There are many factors that will affect your travel nursing experience, but few that are as important as finding the right recruiter. A lot of focus gets put on finding the right company. While this is important as well, there are great companies with horrible recruiters and there are horrible companies with great recruiters. Here are a few tips to help you pick a good recruiter.
Feedback from other travelers
With the growing popularity of social websites like Facebook, Twitter, forums, etc., feedback on recruiters is at your fingertips. Chances are if you ask about a particular recruiter on one of these sites you will find someone who has worked with that person. Usually other travelers are happy to offer good and bad experiences. Of course, keep in mind that we all have different expectations and you should not base your opinion only on what someone else says. Try to keep a positive outlook and open mind before formulating an opinion about a recruiter.
Making the connection
You should be able to feel the connection between yourself and a recruiter early in the process. After a few conversations with the recruiter, you should be able to have a sense of comfort when speaking to him/her. We all have unique personalities and so do recruiters. It’s important to find a recruiter who makes you feel comfortable and ‘gets you’.
Meeting your needs
Explain your needs and wants clearly to the recruiter. If you have to make “X” amount of money, need insurance, and a two bedroom apartment, etc., you should expect that the recruiter will attempt to work towards these goals or at least make an effort. Not all things are possible, but you should feel as if the recruiter tries to meet your needs. When starting out as a traveler, it might be difficult to know what to expect and if you’re being taken advantage of. Just remember you will learn as you go and that you can’t be too demanding if you’re new to traveling. Once you gain some experience and speak with other travelers, you’ll learn what you can expect and what it unrealistic.
You should never feel like you have to accept something that you aren’t comfortable with. There isn’t anything wrong with the recruiter making suggestions, but you shouldn’t feel like you will get different treatment if you decline. You are the best judge of what type of assignment you’ll feel comfortable in. Don’t let your recruiter place you in a bad assignment. You’re the one who will be stuck working it. If your recruiter makes you feel uncomfortable by trying to persuade you into something, kick them to the curb.
Waiting to hear back from your recruiter can be an intense time, especially if it’s coming down to the wire. Find someone that makes you feel worthwhile and not like just another contract. If you are constantly waiting for a return call or email, this may not be a good fit. Even if it’s a courtesy contact to say nothing has changed, that is better than nothing at all. Ask that they update you regularly.
Once you have accepted an assignment and have settled, you should expect a call or email from your recruiter to follow up and make sure things are going smoothly at the facility and with housing. When you are within 4-6 weeks of your contract ending, make sure you contact your recruiter and let them know you’re ready to start looking for your next contract. A good recruiter will have already contacted you.
With over 300 travel nursing companies to choose from and countless recruiters, there is no need to settle for a recruiter you aren’t comfortable working with. Your relationship with your recruiter can make or break your experience as a traveler. Keep in mind you can and should work with more than one company and recruiter. There’s nothing wrong with being loyal and if you find a recruiter that works hard for you, you should try to be loyal. But sometimes it’s out of the recruiter’s hands if the company doesn’t have the assignment you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to contact another company to find what you’re looking for.