So you want to start travel nursing, and there are so many agencies out there, and you might be feel overwhelmed, thinking “How do I do this?”
Well, at the end of the day, it’s not always about the agency but about your recruiter. Recruiters will make or break your travel relationship. A good recruiter will work with you, know and remember what you want, and what is important for you. They’ll send you birthday gifts that are personal, and check on you before, during, and after your contract to make sure you’re doing well and having a good time.
FYI, once you give a travel agency your email address, you will receive emails from them for the rest of your life. You may even start getting random calls from companies and recruiters about job opportunities. I haven’t travel nursed for over 3 years and I still get calls and texts from agencies and hospitals. But you’re a nurse, and you’re a HOT commodity right now, so pat your awesome self on the back, and let’s help you find a great recruiter!
A good recruiter is going to be different from person to person.
You may want someone that is nice and kind. Another person may want someone that is upfront and frank. Regardless, when you’re meeting a recruiter and you don’t think things are lining up personality wise, let them know you want to work with a different recruiter. Some recruiters will be fake with you; don’t let emojis or smiley faces fool you. When you’re interacting with them, ask yourself: Are they avoiding answering your questions directly? Are they being passive aggressive? Are they returning your calls or texts in a timely manner? Are they maybe not telling you the whole truth?
First way to find yourself a recruiter is to just call an agency!
They will connect you to someone right away. Talk to that person, tell them about yourself and see if you like them. This person is going to be the person you will contact if you have any problems at all, so notice if they are trying to bully you, or aren’t being upfront with you. If they don’t really seem interested, or seem distracted, chances are that they might just be an overworked recruiter with too much on their plate, or just not the right fit for you. Either way, DON’T SETTLE! Find yourself the right recruiter.
Second way to find a recruiter is to ask a friend or traveler!
Asking a friend is a great way to find a good recruiter, especially since they usually have someone that they love to work with. Friends will also have names of people that they would NOT recommend, which can be just as helpful. When getting a recommendation, be curious and ask why they love (or didn’t love) that recruiter.
Lastly, Good old social media!
Lastly, if you don’t have any travel nurses you’re friends with, you can always ask on a travel nurse FB group for a good recruiter recommendation. Believe me, people are always willing to give you names and numbers! You don’t even need to always ask or post your question, just do a search in the group to see what people have asked before and you can bet you’ll find that someone has probably already asked that question. You can also look at social media to find jobs posted by recruiters, which is another
Couple last details to keep in mind!
When you work with a larger agency, you’ll be working with a recruiter, and they are typically your point person. However, they may not be the person that is responsible for helping you with licenses, paychecks, or compliance tasks (tests, lab testing, etc); they sometimes work with a team of people. A smaller company is going to have your recruiter do most of the work for you, and your recruiter might be there to walk you through every step.
It is also important to recognize that depending on where you want go, you may have to branch out and get multiple recruiters. Not because you don’t like your recruiter, but maybe they don’t have assignments for where you want to go.
At the end of the day, find a recruiter you like, a person you trust. You are your own CEO and you need to be able to stand up for yourself and know that you are aligning yourself and working with people who are going to help you get where you want to go. You are your own boss and so treat yourself like you want to be treated and find people that also want to treat you the same way.