In this episode, we’re going to discuss the submission process for travel nursing jobs. In particular, we’re going to discuss the process up until the point that your profile is actually submitted to the hospital for the job. There are tons of scenarios that can play out during this time and they can have differing impacts on your likelihood of landing jobs as well as your negotiating strength. We’re going to look at four sample scenarios that will allow us to discuss many of the factors at play.
Of course, before you can have your profile submitted, you need to get it set up. The standard submission profile is: an application, a skills checklist and 2 supervisor references that have been checked by the agency.
The Travel Nursing Paperwork Paradox:
- The agency wants the traveler to fill out the paperwork immediately.
- The traveler wants to know there is a job that they want before filling out the paperwork.
- Both approaches seem completely ridiculous to the other party, but both approaches are based on sound logic.
- When it comes to the agency side, some of them won’t even talk to you until you’ve completed the paperwork.
- They see it just like a regular job.
- They want to make sure that you’re serious before investing time.
- They know that travel nursing jobs fill fast.
- They know that it takes time to get a profile ready to go.
- When it comes to the traveler side, first time travelers are more likely to fill out the paperwork right away. Experienced travelers not so much. Why?
- It’s not a regular job because the same job can be obtained through multiple agencies. And the agency doesn’t make the hiring decision.
- Travelers see it like a service.
- The paperwork is a nightmare. Tons of details. Skills checklists are massive.
- So both sides are right. And that’s a big problem because it causes friction. Travelers hate the process, Recruiters lie to get them to fill paperwork out, the agency ends up looking bad.
- On a personal note, I used to fill out our application on behalf of the traveler using their resume or any other documentation they were able to send. I’d use skills checklists if they already had them. I’d accept documentation from other sources and agencies. I’d even instruct travelers on how to download their documents from API or Prophecy.
Once your paperwork is ready to go, you’re ready to be submitted. We’re going to cover four different scenarios to tease out all of the dynamics involved. Certainly there are more than 4 scenarios. However, using these scenarios, we should be able to cover all of the dynamics so you’ll be able to work effectively given any scenario.
We’re going to start with the agency’s perspective because understanding that can help us with our considerations for travelers.
Scenario Number 1: Agency is Stringent
- They try to get the traveler to agree to a set of parameters. Their ultimate goal is to get you to let them submit you immediately for jobs if they think they have something that meets your needs. They want to submit first and inform later.
- They may even go so far as to pull the “we have a verbal agreement” right here.
- Why do they do this?
- How does it effect your negotiating power?
Scenario Number 2: The Travel Nursing Agency Is Laid-Back
- In this scenario the agency takes a more passive approach. They will have a conversation about what you’re looking for.
- If they talk about rates at first, it’s only because you asked and they talk about it generally.
- They agree to call you with assignments as they pop up. If you want to talk rates they will, if not, no big deal.
- They’ll be late with their submissions. They’ll be in a bind with negotiations.
- Why would they do this?
- When this happens, it’s most often the recruiter making the choice to do it. Some recruiters aren’t comfortable with a more aggressive approach.
- Some agencies think the rate discussion takes too long and may lose candidates from the outset. They feel like the travelers will think a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush.
- Some of the agencies will even get upset with travelers when they decline the offer because the pay is too low.
Scenario Number 3: The Travel Nurse Takes a Stringent Approach
- This is my favorite scenario. We’ve discussed in a previous episode. In this scenario, the traveler does advanced research on a given area.
- Find the hospitals using AHD
- Find agencies that staff in the area using job boards, social media, etc.
- Contact the agencies and ask them if they staff at particular hospitals. If so, what’s their relationship? Ask about Vendor Management Services. Ask them to provide the rates for the hospital.
- Get several quotes from various agencies and choose the rate/service that you like best. Let them know they have your permission to submit you to the hospital and let the others know that they cannot.
- You’ll get more money and you’ll be able to get submitted quicker, but it will take more time and it’s not always possible to go exactly where you want to go.
Scenario Number 4: The Travel Nurse is Laid-Back
- In this scenario, you let agencies do what they want. You fill out paperwork, tell them what you want and let them go about their business.
- The advantage is that it’s really easy.
- There are a lot of pitfalls though.
- Submitted to jobs you may not want.
- Decline jobs because of pay. Not as big a deal as it sounds.
- Submitted by multiple agencies to the same job. Not as big a deal as it sounds.
- Burn bridges with recruiters. As long as you communicate, this shouldn’t be a problem.