I spent numerous hours online reading other blogs, agency reviews, talking with other travel nurses to determine which agency to finally go with. Some may find it to be a stressful process since there are so many agencies and recruiters out there. This in fact, is a great thing because it allows you to be picky about your decision because there are so many options to choose from. Here are 4 few pointers for successfully finding that perfect agency and recruiter combination.
To each own. I can’t stress it enough to go with your gut and to not make your decision solely based on other peoples experiences. No matter what you read or hear there is always going to be people who have had bad experiences and those who have had good experiences based on the same companies. In the end, it is important that you feel confident with your decision in choosing the recruiter that is going to meet your specific needs. Now, that may be someone simply just following up on a phone call, or being forthcoming with information that you didn’t think to ask, or truly showing they care by forming a friendship. Whatever may be of importance to you, you need to identify it and keep searching until you find that perfect recruiter because they are out there!
Life is what you make it. With anything in life, you can focus on the positives and it will be a great experience or you can stress about the negatives and it will impact your overall travel experience. This is a choice that everyone makes believe it or not. I truly feel I learned the most during my first travel assignment because it was a “negative” experience rather than a positive one in regards to the recruiter. Once my contract was signed for the assignment I felt I was left high and dry. I was following up with numerous people to accomplish the tasks at hand, calling human resources at the hospital, basically working as my own recruiter to obtain the necessary information for my first ever travel assignment. You learn the most when you don’t have access to the resources you normally do, so you are forced to figure it out yourself! I think this will benefit me in the long run because I have gained all this experience and knowledge already from having a “negative” experience which in turn made it a “positive” experience for my future career of travel nursing.
Never settle. There is absolutely no reason not to try out different companies. In fact, I encourage you to shop around and try out your options. Each company has different benefits, pay packages, and even recruiter personalities. You may read a recruiter wrongly or get an opposite vibe from then and realize that this recruiter was not your best choice. That is okay because if for some reason you don’t get your top choice at first, the nice thing is you can always switch companies after the assignment is over! In the mean time, take advantage of the experience you have with those God awful recruiters or companies and again use it as a learning experience.
Negotiate. Always strive for the best and don’t be afraid to negotiate what you want. One tactic that is effective is comparing rates to other agencies rates. If I prefer one agency over the other, I have sent pay packages from one agency to another so they can match the pay. Since it does cost the agency more to get new nurses on board they will likely focus on retention of you so ask for specific reimbursements, extension bonuses, cover your real travel expenses, and increase your hourly rate. You’d be surprised at how much they are willing to say yes to when you start requesting specific needs. If for some reason it’s not realistic, the worst they can say is no! So go for it!