boards or just to how you guys perform as a whole.

Harvitt: Yeah. I prefer not to speak to other job boards. I mean, I obviously get statistics all the time. We’re talking to all of the same clients. But as far as we’re concerned to date, so since we started three years ago to date, 11% of our referrals have wound up in that contract, which I think is pretty healthy.

Like I said, we try to focus on the relationships and I think that that can also increase over time. But regardless, over 10% of them actually starting in that job I think is pretty solid. And like I said, we try to base it on relationships and have those travelers also continued working with that recruiter.

Folwell: Yeah. Actually, I mean, it should be about 11x traditional job boards. I think the stat I’ve seen is overall job boards have about a 1% placement rate, so that’s really amazing that you’re seeing that performance with the platform. That’s very cool. Let’s talk a little bit, you started to jump into this, but what’s your experience been like starting and growing your own business?

Harvitt: Oh, God. It’s been…like I said, this is my second tech startup and they were just totally different animals. Like I said, I started this, I was like, “Oh, I’ve been involved in a tech company. I’ve built a website. I’ve got 30,000 members in a couple of weeks and raised $2 million within a few weeks.” I was like, “This will be nothing.” But it’s a totally different industry and people are very different in different industries.

This industry feels highly competitive, but it is my industry. I’ve been in it for six years. I’ve been in all sides of it and it’s taken so much more work than just building a website, which is where I thought I was headed to…you have to wear so many hats. You’re dealing with legal and hiring dev teams and trying to know everything that they’re talking about and onboarding and offboarding people and marketing teams. I’ve just learned so much is what I can say.

And I’m proud of where we’ve gotten to. We have over 10,000 jobs. We’re representing eight agencies right now. We have 250,000 travelers in our database. I’m proud of where we are. I’m really happy with the website. It was a lot of work to get here, but it feels good coming out the other side of it.

Folwell: Yeah. I mean, you have a beautiful website, the design and everything looks great. So it looks like it’s moving in the right direction.

Harvitt: Thank you. User interface is very important to me. Ease of use for the user I think is where I shine. I focus a lot on that.

Folwell: And is that something that you measure with your audience as well? Do you get feedback on it from the travelers or do you do that just with your own intuition?

Harvitt: Oh, all the time. I mean, I build it out with my intuition and developer’s vision of how something should be or how something is easy and then user experience of what’s easy is very different. And bridging that gap seems to be a lot of my full-time job. 

I mean, any major decisions we make, we take polls from the travelers. I constantly ask all of our recruiters and agencies for feedback. And the recruiters and agencies that we have on right now have been awesome, giving feedback. I want it to be the best user experience for all of the users that we have on the system. So that is of very high importance to us and we’ve been really lucky in getting great feedback all the time from our users.

Folwell: That’s great that you’re doing that. I think that’s such a key thing and something that a lot of agencies go out and build their own website and they do it all with the marketing agency. And I don’t know if they’re talking to the travelers in the process. I think they’re building it and not getting the feedback to make sure they’re doing it the right way, which is a key part of that. Let’s talk a little bit more about who is your ideal customer? Who are you working with?

Harvitt: Ooh, good question. Who is our ideal customer? The agencies that fit best with us, it’s funny because I’ll go into one quarter and I’ll think like, “Oh, the small agencies love us.” And then we’ll just get huge agencies reaching out to us. So size never tends to have anything to do with it. I really like and I think we can help agencies that value having a good relationship with the travelers. So if you’re an agency that just tries to run travelers through really quickly and switch recruiters or doesn’t have a pulse on how the travelers are doing, it’s probably not the best fit. But if you have recruiters that value long-term relationships with travelers and that can be responsive to a system, a lot of agencies will say, “Oh, we have so many systems we’re on. You can send these leads to our recruiters but they’re not going to respond.”

Well, if they don’t respond to the travelers that send them a text message, I can do nothing else for you. So the agencies need to have at least some dedicated recruiters that will respond to these live leads. It’s an actual human reaching out to them saying, “I want to be placed in this job and I want you to be my business partner.” So it needs to be with an agency that has recruiters of that mindset that they’re going to take these leads, call them back and build a relationship with that person.

Folwell: So it sounds like less of the transactional staffing, more of the high-touch, high-relationship, the people that really want to build a long-lasting relationship with their travelers.

Harvitt: Yeah. We try to keep it as easy as possible. We use Kamana’s universal application and every touchpoint, we encourage travelers to fill that out. So anytime they apply to a job or connect with a recruiter, they get another email from me that says, “Hey, just a reminder, if this person’s going to place you right now, you’re going to need to go in and fill out or update your universal profile.”

And that has helped a lot, too, with the agencies that actually open it. It’s just a document and you have all of these attachments and all of this data in it. I was able to place myself in a contract. I think the industry standard is three weeks. I got myself hired to a contract within an hour and a half, and it was across the country.

Folwell: That’s amazing.

Harvitt: So I had to drive to California from Michigan, but I started 5 days later. And that was just because….

Folwell: That’s amazing.

Harvitt: …I had my universal application filled out and it was just easy. It was everything they needed to submit me and then half of all of my credentialing documents, which is like 42 line items, just FYI.

Folwell: Wow.

Harvitt: Yeah.

Folwell: Wow. That’s incredible. So it sounds like you have a good partnership with Kamana as well and that’s maybe something you’d share a little bit more about as well.

Harvitt: Oh, I do. I am so grateful to Kamana. So I met them three years ago at TravCon. I was speaking on something. And I have no idea what I was talking about, but I got into a conversation with them just about how little tech there was at that time in healthcare in general, but travel healthcare, there’s so many different systems and they don’t talk to each other. And especially travel healthcare staffing, like the fact that allied health didn’t have a job board, at least not that anyone I talked to could find, that was astounding to me. And so I think the conversation I had with the founders of Kamana that day kind of encouraged me to just do it.

I went around TravCon that year and I talked to every single booth. I said, “If I build this, will you use it?” And everybody said, “Yes.” So we built it. But yeah, I’ve just been really grateful. They were founded about a year and a half before me and just to be able to talk to other entrepreneurs, especially in this space, I’m just so grateful to be able to run stuff by people. And even you, just to be able…the conversation we had before we started this one, I’m just so grateful somebody’s experiencing the same things as you and just to get nuggets of wisdom from each other.

Folwell: It’s super helpful to help avoid some of the mistakes that I think every entrepreneur learned, lessons learned, and trying to skip the line a little bit on that. So you mentioned that you built this for allied. Are you 100% focused on allied right now or do you go out beyond that?

Harvitt: We’re not, and that’s because when an agency imports their jobs, we’re not going to say, “Don’t give us your nursing jobs. We don’t want to deal with that.” We’re going to import all of the jobs and we’re available for any travelers. We’re not going to prevent people from finding jobs on our system. So just by nature of being automated within the last couple of months. We used to be manual upload. We had to go through a few developers. That was our biggest hold-up was all the lessons I learned with development. But now that we’re automated, we have an awesome site, we have an awesome dev team. The jobs pour in and we market to the people that we have the most jobs for. So when that’s nursing, which is 40% of the market last I checked, then it’s nursing.

Folwell: Got it. Got it. So you broaden it out from just allied to whatever jobs are coming on there.

Harvitt: Yeah.

Folwell: And I think it’s true to say, I think it’s a fair statement to say that you’re a little bit of an influencer in terms of your Facebook reach. I mean, you talked a little bit about what you’ve done from your Facebook groups and how you built your influence over time.

Harvitt: Oh, gosh. So this all did start by me posting Facebook Lives about just life on the road as a traveler. I would just be driving to a contract and pull off on the side of the road and just talk about what was normal. Because I think that people who have not…healthcare workers or new grads that have not been a traveler, they have no idea. I had no idea. So I just tried to do live videos of what it’s really like day-to-day, not just the highlights. And so those videos were getting several thousand views quickly.

And then I was in one Facebook group for allied health and I guess I thought I was being normal, but I guess I was sort of outspoken or going and getting data that people were wondering. They’d have a question about agencies and I would just go ask an agency. So then I was asked to be admin of that group and then that person asked me to come speak at TravCon and it did spiral from there. 

I’ll say it’s very difficult to be speaking to the travelers in social media and running this whole company. It is so hard to do both things because there’s just not enough hours in a day. So that I think has been a challenge and that’s why we have an outreach team to be able to have their hands all in that when I can’t be there full-time.

Folwell: Well, that’s really cool that you did that and also a fun start to see that you had that drive to get out there and share the story and what it’s really like. Because I do think a lot of travelers don’t necessarily know and it’s a new experience to think about going from place to place and starting a job with a bunch of people you don’t know. That’s really, really cool. So what are some of the major trends that you’re seeing in healthcare staffing right now?

Harvitt: What are some major trends? Well, in terms of the job imports, therapy is getting paid higher definitely than when I was able to take contracts. I’m pretty jealous of them. OTs and PTs are getting paid higher than what was even an option when I was able to take a contract. It’s been, I think a year and a half, probably two years. I worked San Francisco during COVID, it was my last contract. SLPs are making a little bit less than we’ve seen. I think the pay rate and what disciplines are popular are, it’s up and down so frequently. I mean, I stopped speaking to it on my videos because a month later I could be wrong.

Folwell: It was outdated. Yeah.

Harvitt: Definitely a year later I’m wrong. So I sort of don’t talk about numbers or how different disciplines are doing. I just say, “It’s live right now and we can take this cast and talk about today’s date.”

Folwell: So volatility sounds like the trend. Sounds like more volatile….

Harvitt: For sure.

Folwell: Yeah.

Harvitt: For sure. Ever since COVID started. So funny story, not funny, it was horrible. I started this company three months before COVID hit. And we had 22 agencies on a waitlist, we got 4,000 travelers in our Facebook group within just a few weeks. We took off running. It was great. And we had 500 manual entry jobs on our job board, which you’re dealing with manual entry. Those are the best of the best jobs. It was great, especially for just having started. Well, COVID hit and our jobs dropped to 19. 19.

Folwell: Yes. 

Harvitt: 60% of our users were sent home within one week.

Folwell: Wow. Wow.

Harvitt: It was bad. We weren’t doing nursing at that time. And allied just tanked obviously. And it was a bumpy ride.

Folwell: It has been a bumpy ride. It has been. That’s also a crazy time to start the business, right? I think that was a hard time for established businesses. There were a couple months there where everything just locked up, but starting the business 3 months before, that’s definitely a wild time.

Harvitt: It was a wild time. Luckily, it gave me time to build out our first website and that website was really great, but that developer wasn’t able to follow through and make us automated. He said it was impossible and we were like…so we had to restart a whole new website and it just killed like years honestly, but you live and you learn. And our site now’s great. Our dev team’s great. Anytime an agency says, “Can you do this?” It ends up being a “yes” and they just start doing it. It’s been awesome.

Folwell: That’s incredible. A personal lesson I’ve learned on the software development side is contract-to-hire almost always. We now do a two- to four-week project, even if they’re full-time somewhere else, we define a project and see what the work looks like. Because it’s very hard to vet a developer and make sure that they’re the right fit for your company, unless you’ve actually seen their work and seen what they can do. So that’s been a new process we’ve implemented. That’s been super helpful in terms of getting the right people in the right seats.

Harvitt: Yeah. It’s so hard because they’ll say, “This is some of my work”, and they’ll give you websites, but you don’t know if they just participated in it or did some small part of the coding. And as a not super tech person, I’m not a developer, it is hard to vet. So I generally have a different developer vet and we’ve learned to…they have to be under contract and they cannot take any other projects, because that kills us, because these web teams will take on a ton of projects, you get back burnered. So they have to be full-time on contract with you, not able to take different contracts.

Folwell: It makes sense.

Harvitt: And that’s kept us, I think, feeling safe and have our team long-term.

Folwell: Oh, that’s great. So shifting gears a little bit, you talked to healthcare travelers a lot. What do you think healthcare travelers want from agencies today that maybe agencies aren’t doing well?

Harvitt: Oh, great question. Something super random. This isn’t like the best answer, but it’s a random one that agencies don’t understand I think and it’s like kind of a big problem for travelers. The travelers want to be able to change recruiters if they’re not happy. And there’s the funniest thing, the agencies….

Folwell: That’s interesting.

Harvitt: …they don’t want conflict between their recruiters and I think they don’t want to deal with it. So the way they deal with it is they keep routing that traveler back to the initial recruiter. But there’s a reason that that traveler was saying, “I need to work with someone else.” Something super awkward happened for that to be the truth, right? Or they’re just not returning their calls. Something is very wrong for them to be like, “I need a whole new person.” So the agency’s making it more awkward for the traveler and then having that person contact them, and be like, “Why don’t you want to work with me?” And it is a problem. And so what I see happen all the time, travelers talk about this in the private Facebook groups all the time. They leave the agency and then they start with a whole new agency and you’ve lost that traveler for the years of their career because you didn’t want to listen to how uncomfortable they were.

So we actually have a policy with The LIST where the traveler chooses a recruiter. If they go back to that agency later and try to apply to something else with a different recruiter, it gives them a popup that says, “Hey, you’ve been working with Josie. She’s your assigned recruiter here that you chose. Here’s her contact information.” And then it says, “Do you need to switch? Let us know why.” And then if they click that, then they can switch, and the agency sign in the agreement that they have to be okay with that. Because it does get really awkward when you say, “I don’t want to work with this person anymore.” And you make that person call them.

Folwell: Yeah.

Harvitt: It’s not great.

Folwell: That’s really interesting. I’ve never thought about that, but that makes a lot of sense. If there’s some relationships, to business relationships is like, “Hey, this isn’t working.” And I would guess that most staffing agencies aren’t asking, “Are you happy with your recruiter? Would you like to consider a different recruiter at our company?” So it’s really cool that you’re doing that with The LIST and it seems like something maybe more staffing agencies could have…I would guess that that applies across the board outside of healthcare as well, where it’s like, “All right. Well, I’ve got this relationship, maybe it goes south, I still want to work with your company, but I don’t want this dedicated recruiter.” That’s a cool idea. What are some of the other things that are unique or different about The LIST compared to…I know you don’t want to talk about other job boards, but what are some of the things that are unique about what you guys do?

Harvitt: Yeah. I mean, I really don’t focus on what the other job boards are doing. I super focus on what I know that we need in the industry and also on the response I get when I do polls for travelers, when I ask agencies’ recruiters. So I don’t really focus on what anyone else is doing because I don’t want it to distract me from what I know needs to happen. I have a very clear vision on that generally. I think the difference is user experience. We try to make it enjoyable to use the website. And like I said, the travelers get to choose their own recruiters. The recruiters get to feel good because they have a bunch of positive reviews from travelers. We just try to make it a healthy community for the travelers and I try to be as user-friendly for our clients.

Folwell: You mentioned that you’re allowing the travelers go immediately to text with the recruiters as well? Is that the first interaction usually?

Harvitt: Yeah. So the second that a traveler clicks “connect” on a recruiter, there’s a popup for the traveler that says here’s their full name. They already have their agency, their phone number, their email. They can message them through the system that says, “Get ahold of them right now.” An email goes out to the traveler that says, “Update your universal profile,” so that whoever can submit you right away to that position. The recruiter also gets an email that says, “Hey, Tracy just applied to you. Here’s her contact information.” And when recruiters join, we tell them, “The quicker you respond, the higher likelihood you have of placing them.” It’s actually the correlation is a straight line from how quickly the recruiter contacts the traveler to whether they get placed or not. It was so interesting to see it plotted like that.

Folwell: I think that it’s funny that you’re saying that because coming from the marketing agency world, the stat was…I don’t remember the exact multiple, but it was if you follow up within the first five minutes of somebody submitting a form, and this is general across all markets, every website if you follow up within the first….

Harvitt: Industries?

Folwell: Yeah, if you follow up within the first five minutes, I think it was an 8x increase and closes. So it sounds like that….

Harvitt: I believe it.

Folwell: …holds true for you as well. That’s cool. So with that, we’re going to go ahead and jump into the fun questions and a little bit of personal questions for you. So first one I’ve got for you is what advice do you wish you were given before entering the staffing industry?

Harvitt: Oh, God.

Folwell: It’s a fun one. So not easy.

Harvitt: I don’t know. I’ve learned so much. I’ve gotten so much good advice, I don’t even know where….

Folwell: Where to start.

Harvitt: …to start. Okay. But advice that I got recently, I can tell you that I thought was really interesting was I was talking to this specialist about we were setting up our sales funnels and he said something to me, he’s like, “If you have to sell your product to somebody, then they’re just not your client.” I just sat with that and it was permission to let it go and to not sell us. This is what we are, we’re happy to have you. If it’s not for you, I don’t want to continue to engage in this conversation.

Sometimes recruiters will beat you up over, “You need to take referral fees,” and they just won’t let it go. That’s not what we’re doing because they don’t get paid out, as you know, hence your company. And they’re not trackable, except for with your company. So that advice just gave me permission to let it go and excuse myself from conversations where someone’s trying to change our business model to something we already know doesn’t work and just say, “It’s not for you. That’s okay.” We have tons of jobs, we have excellent agencies. We don’t need everybody. It’s not going to be for everybody and we’re here for who it fits with.

Folwell: That is great advice. And then next question I’ve got for you is, in the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?

Harvitt: Gosh, outside of work, I think I’ve really been…this might sound a little foofy or something, but I’ve really been getting into the power of positivity. Not the book, but just in general, positive thinking, talking to other entrepreneurs or other entrepreneurial groups about being confident and positive and gratitude focusing on spirituality and taking time for that. I know that sounds really foofy, but…

Folwell: That’s great advice.

Harvitt: I’d say starting to meditate and I’ve been taking retreats to work on just being a happier, better person, like self-improvement. I think I’ve done that maybe in the last…I started that when COVID started. And I think that that has been such a positive change and I’m really grateful for discovering that genre that I can’t articulate as well as I’d like to.

Folwell: Yeah. And if you don’t mind, explain a little bit more about what type of retreats or what does that entail?

Harvitt: Oh, God. You might have to cut this but I’m happy to tell you.

Folwell: Yeah.

Harvitt: You might have to cut this from your show. I don’t know. Just self-improvement, trying to get just the best version of yourself. I went to a psilocybin retreat in Jamaica and I found that to be incredibly powerful in terms of finding out more about yourself and your true nature and what your strengths are. It gets fascinating. And I also did an ayahuasca retreat. I went to the Peruvian jungle for a month.

Folwell: Oh, my God. Oh, my God.

Harvitt: And did ayahuasca. Yeah, it was intense. I don’t know why I did that. I’m just kidding. With the people was so hard, every day was hard and scary every day for a month. Here you’re like camping, okay.

Folwell: Wow.

Harvitt: We have tarantulas, you’re in a mosquito net, there’s no electricity. You’re in the jungle like six hours up a river from the closest city. You’re really out there and just leaning in and just showing up and trying.

Folwell: I think you’d be surprised that a lot of people that I interview and talk with in the industry, a lot of business leaders as a whole, I hear frequently — a lot of times off the record — that they are into psilocybin or they’re doing some form of retreat or meditation, because I think there’s a lot of value in it. I think where science is starting to prove that we’re coming out with, looks like it’s going to be decriminalized here in Denver, and DC. You can actually buy it at shops now, which is insane, but it’s pretty wild to see that being adopted.

Harvitt: I have to say for my personal opinion, the use of psychedelics for mental health, especially people with depression, PTSD, you can’t deny…I mean, when you look into this, you can’t deny the positive effects it has on people. I’m trying to think of whether I can share a personal story about someone else or not. But there’s so much potential there and I know that MAPS is in the process of, they’re doing studies on MDMA on PTSD, which I think is fantastic. If it’s helping people, like this isn’t recreational. This is therapeutic. People aren’t doing this at a party. They’re going to these retreats and doing it with these people that are very intentionally trying to better themselves. And I think there’s this line and difference that people don’t recognize if it’s not sort of a community that they’re involved in.

Folwell: Yeah. I have a friend who stopped a long-term, a 20-year addiction after one, he had a mushroom trip and stopped a 20-year addiction. I have another person who completely changed the trajectory of their life. They were going down a terrible path and now they’re one of the most successful entrepreneurs I know. And it all happened from this. So I think it could be pretty transformative. So I think it’s more common than…I think most people don’t talk about it, but I think it’s a common and it can be super valuable for a lot of people. So that’s really cool that you’ve done that. So next question I’ve got for you is, what are the bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

Harvitt: Okay. Here’s one. I have sat with travelers on contract and I’ve heard this several times. It’s always a guy doing this, which is weird, and you’ve made a small study size, but I’ll have travelers that will get on a group call with recruiters from multiple agencies and have them fight it out who’s going to pay them the most? I know. It’s so rude.

Folwell: That’s amazing.

Harvitt: I don’t know. And the point that I made to these people is…they’re like, “I don’t care. They’re here to work for me.” And they have this attitude of the recruiters are their servants. And I think that is so messed up, one, on a human level, but two, what happens when the industry changes and your job is not in high demand? Do you think that they’re going to seek you out to hire you? You have a shit attitude, they’re not going to be trying to help you later.

And what’s funny is this happened before COVID. One of these instances happened before COVID, and I said that to him and then go figure a year later. The industry shut down, there are no PT jobs, and you were an a-hole to the recruiters. I mean, there’s just a way to handle things with tact. And I do think it’s changing. I think maybe a lot of that change is happening from several of us outspoken travelers in the industry talking about how recruiters are humans that are trying to help you.

So that’s something that I try to really get across to travelers and also to recruiters, I try to get across, “Don’t spam us. You’re not going to gain respect in that way.” And that’s hard to get through with agencies and recruiters, but that’s why it’s a one-way communication on The LIST. Actually, I get asked that a lot, “Can we go through your travelers and contact them?” And the answer is absolutely not. They’re going to contact you. All you have to do is download all of your stuff. You can set it and forget it, leave it alone. The leads you get will be great leads, but you cannot spam any of our travelers. They will find you, and that’s why.

Folwell: It is amazing. The spam, I’ve submitted forms just testing different websites and I’ve submitted forms across on every vertical in staffing. And the healthcare spam is the most insane thing. I still get text messages two years later from people asking me if I want an RN job, I’m like….

Harvitt: Yeah, right? It’s always an RN job.

Folwell: I’m like, “Wait a second. How is this still happening?” I’m like, “I’m not an RN.” And then six months later I get a text from the same company. I’m like, “Wait a second. I’ve told you, I was just testing things out.” So it’s very interesting. 

Next and last question I’ve got for you is, how has a failure or apparent failure set you up for later success?

Harvitt: Oh, gosh. I just think that I learned so much. Sometimes you wish you had more guidance or had gone to, had different education or something, but every time you mess up, you know how to do it better next time. Like you know all of the holes that you can step in. Failure setting up for success, the hardest part about The LIST has been my web development.

Folwell: Yeah. 

Harvitt: We went through three dev teams. The first one just wouldn’t finish it and they put us years behind, honestly. And I don’t have ill will toward them, but that put us years behind. No matter if you’re a great person, you cannot not finish this product and tell us you’re going to. Or say like it’s impossible when other companies are doing it. And then challenges with our next dev team, just having too many other commitments.

So I think the biggest lesson I have learned was how important the dev team is because that’s one thing that I can’t handle. I can’t code things. I mean, on certain platforms I can do some stuff, but I think that’s been my biggest lesson is that my ideal partner is a dev team. I can handle pretty much everything else. So making sure to find a way to vet that person and find the best person, because starting with the right team, it would’ve saved me years.

Folwell: I second that advice. So I’ve had that lesson as well. And my previous company went through three CTOs in a year and a half and then had to redo all of…to rewrite everything. So getting the right developers is such a key component when you’re building a platform. That’s really great advice. Any closing comments or anything else you’d like to share with our audience?

Harvitt: No, I don’t think so. I think this was a great conversation. If I think a lot of your listeners are heads of agencies, if you’d like to work with us, we’re super happy to talk with you and potentially work together. And I think we talked about what a good fit for that looks like. And no, I appreciate your time. I love every conversation we have. I’m so grateful. I’m like we need to do this more often.

Folwell: Yeah, agreed. Agreed. I always enjoy it as well. And I actually do have one last part that I’d like you to talk about, I forgot to bring up. You have one of the coolest giveaways that I’ve seen from a marketing perspective, and I actually skipped over that question, but could you just share a little bit about what you’re doing as a giveaway and we’ll close it out after that.

Harvitt: Yeah. I believe it’s launching tomorrow. I don’t know what date your podcast is going up. Probably it’ll be launched by the time this goes out. But we’re giving away $30,000 in world travel to one of our travelers. And so they participate by interacting with the agencies on our website. And that’s another reason to be part of our team, to have exposure to your jobs and your recruiters. And yeah, I’m excited to do it.

Folwell: That’s amazing. That’s so cool that you’re doing that.

Harvitt: Yeah.

Folwell: Well, thank you so much for joining today. I really enjoyed the conversation. And if any of the listeners out there are looking for a way to find more healthcare travelers, consider The LIST job board. It’s a great website. And thanks again for being on.

Harvitt: Thank you. Thanks for having me.