When you’re starting your travel nurse journey, one of the first steps you need to take is finding a travel nurse company and recruiter. This process might feel overwhelming because there are so many options out there. How do you know if you’ve found a good travel nurse company and a recruiter who has your best interests at heart?
I’ve learned there are several qualities that set good recruiters apart from the others. Keep reading for the non-negotiable attributes you want in your travel nurse recruiter.
Your recruiter will be your primary resource as a traveler; they are your first connection to your company and healthcare facilities. Good communication in this relationship is crucial to your success.
Great recruiters not only communicate well but listen attentively. Your recruiter should constantly follow up, check-in, and take the initiative to get to know you. As a travel nurse, you won’t want a recruiter to place you in an assignment without clear and consistent communication on what you can expect. You should have peace of mind knowing you can communicate effectively with your recruiter to find solutions to any challenges that may arise.
Mentor Tip: Communication is a two-way street. You have to communicate your intentions with the recruiter as well. Some conversations can be hard to have, especially if you take a contract with another company. But trust me when I say the recruiter will respect you for being transparent.
A worthy recruiter will be attentive to your wants and needs and will act quickly on your behalf. Time is of the essence when obtaining a travel nurse assignment, and jobs are filled rapidly in our current market. Finding a responsive recruiter is key to ensuring your profile is one of the first on the hiring manager’s desk.
Of course, make sure to give your recruiter some grace as they also take time off, but they should still respond to you promptly. I think 24 hours is a good rule of thumb.
Mentor Tip: As the traveler, you must do your due diligence and complete tasks on time for your recruiter to submit you for a job. These tasks include completing compliance requests, such as testing, certifications, and sending over references. Show initiative by quickly finishing compliance requests so you can get to the fun part of your career!
Trusting your recruiter is crucial to your success as a traveler, and any trusting relationship is founded on honesty. You want a transparent recruiter who is honest about the position, patient with your decision to take the contract, and someone who avoids guilt trips. Accepting an assignment can be a life-changing decision, and you deserve time to think things through to make the right choice.
Mentor Tip: Personally, if I feel pressured at all, I RUN and do the opposite. At the same time, I know there’s a fine line here. I can take time to think about the position, but I also know taking too much time might mean another candidate fills the job. Again, 24 hours is a good rule of thumb here. If the position fills in the meantime, don’t be discouraged. Just know that there is something better out there for you.
You want a recruiter who can stay up-to-date on the current, highly competitive market. Good recruiters are knowledgeable about the market demands, job locations, and traveler-friendly facilities and have a good understanding of nursing fundamentals.
A confident recruiter can guide nurses through the application and interview processes and find positions that elevate their travelers’ careers. They need to be able to accurately answer all of your questions or connect you with someone who can. Recruiters are strategic problem-solvers and know how to leverage their resources to help you. They should work with you to have plans A, B, and C and learn how to pivot between them.
In many cases, travel nurses build long-time friendships with their recruiters! You want to find a recruiter with whom you can connect quickly and establish a bond. They should be someone who helps put your mind at ease, has your back, and actively listens to what you want instead of pushing their agenda.
Don’t be scared to interview recruiters to find the right one. Working with a recruiter whose personality, values, and humor complement yours will make your travel nurse experience even more worthwhile.
Mentor Tip: Talk with other travelers and see which recruiters they recommend. I have a list of top-notch recruiters with amazing qualities that can set you up for success – all you have to do is ask!