Interview Recruiters? Why Travel Nurses Should Turn the Tables

By TotalMed Staffing

September 9, 2019



Why Don’t Traveler Nurses Interview Recruiters?

This article provided by: TotalMed Staffing

Why Don’t Traveler Nurses Interview Recruiters?

interview recruiters
Photo by Alejandro Escamilla on Unsplash

There, I said it. That question and the debate on whether or not to ask it has been bothering me for at least a few weeks now. Now that it’s out, I immediately feel better. But the question remains. Why don’t travelers interview recruiters? Ask yourself that please and take a moment to think about it. It makes sense that they would, right? You can already think of a few reasons why it would be a good thing, can’t you? So why doesn’t it happen? I’m looking to get an answer to the original question here, and I’m looking for your help.

We’ve all read our fair share of posts on Facebook from travelers who feel they have been wronged in some way by their recruiter or agency. They were bait-and-switched. Their pay was different on the quote than on their contract. Their recruiter was available until right after they signed their contract, and now they’re a ghost. The agency or recruiter made a mistake that ended up costing a traveler money. You name it, it’s probably happened. While I empathize with the traveler; a part of me wonders how they got into that situation in the first place. What did they know about the agency? What did they know about the recruiter?

As a recruiter

I’ve talked to thousands of travelers. I can’t say that I’ve ever felt like I was the one being interviewed. It’s usually a case of me having an opportunity that they’re interested in. I field many questions about the assignment, but not many about me or my agency. I can only assume that other recruiters have similar experiences. If that assumption is accurate; I think it’s plain to see that travelers could and should be doing more to protect themselves.

Right now, you might be thinking, “Tim, why are you putting this on the traveler? It was the agency that was in the wrong.” That’s a fair question, and a good point. I think we need to establish a few things before going any further. 
1) We cannot control what other people or organizations do. 
2) Humans are fallible. Mistakes will happen. 
3) There are, and probably always will be, agencies and recruiters that engage in “shady” business practices.

I think it’s imperative that we focus on the things we can control. We can’t eliminate mistakes outright. The best we can do is try to minimize the likelihood of an issue or mistake occurring. There are agencies and recruiters out there that do not have your best interest at heart. The best thing you can do is not partner with them. So, what’s within a travelers control that can both reduce the likelihood of mistakes and the odds of linking up with a shady agency or recruiter? I present The Interview.

The interview has been around for about 100 years.

It’s withstood the test of time and continues to evolve with technology, but the basic principles are the same. Interviews are consultations for the purpose of evaluating the qualifications of the interviewee for a specific position. As a traveler, you’re getting interviewed all the time. You get interviewed by unit managers for assignments, by vendors for certain health systems and hospitals before speaking to anyone at the hospital. You get interviewed every time you talk to a recruiter you haven’t spoken to before and often repeatedly by the ones you have.

Why? Because interviews work. They help and are useful. They give you a better understanding of whether or not someone is a good fit for the position. So why don’t travelers interview recruiters?

I’m not suggesting that travelers just start aimlessly firing questions at random recruiters.

Do your homework first. Think about what you want out of them. Seek out agencies with solid reputations. Get recommendations from your peers. Read ratings, rankings, and reviews. Then repeat the process with the recruiters from the agencies that you selected. Then put together a list of the questions that you need answered and ask them!

The recruiter/traveler relationship needs to be a two-way street, with both parties being equal. There’s no better time to establish that than the first time you speak to them. Recruiters shouldn’t be the only ones asking the questions.

Put the recruiter on the spot

You have to ask the questions! Interview that recruiter! Can you tell me about a time a traveler you worked with had an issue and how you resolved it? Why should I partner with you? What is your biggest strength? What is your biggest weakness? Get more specific too. Ask them about the things that are important to you.

I’m confident that any traveler that prepares for an interview with a perspective recruiter and follows through with it will find themselves in a good situation with a recruiter and agency that will be great partners.

We can’t avoid mistakes.

They will happen. But you can put yourselves in a position to greatly reduce the chances of mistakes happening. More importantly, you can partner with agencies and recruiters that instill confidence that any issue will be handled promptly and professionally. I think an interview is a useful tool that every traveler utilizes in accomplishing these goals. If you want to interview recruiters; I promise you won’t have trouble getting some on the phone.

That’s where I’m coming from. What do you think? Why don’t travelers interview recruiters? Let us know your thoughts on if travel nurses should interview recruiters in the comments below!

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