Five Qualities of a Rockstar Recruiter
Travel nursing can be a daunting idea. You are stepping out of your comfort zone and essentially leaving behind everything + everyone you know for a fresh start. It's terrifying and thrilling all at the same time! With so much unknown, it is crucial to know that someone is looking out for your best interest and will have your back. That's where choosing the right recruiter becomes so important. We've compiled a list of our top five travel nursing recruiter qualities for you.
When we suggest having a recruiter who is a good listener, we don't mean having someone that will be available to vent to. What we mean is having a recruiter who will have your best interest in mind. For example, if you tell your recruiter that you only want to work day shift positions in a cardiac intensive care unit, then those are the contracts that should be sent to you -- not nightshift, not pediatrics, but exactly what you requested. It will make it easier for you to find a suitable assignment where you feel comfortable. If a recruiter doesn't seem to be listening to your requests, you may want to evaluate if you're being too picky or if your recruiter is being too pushy. They should relay to you if they think your requests are too specific and explain their concerns. If you have a recruiter who listens, they will only have to dedicate their time to finding jobs that meet your needs and won't have to worry about wasting both your time and their time by sending you jobs that are of no interest to you. Speaking of a good listener, we travel in an RV and have specific requests that go along with it such as wanting to be within 30 minutes of a hospital and needing assignments in the south for the winter, etc. We've had a recruiter keep that in mind and personally go out of her way to help search for RV resorts for us. She truly went above and beyond and exceeded all of our expectations and we will continue to refer her to other travel nurses forever.
Every recruiter we have ever worked with has been based off of a referral from another travel nurse. This is so important to us because we know we would never refer a nurse to a recruiter who we've had negative experiences with (and we can hope that other nurses wouldn't either). When a recruiter works off of a referral basis, or referral-only basis, we instantly feel like we can trust them so much more. When you've heard only positive experiences, you become confident in your recruiter and can form a solid working relationship. They need us as much as we need them. We also trust that they wouldn't tell us "what we want to hear" just to get us to submit to an assignment because our happiness is key. If they take care of us, we take care of them by referring nurses their way. In a sense, our happiness and success working with them is the basis of their career.
We personally like to work with recruiters who have years of experience. Although everyone has to start somewhere, we prefer to work with recruiters who have seen it all and who have been around the block. Knowing that they have years of experience allows us to trust their advice and hope that they won't put us in risky situations. For instance, paying us more than legally allowed in stipends just to beat another company or paying us too low of an hourly rate that could set off a red flag with the IRS. These mistakes can happen to anyone and it's our due diligence to do our own research to protect ourselves. We also feel that senior level recruiters have a little more flexibility and ability to manipulate contracts to our benefit. They know what they can and can't do to make a contract more appealing (we could elaborate on this but that would take up an entire post).
We are not needy when it comes to travel nursing. We are happy connecting with our recruiters when we're actively searching for jobs, starting a new assignment, and then again when ready to extend or search for our next contract. We don't need 24/7 communication with our recruiter, however, having an available recruiter is crucial. We've heard horror stories of travel nurses having a problem and reaching out to their recruiter on multiple occurrences without reply. They even had to result to calling their company's emergency line for assistance. We're thankful that we've never been in a situation like that and are thankful that our recruiters are a text away and will even answer on weekends. We can trust that if there ever is a problem, we can reach out to them and they will immediately take care of the situation for us.
Nothing is better than a recruiter who is transparent. We've had recruiters warn us about certain facilities that they have placed other nurses at in the past - we appreciate the honesty. Some recruiters wouldn't care to tell you the good, the bad, and the ugly; they would only focus on the good in order to get you to submit to any contract with them regardless of your happiness. We truly appreciate having recruiters who are looking out for our best interest and want us to be happy. We always give our recruiters feedback on an assignment hoping they will share it with their other nurses looking for travel-friendly contracts and we appreciate when they return the favor for us. We truly admire a recruiter who is honest and upfront with us and it builds much-needed trust in our relationship.
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