You’ll succeed as a travel nurse if you have a positive relationship with your travel nurse recruiter. They are the most important ally to have for your career. While your coworkers and managers are also significant partners needed to succeed in your work, travel nurse recruiters are essential in helping you land the right travel nursing jobs that match your interests and career goals.
So, what is a travel nurse recruiter? Recruiters work for travel nursing agencies and match travel nurses with contracted positions at healthcare facilities across the country. However, their work doesn’t stop there. A quality travel nurse recruiter will help you feel comfortable, confident, and successful across the duration of every contract. As you can tell, this individual’s influence and your rapport with them can make or break your travel nurse career.
If you want to succeed in a healthcare career with supreme flexibility, then you’ll need the right recruiter on your side. Start your journey by learning how to find an excellent travel nurse recruiter that suits your needs.
What Is the Travel Nurse Recruiter’s Role In My Career?
The question is less about what a recruiter does—instead, as you learn more about recruiters, you’ll start to ask, what doesn’t a recruiter do?
A travel nurse recruiter is a trusty guide, career coach, and agent all rolled into one. From your application process to your contract’s end, they’ll be there to help you succeed. Depending on the recruiter, you may receive services like:
- Job sourcing – A travel nurse recruiter’s primary job is to help you land contracts. A quality recruiter will pair you with the right job for your skills, experience, and preferences (pay, location, etc.).
- Application aid – While a recruiter can source jobs for you, they cannot secure you the nursing job. That’ll be up to your application, which a facility will evaluate. However, recruiters can help prepare you for a facility interview.
- Contract negotiation – Once a facility expresses interest in hiring you, a recruiter can begin to negotiate on your behalf for higher pay, benefits, or other contract terms.
- Job preparation – Once you land a contract, your recruiter shouldn’t head out for a vacation. Instead, they should look to the future on your behalf, relaying all information regarding your next assignment and location, which may include payment, facility policies, or benefits.
- Living and travel assistance – Travel nursing requires…well, travel. For nurses, you’ll need support for relocation plans, housing, and other living expenses when on contract. A recruiter should be able to help you arrange and pay for any necessary living and travel plans related to your job.
- Ongoing support – Experiencing issues with facility crew members? Trouble commuting to your job? A good recruiter knows the importance of supporting nurse mental health. A recruiter is there to provide you with workforce solutions that support you throughout your contract so that you can have a positive experience.
Whether you’re a traveling newbie or a long-time pro, an accomplished and capable recruiter can take your career to new heights. But to find a top-notch recruiter, you need to know what to look for.
The world of travel healthcare recruitment has rapidly changed within the last decade, shifting with new legal rules, care needs, and a not-so-minor disruption called a pandemic. A qualified recruiter will possess the skills to seamlessly navigate this new landscape so that you can find your success as a traveling provider. In case you aren’t sure, we’ve listed 7 expectations you can use as a checklist for your recruiter.
Let’s explore which qualities make a travel nurse recruiter a top choice.
#1 Stellar Communication
The most important skill for any travel nurse recruiter? Communication, communication, communication.
A recruiter acts as your professional liaison, sharing all information related to your assignment with both you and your contracted facility. If they falter on this, it could lead to some serious mix-ups—and even cost you a job.
Make sure that your recruiter is equipped to share the following with every assignment:
- Assignment logistics (duration, dates, location, etc.)
- Assignment responsibilities
- Pay and benefits
- Housing and transportation
- Certifications and licenses
- Facility policies and procedure
- Contact information for facility personnel
- Recruitment agency policies (payment processes, cancellations, etc.)
- Local area information
There’s no sugarcoating in travel healthcare. A good recruiter should always give their honest opinion on a job fit, so that you will only end up in a situation that’s positive.
Once you start a new job, the recruiter should ensure that there will be no surprises. In return, a recruiter should also be honest with facilities to share any concerns you may have. Trust goes both ways in the travel healthcare world, so it’s important that both you and your recruiter stay honest with each other.
The world of travel nursing can be stressful, even lonely at points. Having a reliable contact can help ease any worries or concerns you may have while on the road. Your recruiter should be able to answer your phone calls and emails promptly so that you’re not left dealing with unforeseen issues. Even better, an excellent recruiter will reach out to you first.
Travel nurse recruiting is like a multi-gear machine. In order to work, your recruiter needs to be able to operate this machine seamlessly— which means you’ll be trusting them to do a lot on your behalf.
While your recruiter may not personally handle every aspect of your assignment, they should be trusted to successfully participate every step along the way. A reliable recruiter must be able to track and follow through on the following components:
- Job openings and their specific requirements (location, facility type, shift schedule etc.)
- Candidate qualifications and certifications
- Candidate availability and preferences
- Applications and hiring processes for each assignment
- Facility policies and onboarding
- Open communication with the candidate and facility to ensure a smooth assignment
In life, there aren’t many long-term partnerships that exist without patience. The same goes for the relationship between a travel nurse and a recruiter.
To establish a productive and enjoyable work relationship, try to seek recruiters who exhibit a patient and compassionate attitude. This means someone who demonstrates that your time matters to them, and doesn’t rush through communications, job applications, questions, or (most significantly) concerns.
The professionalism of a recruiter can matter greatly—both as they relate to you, and the job opportunities available to you. On a personal level, you want to be able to go to your recruiter with questions, share concerns, request resources, and know that they’ll consider each of these communications seriously.
But on another level, knowing that your recruiter handles working relationships with professionalism and integrity also tells you they’ll be well-equipped to go to bat for opportunities on your behalf. After all, who is better to help you win new jobs—and handle any unfortunate situations with grace—than someone who treats others with professional levels of kindness, respect, and awareness?
#7 Success at Their Job
A recruiter may possess all the right skills—but that doesn’t mean they’re wielding them at full power. If you want to succeed at a travel nurse job, you’ll need a great recruiter who’s willing to go the extra mile.
For recruiters, that extra ounce of support may look like:
- Seeking and presenting new potential job opportunities before you ask for them
- Sketching out a long-term plan for your career
- Offering ways to negotiate higher pay or benefits
- Reaching out to support your needs and check in
5 Ways to Find the Right Nurse Recruiter for You
So, you know what you’re looking for in a recruiter—now, how do you get it?
Your recruiter is a vital player in your travel nurse career, so don’t rush your search. If you’re on the hunt for a new recruiter, use these tips to secure the best possible partner in this industry:
- Do your research – There’s no “one” agency for all travel healthcare providers, so research is crucial to finding your best fit. Look for agencies that specialize in travel nursing through online reviews, personnel recommendations, or membership lists of professional organizations like the American Nurses Association.
- Ask for references – There’s no stronger recommendation than word of mouth. If you’re already in the industry, ask fellow nurses for their opinions on their own agencies.
- Consider the benefits – Almost every recruitment agency will offer some baseline benefits when you join. For example, MAS Medical Staffing offers travel nurse benefits like remote work options, health insurance plans, and even fitness reimbursements. Consider your own benefit needs and see if your top agencies fulfill them.
- Check for compliance – Every legitimate agency should comply with state and federal regulations such as PSQIA, OSHA, and HIPAA. They also should be able to provide you with all the necessary paperwork and certifications before you start the assignment.
- Trust your gut – If a recruiter seems unprofessional, unresponsive, or disorganized, they probably are. Keep looking until you find an agency that looks right on paper and feels right to you.
Questions You Should Ask a Nurse Recruiter
At a certain point, every travel nurse recruiter search will lead to an interview. This is your chance to delve into the policies, standards, and successes of your top choices, as well as test if you “click” with the recruiter.
At MAS Medical Staffing, we welcome potential clients to ask away—after all, that’s how you get to know us. Get started by adding a few of these crucial questions to your next interview:
- Does your agency provide any upfront financial help with travel nurse housing, transportation, or other living expenses?
- What is your payment policy? How does gross pay work, and how does it relate to my regular hourly rate?
- How soon can I start an assignment? And what materials do you need from me to start an assignment?
- How long have you been a recruiter at this agency? And how many nurses have you worked with?
- Why do you enjoy working as a recruiter?
Find Your Partner-in-Travel at MAS Medical Staffing
Your travel nurse recruiter is more than an agent—they’re a career partner. With the right recruiter on your side, you have a trusty guide to help you navigate the fast-paced world of travel healthcare.
At MAS Medical Staffing, your best recruiter is waiting to take on that world with you.
Whether you’re looking for per diem work or long-term employment, our team is ready to carve out your unique career path. MAS Medical Staffing recruiters work one-on-one with providers so that you feel confident and comforted in your work. Even better? We offer significant compensation with top-tier benefits, including health insurance, 401(k) matching, housing stipends, and even same-day pay.
Don’t wait for your next adventure—make it happen. Contact MAS Medical Staffing today to find your best travel nurse recruiter yet.
Kalantar Law. 6 Key Laws That Regulate the Healthcare Industry? https://www.kalantar.law/laws-that-regulate-healthcare-industry/