As travel nurses, we have a bunch of options, and frankly speaking, the sky’s the limit.
And while that’s a good thing to have choices, it doesn’t mean we get to “let ourselves go,” so to speak. What I mean is, just because we’re now the center of attention doesn’t give us carte blanche to lose our edge.
Quite the contrary.
And in fact, the best of the best recruiters will seek out and target precisely the type of nurse who stays sharp not only in the lean times but the abundant ones too.
That being said, finding the right recruiters can feel overwhelming, especially when so many are fighting for our attention.
All kinds of questions and thoughts hit our consciousness, like: who should I listen to and trust? Which recruiters and agencies are worth building relationships with? Where are the best assignments and benefits, and who is offering them?
And then, of course, we drift into: will this recruiter or agency be around for the long term? Does he/she really understand what I do as an ER/ICU/NICU nurse? Do I need to align with more than one, or is it wise to have multiple options?
The truth is, there are lots to consider when we RNs are looking for a recruiter and an agency to work with.
But what about the flip side of that coin?
What are recruiters actually looking for in a quality travel nurse? The larger message here is that while we have options as a travel nurses, recruiters and agencies also know that they too have options when building their travel teams.
In the same way a tenured nurse can recognize good agencies, the experienced recruiters can also pick out the best travel nurses.
Recruiters are hired to find the best candidate for each open position and do it as quickly as possible. Spotting a tire-kicker is a warning sign that recruiters will also notice if you aren’t participating in your part of the job.
It takes dedicated work from experts like us to develop these
connections. The importance of a good relationship with your recruiter cannot be overstated. We frequently underestimate the significance of having a strong recruiter in a travel nursing career.
So if you want to distinguish yourself as a strong travel nursing recruit, here are the things to be aware of.
The first thing for you to do is a self-assessment on what you want in an assignment, facility, and most of all, a recruiter.
Understanding your own drivers and motivations is crucial.
They will be more likely to find jobs that match your needs if you can provide them with a clear picture of what you need. A competent recruiter who understands your interests, hobbies, and passions may frequently discover unique contract possibilities that pique your interest.
Being brutally honest with yourself will surely help your recruiter find the best fit for you. Are you looking for maximum pay? Or is income secondary to solid support staff at the hospital? Perhaps benefits are tops on your list. The point here is to line these up in order of importance.
Once you do that, the next step is to go one level deeper.
You can accomplish this by asking yourself some reflective questions like where your career is headed and where you’d like it to go. What type of healthcare pro are you, and what kind of company culture do you want to be a part of?
You see, it’s by getting real with yourself as a travel nurse and healthcare professional that we then find not only the best assignments but make ourselves the best nurses that recruiters will fight for.
If you want them to get to really know you, then first know yourself.
Keep your nursing license and certifications organized and up to date.
Just because the market is hot for travel nursing doesn’t mean we can be slack in this department.
In fact, once you realize that this is your job as a professional and not an agency’s job, you’ll go a lot further in your career.
The bottom line here is that any recruiter, good or bad, needs to be able to quickly submit your data for open assignments. So having these squared away at all times is squarely on your shoulders. As it should be.
So that when you identify the perfect assignment, you’ll be able to respond quickly and professionally, giving yourself the best chance of nabbing the contract before anyone else does.
You’re busy as a travel nurse, and so are the great recruiters.
You’ve got goals, and the great recruiters have them as well.
We nurses know what it’s like to juggle multiple patients, families, and a crazy shift. And recruiters also have to juggle multiple items at once. You’re busy, they’re busy, so mutual respect goes a long way.
Plus, it sets you apart even further as a nurse recruiter will want to work with.
The bottom line is to remember that the schedule of a recruiter is hectic, so respect their time. And keep your thoughts and needs in short, concise, and cohesive messages.
Be real, be honest, and be a transparent travel nurse.
We all get it. You’re a travel nurse, and you are seeking the biggest contract “bang for your buck.”
That being said, if you’re courting other agencies or recruiters, tell them. Honesty is a two-way street, and as a fellow RN and travel nurse, I can confidently share that honesty is always the best policy. Plus, it will help avoid multiple recruiters sending your info in for the same nursing job.
And that just looks bad for everyone.
Stay connected with your recruiter.
Building relationships and becoming closer with your recruiter takes effort and consistency, so it makes perfect sense to stay connected with him or her.
Just because you didn’t take that contract, or perhaps an assignment ended, doesn’t mean the relationship is dead. Far from it. There may be other contract openings in the future, and having that open communication and connection may be just what is needed when that time comes.
Remaining close to “top of mind” could be the tipping point when a recruiter is looking for a nurse with the right fit.
Keep it simple. Send them an email, perhaps a DM on Instagram, or even a kudos over Twitter but for Pete’s sake, stay connected!
The final word.
Recruiters are easily found, and they’re everywhere.
And in the same way you want to align with only the best, it’s key to remember that recruiters also want to only work with the best RNs. Your time is precious, and so is theirs, so make sure that you are the nurse of every recruiter’s dreams.
Open, honest, up to date, and respectful. We attract what we are.
A little effort goes a long way.
Now go be your recruiter’s favorite travel nurse!
To learn more about the travel nursing opportunity and cities across the country, visit Bestica Healthcare and start planning your next assignment today.