We’ve all been there, plopped down on our favorite chair, with our phones in our laps, Googling random things from “what is the huge black bug on my wall?” to “what jeans will make my ass look good?” to “how to tell what my dog is dreaming about?”
And at some point, we have ALL googled “best interview tips”. Heck – WE even wrote about “best questions to ask when you’re interviewing a hospital” – because – remember – those interviews go both ways – and y’all gotta make sure that new assignment is perfect – not just for them – but for you. It’s not going to be so perfect if the Charge Nurse thinks a 1:7 ratio is just peachy.
But what about interviewing your recruiter?
Just like not all nurses are the same – no two recruiters are either. Some are friggin’ amazing – and others – well – not so amazing. Here are some things you should ask any recruiter before agreeing to work with them.
Validity of the Agency
Your recruiter likely works for a travel nurse agency, and if they don’t, run.*
You want to make sure that agency has a good reputation, has been around for more than 5 minutes, and has connections at hundreds if not thousands of healthcare institutions across the country. Check out the agency’s google reviews, ask about them on any of the Facebook travel nurse groups, and see if you can speak with any traveler’s that have worked with them.
*Note From Next Move: A travel nurse agency will likely have everything set up on the back end to make your travel nurse experience as smooth and seamless as possible. From payroll, to credentialing, to health insurance and more, a travel nurse agency will have you covered. An independent recruiter? They will likely have none of the above and you’ll be expected to manage those things on your own.
A Recruiter with Experience
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is the career of a travel nurse recruiter, especially a travel nurse recruiter who doesn’t have nursing experience.*
Would you want your BMW worked on by a kid who just stepped out of automotive trade school? Or would you want your BMW worked on by a BMW specialist with several years of experience? The same goes with recruiters. Ask them how long have they been with the agency? How many years of experience do they have? How much do they know about travel nursing?
A new recruiter isn’t necessarily a bad recruiter – especially if the agency they work for has a network set up to support them (such as human resource & compliance teams). Just decide what works best for you: a ton of experience, loads of recruiter support, or both.
*Note from Next Move: A few of the recruiters at Next Move are still practicing RNs, many with travel nursing experience.
How Much Attention Will You Get?
It’s no shock to anyone that recruiters make a commission on the nurses they place into travel assignments. The more nurses – the more commissions. So, it should be no surprise that some recruiters will simply rack up as many placements as they can.
Other (more experienced) recruiters will understand that there is a limit to how many clinicians they can work with at one time. Ask the recruiter how many nurses they typically work with? What sort of support can you expect to receive? Will they contact you only during business hours? Or are they available after hours? Will they help you with credentialing? Your resume?
Pro-Tip: Make a list of what YOU expect to be supported with – and see if the recruiter you’re interviewing checks all the boxes.
What Types of Travel Nurse Assignments?
You’ll also want to ask what assignments the recruiter’s travel nurses like the most, and why? Is there a particular hospital that seems to be a huge hit with clinicians? Why? Are there hospitals that clinicians avoid? Also, why? What about geographic locations? Are there areas that many clinicians request? Avoid?
Pro-Tip: Make a list of areas of the country you’d like to visit (and are licensed to work in) and see if those spots come up in your conversation with the recruiter.
What’s the Recruiter’s Submittal Process?
Ask the recruiter if they submit clinicians to assignments without permission or if they only submit you to assignments you’ve said you’re interested in?*
Many times – there are several openings at one time that will fit your parameters – to save time – a recruiter might submit you to all of them without letting you know. This might be ok with you, it might not – but you want a recruiter that’s going to make it crystal clear what their process is – so you’re never surprised (and possibly taken aback) by being asked to interview for a job you never even heard of.
*Note from Next Move: Next Move will never submit you to an assignment without your permission.
At the end of the day, you want a recruiter that you really vibe with, that you trust, where there is good communication, someone who is hard working, respects the nursing profession, someone who is going to be YOUR advocate and find you exactly what you’re looking for – time and time again.
You worked extremely hard to become a healthcare professional so find a recruiter that will work just as hard, for you.
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Learn more about Next Move and/or speak to a recruiter about our travel nursing opportunities.