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Quarter 1 Review with CEO, Josiah Whitman

April 13, 2022


Quarter 1 Review with CEO, Josiah Whitman

This quarter, I have been focusing on the following data points: 

  • How many new openings are there for Directors of Surgical Services? 
  • What is the number of candidates that desire relocation? 
  • What is the average salary? 

Why is this data trustworthy? Because we have controls and processes in place to capture every opening for a Director of Surgical Services, and we make a good faith effort to estimate salaries. Our database can easily measure how many people raise their hands for vacancies outside their state. And retroactive analysis has proved that our data is accurate.

Here we see an interruption in the upward trend of director of surgical services vacancies, with openings decreasing in December. But this is due to our office being closed during those last two weeks of the month for the holidays. Beginning at the start of the year, opens significantly rise for January, February, and March.  

The Great Resignation (a phenomenon impacting multiple industries), coupled with increasing nurse burnout, manifests in higher vacancies. The New York Times covered this in a recent episode of their podcast, The Daily, where they discussed the short and long-term effects of the nursing shortage (“Nurses Have Finally Learned What They’re Worth”). 

We see that average salaries are trending upward but not on the same trajectory as new openings. According to those interviewed on the NYT podcast, this relative flatness won’t last long. Their thesis is that COVID and nursing shortages have shifted the supply/demand curve so that wages have dramatically and structurally increased, particularly for travelers. I am not seeing the same growth pattern in permanent salaries for Directors of Surgical Services. Perhaps this wave may hit travelers and interims first. It makes sense that the number of vacancies plus inflation will wear on talent acquisition over time. I predict more significant increases in salaries over the Spring and Summer.  

Finally, let’s look at the number of candidates desiring relocation.

I was a recruiter during the real estate boom between 2005 and the bust in 2008. I saw the swing ranging from sharp increases as candidates became more liquid through their relocation, followed by the period when they could not move due to being underwater on their mortgages. Right now, we’re back in a boom that is so intense that it’s difficult even to buy a house. But will that last in with now increasing interest rates and inverted yield curves? Not quite yet. There are no changes in the data that we’re seeing. 

If you’re a CNO or COO thinking about launching a national search for your Director of Surgical Services, my answer is to go right ahead. 

So that’s my read on the data we have so far. Significant increases in openings delayed but predicted increases in salaries, and increases in interest rates not yet showing any effect in terms of relocation.

If there is additional data you would be interested in, please email me at, and I would be happy to see what I can pull together. As always, keep up the great work.