Covelo Group provided this article.
One of the important decisions you can make as a travel nurse is selecting a staffing agency that meets your unique needs. A strong partnership with your recruiter can ensure a mutually beneficial travel nursing experience. Rewards can include the obvious financial benefits from frequent successful placements, as well as intangibles such as job satisfaction and peace of mind.
Here are the top five qualities to look for in a travel nursing recruiter:
First, you’ll want to work with a recruiter who is responsive to your questions and concerns. Before you engage with a staffing agency, consider how promptly your recruiter answers your calls, emails, or text messages. Do they answer your questions and resolve any concerns in a timely manner and with a positive attitude?
During the interviewing process, remember that you’re not the only person who should be putting their best foot forward. If your recruiter is quick to respond to your outreach and is reliable on follow-through during the interviewing phase, you can feel confident they’ll dedicate that same energy to you once you’re on future assignments.
Another important consideration is that a recruiter who is responsive to your needs as a candidate is more likely to show that same attitude toward their healthcare clients. This can only benefit you by giving you better access to future work opportunities.
Strong communication skills are an essential quality in a travel nurse recruiter. With so many moving parts from assignment to assignment, you’ve got to have a clear communicator pointing you in the right direction. During the onboarding process, your recruiter should be crystal clear in setting expectations about paperwork, documentation, and deadlines.
Once you’re on assignment, you’ll rely on your recruiter to give you accurate instructions regarding location, dates, hours for your shifts, parking, and any other relevant details offered by the client. Your recruiter should set you up for success by giving you crystal clear directions. Any breakdown of communication or mixed signals will reflect poorly on you as a nursing professional and on the staffing agency as well.
In order to understand your professional goals, your recruiter should be an excellent listener. Listening to your wants, needs, and priorities is the only way a recruiter can match you with the right opportunities. Are you highly motivated by pay, or would you take a lower hourly rate for a placement in the right location? Are you trying to gain experience in a new nursing specialty or healthcare setting? Listening and understanding what motivated you to become a travel nurse in the first place will allow your recruiter to seek the best opportunities and help you reach your goals.
Travel nursing has a lot of moving parts. The onboarding process alone requires extensive verification of your credentials, including education, licensure, certifications, and work experience. It also may include criminal background checks or a drug test.
Some recruiters may guide you through the onboarding process directly, while others may have a separate team that focuses on collecting and verifying paperwork full-time. Whichever the case may be, this process requires professionals who are extremely organized and detail-oriented.
Once you’re on assignment, you’ll also want to make sure that there is a well-oiled machine handling payroll, benefits, and logistics for travel, lodging, transportation, and/or reimbursement for your expenses.
It may be tempting to look for a recruiter who claims they can guarantee you’ll be earning the highest pay in only the best locations. When this happens, there is always the risk of overpromising, which typically leads to job dissatisfaction. What’s even more valuable than a “yes man” is a recruiter with years of staffing industry experience who knows the current market.
Experienced recruiters know what the going pay rate is for various cities across the country. They can tell you when you’re getting a fair offer or know when to ask for higher compensation as appropriate. An experienced recruiter will push back against unrealistic demands from both you as a candidate and from the client as well. They are capable of giving you an accurate picture of the current travel nursing market and will help you set reasonable expectations.
This level of expertise and mentorship will only increase your job satisfaction and open you up to the maximum travel nursing placement opportunities.
We hope this article on qualities to look for in a travel nursing recruiter is helpful. Do you have any other qualities that should be included? Comment them below.