Market Normalization for Travel Healthcare: Tips for Travel Nurses

By Aureus Medical Group

April 30, 2018

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Market Normalization for Travel Healthcare

This provided by Aureus Medical Group.

I’ve listened to many travelers express frustration with facilities and their slow interview process. Even recruiters express frustration about how long it takes for their candidates to be interviewed and mention that “the market is not like it used to be”.

What market? And, what was it like before?

Dear travelers and recruiters, the market is normalizing.

Let’s take a quick history lesson:

Several (6ish) years ago, third party vendors were a “newer” party utilized to help regulate candidates for open positions. Facilities would tell the vendor, “Here are the jobs we need to be filled. Post them publicly, collect all resumes, review them for me, and in X amount of time, submit the good ones to us and we’ll interview.” This, we knew, would inevitably take a much longer process, considering direct contact within the facility wasn’t being utilized. We saw this as a chance to grow the relationships we already had within facilities that had yet to onboard with a vendor.

In the past, when a job order would come in the system from a facility, about two profiles were being submitted for the job. This made it exceptionally easy for the traveler to be very decisive on where they wanted to travel to, the shift they wanted to work, the time off they requested, and they even had a say on what scheduling they wanted and the pay they were aiming to get (facilities were much easier to negotiate with). However, to get the life of luxury, your qualifications were much more structured; most facilities were looking for travelers with at least three years of experience and at least one travel assignment under their belt.

Fast forward to today, and holy cow, how times have changed! Although we still have some direct contact within facilities, most facilities now work with a third party vendor. For every job we see in the system, about five profiles are being submitted per agency. What’s even crazier is that the facility will wait for more candidates if the other five candidates are not what the facility is looking for; and yes, even if those candidates had stellar resumes and were valedictorian of their graduating class from Harvard, Yale or Princeton. The facility will end up taking Joe Smith, who went to a small community college and who is taking his first travel assignment. Why would the facility wait on those candidates? Because the other five candidates had way too many requests that needed to be met: block scheduling, time off requests, guaranteed hours, day shift only, high pay, only does 8 week assignments, etc.

Great Assignments

We want every travel assignment to be great and we strive to make it the assignment you want it to be. However, we also want to be upfront and honest with you in order to set you up for success. So what does this “normalization” mean for you? And how can we work together to better your chance of getting the assignment you want?

  • Plan accordingly.
  • The interview process can take longer because of vendors and candidate “pickiness”. To speed up the interview process, ask your recruiter what facilities we still have direct contact with or who is affiliated with our sister-company (and vendor) FocusOne Solutions. Those jobs move fast!
  • Be flexible. Having limited or no time off planned for those 13 weeks of the assignment is seen as much more appealing to facilities!
  • Provide options. Give your recruiter your top five destinations you’d like to travel to. Having an open-minded approach to location preferences will open up many more opportunities for you (and maybe it’s time you visit your crazy uncle in Arkansas!).
  • Lastly, set safe expectations for your shift preference. Facilities are looking for qualified travelers who are there to be adaptable and flexible.

If you’re a traveler, I’d love to hear your story and how you think the market has changed! What advice can you share based on your experience?

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