A good recruiter will make the travel nurse processes seamless and easy for you
Choosing a travel nurse recruiter is not a task that can be done at the drop of a hat. It requires careful consideration, planning, and vetting to ensure that you are getting the best travel nurse recruiter possible. After all, the success of your medical travel task hinges on nailing your recruitment process. To aid you in this task, we’ve prepared some wisdom from experienced professionals to help you get started on your travel nurse journey.
Qualities of a good recruiter for medical travelers
Medical recruiters may use standalone or combined websites, apps, and social media pages as their advertising mediums. There is no definite formula that a recruiter of medical travelers should follow, but there are some qualities that are an absolute must! Highly skilled recruiters have the ability to create strong paths to qualified candidates. They take into account both the working requirements, needs, and personal aspirations of travel nurses. This increases their chance of filling vacancies and retaining staff members in the ranks.
They have a good reputation
This probably sounds like a no-brainer. Reputation can fast-track your decision-making process. You wouldn’t want a recruiter who has been known to flake or who has leveraged favoritism in the past. You want a recruiter who has a proven track record of several successful clients, at the very least.
But don’t base everything on reputation. It’s quite possible that a skilled recruiter went through a rough patch and left some bad impressions in the past. As long as they’ve trended in the right direction, grown and learned from all types of feedback, and delivered positive results in recent times, you should be good to go.
They keep it real
There is nothing worse than a travel medical recruiter (or any recruiter, really) who has their head in the clouds. They may set unrealistic deadlines and goals or exaggerate their progress to try to look like they are on top of things. These sorts of fantasies can distort your picture of how everything is going and, even worse, mislead you into a false sense of security. This isn’t necessarily a trust issue because some recruiters may just be overly optimistic and still have the best intentions at heart.
They are trustworthy
Every so often you may have some red flags that lead you to question a recruiter’s trustworthiness. Perhaps their other clients have talked about flaky tendencies, or maybe you learned that they recruited some poor performers. Perhaps they aren’t backing up their statements in writing. Perhaps you simply don’t get a good “vibe” from them and catch them in small white lies during the interview/onboarding processes.
Don’t hesitate to cut ties or request a new recruiter if you feel that there is a trust issue. You don’t deserve to be double-crossed or misled, and you especially don’t deserve to be up-charged over silly things.
They are open to questions
A competent and honest travel nurse recruiter would be more than happy to answer your questions truthfully and patiently. They should be able to carry themselves well and maintain a professional temperament while they interact with prospective candidates. The most excellent recruiters may be honest, ethical, passionate and proactive individuals who have an eager interest in helping travel nurses on the move find an ideal assignment and keeping nurses in touch with the latest assignments abroad.
They are accessible
You have piqued the interest of a highly talented travel nurse recruiter, or you’ve sought them out yourself. Great! However, you realize that they are taking too long to respond to messages or seem to have limited availability due to other commitments. This likely won’t fly with you because you want someone who will help grow your career. You want them to be invested in you as much as the other way around. If you can’t get that, you may have to settle with someone who is a little less accomplished but can give you the comprehensive work you need.
How to find the best recruiter for medical travelers
Now that you’ve identified what it takes to find a good travel nurse recruiter, it’s time for you to figure out how to go about actually doing it. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that your process is as painless as possible.
Shop around and make a shortlist
Start by doing research on travel healthcare recruiters – if you want something more localized, consider focusing on regional agencies instead of national ones. Consider your scope, budget, ability to travel, experience level, certifications, and so forth – you may want to keep things regional at first.
Your second step will be to hammer out your pay package structure, which will change depending on the agency. Elements such as benefits, hourly/salary rate, fees, weekly compensation, location, and stipends must be well-rehearsed. Some flexibility and compromise might be needed if you find a good recruiter or decide to branch out into a wider radius. Make sure you have as many benefits as possible – they will often be more valuable than a small pay increase.
You also want to consider how many contacts you want. Do you only want a single contact, or are you willing to juggle multiple? Sometimes simplicity is best.
Check their reviews
Some agencies and recruiters are very clever about masking their red flags or inflating reviews. You can never be too careful. Sometimes word of mouth is the best way to get the full picture. Look online for their reviews. Check a variety of sites to ensure you get the full picture – not just sites that they may be promoting on their own page(s). Get a comprehensive look before you initiate contact.
Check their experience
Beware of an inexperienced travel nurse recruiter. They may not be a no-go zone, but you do want to make sure they have the quality and willpower to do a good job. The field has a lot of turnovers, and you don’t want your recruiter to quit halfway through your assignment! Don’t hesitate to hook up with a new recruiter if they are giving you good vibes in other areas. Just make sure you give the experience the proper weight it deserves when considering your options.
Find out which provides the best offers
No one wants to connect with a recruiter who will give you bad pay and benefits in exchange for their reputable service. You deserve more. Find the best balance between compensation and experience, and look for recruiters who need travel nurses urgently: they’ll pay more due to the low supply and high demand.
Look at their websites
Some recruiters may come across as highly reputable and clever, but it’s all smoke and mirrors if they don’t have the reputation to back it up. Look for false promises, inconsistent information, poorly written content, or anything else on their website that indicates a lack of attention to detail or passion for their field. You should question whether or not they are using a cheap generic web template with canned responses and other clichés. Their website should serve as a highly impactful first impression that is handcrafted and customized as much as humanly possible.
Ask them relevant questions
If you’ve been doing research and still have questions, don’t be afraid to pitch some hardballs. Here’s a list of some great questions you can ask:
- “How long have you been in the travel nurse recruiter field?”
Ideally their answer will be consistent with other information they’ve provided. Some embellishment may be okay, but ideally, you want someone who has been around a lot, and, if not, will be brutally honest about their newness.
- “What is the culture of your agency?”
This is key, and it goes beyond the rapport between you and the recruiter. The entire culture has to be considered since you will be working with the people in this agency fairly frequently. Having a good vibe and rapport with the whole agency will enhance your reputation even more and prevent sticky situations in the future. If the culture is too laid back, and you are a go-getter (or vice versa), consider another agency.
- “What differentiates you from other travel nurse recruiters?”
Allow them to market themselves, as you may find out more information about their benefits package (or catch them waving a red flag, in which case it’s better to have discovered this now).
- “What makes you the best travel nurse recruiter for medical workers like me?”
This is a bold question, but don’t be afraid to ask it. You are the prize here, and as long as you aren’t being arrogant or pretentious, you are entitled to bluntly ensure that the fit will be good.
- “What if things go wrong in the field?”
There’s always a chance that the worst-case scenario could play out. Even if you’re the best travel nurse with the best travel nurse recruiter, you can’t predict the future. Make sure you are comfortable with how they’ll handle emergencies and how the communication process will occur.
- “How many clients do you have at any given time?”
Recruiters or agencies with a full plate aren’t necessarily a red flag, but you want to make sure they can give you as much attention as you need whenever you need it. Otherwise, you may need to reconsider the terms or find someone else.
Ask them about housing and maintenance
Free housing would obviously be a huge perk that would change your entire outlook, even if the pay is lower. Weigh this into your decision. And if you’re too busy to maintain your space, you may be able to get help with that. Ensure that you are taken care of, especially if you are accepting less than what you think you deserve.
Ask for recommendations for other traveling medical professionals
Some agencies and recruiters are very clever about masking their red flags or inflating reviews. You can never be too careful. Sometimes word of mouth is the best way to get the full picture. Visit forums frequented by travel nurse professionals to get a good picture of the best agencies and recruiters around. Watch out for shills, of course.
We get it: there’s a lot to take away from this article, and we’re really only scratching the surface. It can be really daunting to remember all this the next time you’re looking for an agency or recruiter. Here are a few key points that we’ve covered.
You ideally want the best travel nurse recruiter possible, one who:
- Has a good reputation, verified by online reviews, word of mouth, and other sources.
- Keeps it real by being honest and upfront, without hiding contractual details or pretending to offer benefits that they don’t.
- Is trustworthy enough to give you a sense of security.
- Is open to hard-hitting and illuminating questions, such as “What is the culture of your agency?” and “What makes you the best travel nurse recruiter for medical workers like me?”. Interviewing is a two-way process!
- Is accessible enough to attend to your needs, ensuring that you won’t be flaked upon or pawned off to a bad agency.
- Has a personality that meshes with yours (to avoid conflict, misunderstandings, breaches of contract, or other uncomfortable situations).
- Offers a great compensation package: e.g., excellent pay, benefits, housing/maintenance options, and an agency with a good culture to boot. Compromise only if you must!
Once you get a good grasp of these key points, you should be well on your way to finding the best travel nurse recruiter in your area. So, get out there and start the process before you miss that excellent opportunity.