In this episode, we’re going to discuss travel nursing recruiters. We figure it’s about time we discuss this given that recruiters are really your interface with the agency. So when we talk about stuff like pay, contracts and finding jobs, the person that you’re going to be working with on these issues is the recruiter. We’re going to discuss why recruiters are so important, and provide some tips for evaluating and finding them.
Why Are Travel Nursing Recruiters So Important?
- Many travelers will tell you that recruiters are the most important part of the puzzle. They’ll tell you that a recruiter will make or break the experience for you.
- And to a certain degree that’s true and many recruiters would agree with this statement. However, it’s really a balance between company policies and your recruiter.
- Company’s train their recruiters and company’s set the policy guidelines. So if a company has poor policies or trains their recruiters to be very aggressive, then there’s no escaping that. So the best that a great recruiter can do is to make that experience a little more palletable. Example: penalties for cancelled shifts, or docking stipends for short weeks.
- However, if a company is awesome, then a bad recruiter can certainly ruin it. Recruiters have quite a bit of autonomy so they can develop their own methods or approaches that may not be conducive to good service. The agency can’t have someone sitting there micromanaging the recruiter’s every move 24-7.
- Mainly, recruiters are important because of the central role they play in the process. So it goes beyond the customer service aspect. There are a lot of things that are happening behind the scenes that are extremely important. Getting your profile together, hawking the job openings for matches, moving quickly when new jobs open, staying on top of the account managers to find out what’s happening with a job you’ve been submitted for, making sure all your arrangements are in order once the job has been secured from paperwork to housing, and staying on top of problems that may arise during your assignment
How To Evaluate A Recruiter:
The bottom line is that it’s difficult to evaluate recruiters without first working with them. But we’re going to discuss what to look for, and some various things to do that can start to give you a clue.
First, let’s take a look at some of the things travelers routinely talk about when discussing recruiters.
Trusting Your Travel Nursing Recruiter
- Trust: You’ll find many travelers who cite trust as the single biggest issue for evaluating a recruiter. In fact, it’s probably the single most important factor for experienced travelers.
- The problem is that trust is built over time, so it’s nearly impossible to determine if you can trust someone in just a few conversations.
- There are indicators that you can use though. First, they should follow through with their promises. In the early stages of your relationship with a recruiter, there should be several times when they set an expectation, like, “I’ll email that over to you today” or “I’ll call you in 1 hour.”
- Second, gauge their attitude. Short, curt, mean people are usually less trustworthy. On the flip side, nice people can be untrustworthy too.
- Third, do they invest time with you? If you are a qualified candidate interested in travel nursing, then a recruiter should be willing to invest time to establish the relationship.
- Fourth are they transparent communicators: They should be willing to tell you the good and the bad. Almost every aspect of travel healthcare has some negatives to consider. You may have to ask them what they are, but that’s okay. For example, what are the negative aspects of tax free money? Also, are they willing to break things down for you in detail.
Finding a Travel Nursing Recruiter Who is “There for you”
When describing what constitutes a great recruiter, you’ll find many travelers who say that a great recruiter is “always there for you.” But what exactly is meant by this?
- Staying on top of issues when they arise. For example, if something goes wrong with housing arrangements or payroll issues, a great recruiter will get those things addressed immediately.
- Also, if something goes wrong at the facility, a great recruiter will do what they can to address the issue. However, it’s getting harder and harder for agencies to address these issues because of vendor management services.
- You can get an idea about this from the outset by the way the recruiter treats you. Very similar to the trust issue.
- Also, be sure to have proper expectations. Being a recruiter is a very busy job. So pick and choose your issues wisely.
Experienced Travel Nursing Recruiters
In my opinion, the most important variable is experience. Travel healthcare recruitment has a steep learning curve. There are tons of little details to know and most of the work happens on the back end away from the traveler’s view. Knowing how the facilities work and how the process works in general. Here are a couple of examples:
- Access codes at HCA hospitals
- Awhonn Fetal heart cert.
How To Find A Travel Nursing Recruiter
How do you find a good recruiter? In the vast majority of cases, travelers randomly get matched up with a recruiter by reaching out to the agency first. In other words, the traveler researched the agency as opposed to the recruiter. That’s understandable. If you really want to be specific though, then there are some tools that you can try.
- Healthcare Traveler Magazine’s recruiters of the year.
- Highway Hypodermics recruiter questionnaire.
- Search travel nursing forums for the agency to find comments about recruiters.