As a travel nurse, your recruiter is one of your most important assets. They will advocate for your skills to find a position that best utilizes your strengths, while also being in a location you want to live in! Working with a recruiter is incredibly beneficial for obtaining offers, building your professional network, and always having a support system behind you. Knowing how to work with them properly allows both you and your recruiter to reap the most benefits from your relationship. Here is our step-by-step guide to working with a recruiter:
1. plan ahead and do your research
Before starting any position, it's crucial to set your expectations and make realistic plans. This means having an idea of the time you want to commit, salary requirements, and states you're interested in relocating to. Knowing this information ahead of time makes your recruiter's job easier and sets the ball rolling for finding you an ideal position. On top of that, it’s crucial you research the agencies you plan to work with. The agencies will connect you with your recruiter, so it’s important you find one you can trust. Check out our guide on who to trust for travel nurse agency reviews!
2. Communicate your preferences for travel nurse contracts
After providing some general information about yourself and your interests, the agency will put you in touch with a recruiter to start the formal application process. During this time, tell the recruiter more about yourself and your ambitions. This is a good time to establish where you want to work, how long you want to take off between contracts, if you need housing, and anything else you feel is important for them to know. Giving the recruiter your expectations up front can prevent any breakdowns in communication or issues with getting submitted to jobs.
3. Interview your travel nurse recruiter
Your recruiter is your point of contact for almost anything, you can ask questions on your contract, get help with benefits or timesheets, and vent to them after a particularly rough shift. Working with a recruiter whose personality meshes well with yours is crucial to having a successful travel nursing career. Don’t be afraid to interview your recruiter a bit and get to know them and their personality from the get-go. Your recruiter is your partner in the travel nurse world, so it’s important that you can trust in them. Get to know their personality, are they a hands on or hands off recruiter, how long have they been in the business, and anything else that will help you understand who they are.
4. Have realistic expectations
At the end of the day, being a travel nurse recruiter is a job with key performance metrics that have to be met. While we all want to take home 100% of what the hospital pays for a travel nurse, that’s not a realistic expectation when you’re receiving services the agency and recruiter provides. And we all want a recruiter that’s there for us when life hits the fan, and some recruiters will truly answer you 24/7, you can’t expect all recruiters to answer the phone at 3am after a tough shift. This isn’t to say you have to take the lowest pay or first pay package offered by your recruiter or can’t call in the middle of the night when there’s an emergency, but it’s important to have realistic expectations for your travel nurse recruiter.