There’s no denying that being a travel nurse is a unique profession. Unlike traditional healthcare providers, traveling nurses and therapists work in short-term positions at various locations throughout their careers. Due to the demanding nature of this job, travel nurses are often paid at a significantly higher rate, making it an ideal career choice for people who want to explore the world without sacrificing a steady paycheck.
However, finding new assignments for travel therapy and nursing can require some pretty extensive research. Between long shifts and a heavy workload, it’s no surprise that traveling healthcare workers don’t have the time to job hunt on their own. This is why hiring a recruiter is a crucial step to succeeding as a traveling nurse.
If you want to learn more about this industry—and why recruitment matters—read on for everything you should know about finding the right travel nurse recruiter!
What is a Travel Nurse Recruiter?
Recruiters are an asset that all traveling healthcare professionals should have. The duties of a travel nurse recruiter go beyond simply finding jobs for their clients. Just a few of the daily tasks a great recruiter takes care of may include:
- Communication – Travel nurse recruiters will often relay information between the medical facility and the nurse. This information may involve details about work assignments, base salary, scheduling, and more.
- Paperwork – Your recruiter is also in charge of any paperwork related to your new assignments. Constantly switching jobs can be complicated, and travel nurses may struggle to square away all the paperwork on their own. A skilled recruiter will have these documents organized and ready for signing each time you change facilities.
- Destinations —Discussing your location preferences is crucial to building a quality relationship with your recruiter. It’s important to be honest and open about the types of places you’re looking to work in so that your recruiter can find you appropriate positions in these areas.
- Job market – A good recruiter will make navigating the job market significantly easier. By understanding your specialties, schedule, and nursing career goals, your recruiter can find work assignments that best fit your wants and needs.
- Mentoring – If you’re new to travel nursing, the profession can be a bit intimidating at first. Fortunately, an experienced recruiter will help you acclimate to your new positions through mentoring, education, and coaching. Your recruiter should also give you all the necessary information before beginning each job and set you up for success when starting new positions.
A recruiter will play a vital role in advancing your travel nursing career. With such a long list of responsibilities, you’ll need to find the right recruiter for your personality. Choosing a recruiter for the first time can be confusing, but Host Healthcare is determined to make the process easier. Here’s what you should know before committing to a travel nurse recruiter:
Qualities of a Good Travel Nurse Recruiter
Not all travel nurse recruiters are the same. While we at Host Healthcare pride ourselves on matching clients with top-tier recruiters, you should also have a list of your own needs that are important to the relationship. To get a general idea of what to search for in an ideal recruiter, here are some good qualities to keep in mind:
- Experience – If you’re new to this industry, you’ll want a recruiter with at least a moderate level of experience. Don’t be afraid to ask your recruiter some difficult questions regarding travel nursing. Thorough answers, previous clients, and knowledge of the field are signs of an experienced recruiter.
- Friendly – When working as a travel nurse, you’ll be spending a lot of time talking with your recruiter. While professional experience is great, you should also choose someone who you work well with on a personal level. Look for a recruiter who seems friendly, comforting, and trustworthy (you’re putting your career in this person’s hands, after all!).
- Availability – Travel nurse recruiters often walk a fine line between experience and availability. On the one hand, you want a recruiter who has worked with a decent number of clients—proving they know what they’re doing.
On the other hand, recruiters with too many clients may be busier than you’d prefer. Test out your recruiter’s availability by contacting them with some questions. If you receive a response within a reasonable time frame (48 hours), this is a sign that your recruiter has the proper amount of availability to take you as a client.
- Honesty – Travel nursing can be a complicated job, and you want someone who understands this. If your recruiter tends to steer away from difficult questions, sugar-coat problems, or make outlandish promises, you may be inclined to go with someone else. Leaving out details on assignments can cause issues with your employers and leave you putting out fires that aren’t your responsibility.
- Organization – Due to high volumes of employment paperwork, you’ll want a recruiter who seems organized. Signs of an organized recruiter include turning in paperwork on time, a neat work area, and remembering important deadlines.1
This list may seem a bit intimidating for beginners, so here’s a simplified version: choose a recruiter that you gel with. Schedule a few meetings, reach out via email or phone call, and see how the relationship feels after some time. If you’re comfortable being around this person, it’s probably a sign that they’re a good fit for you.
The best way to get a feel for a new recruiter? Ask the right questions.
Questions to Ask Your Travel Nurse Recruiter
As a new travel nurse, you probably have quite a few questions. If you’re curious about any parts of the job, don’t be afraid to bring them up when meeting with your recruiter! The right recruiter will welcome your questions and provide detailed, accurate answers to your questions.
While most questions will be fair game during your meeting, there are some specific topics you may want to address. Here are some of the top questions to ask your travel nurse recruiter:
- “What experience do you have?” – As with any interview, you’ll want to learn more about the person you’re speaking to. Ask your recruiter questions regarding their experience, like how long they’ve been in the field and how many clients they’ve worked with.
- “When are you available?” – Remember that your recruiter works for you. This means that their schedule should align—at least somewhat—with yours. Ask about their daily workload, and get a feel for the best times to schedule meetings with them.2
- “When does my contract start?” – Working as a travel nurse will require you to sign a contract. It’s important to ask the right questions regarding this contract in order to avoid signing up for something that doesn’t work for you. A professional recruiter will have detailed answers regarding your contract, including:
- Start and end dates
- Housing accommodations
- “What is your submission to interview ratio?” – A submission to interview ratio refers to the number of assignments a recruiter applies for versus the number of interviews their clients actually book. You’ll want a recruiter with a high submission to interview ratio in order to minimize your time spent not working.3
- “What insurance benefits will I get?” – Every assignment will be different, but staying protected in the event of illness or injury should always be a priority. Ask your recruiter about insurance coverage, and any other benefits, before making a commitment to any contracts.
Asking questions is always encouraged when interviewing a travel nurse recruiter. If you find that your inquiries are met with confusion or reluctance, this may be a sign to continue your search.
How Host Healthcare Finds Top Travel Nurse Recruiters
After reading all this information, you may be wondering: is it that hard to find a travel nurse recruiter? The answer is no, not with Host Healthcare.
Ultimately, choosing a recruiter is up to you, but with Host Healthcare, you’ll be matched with high-quality candidates who are dedicated to finding your next assignment. Our thorough screening process and training procedures allow us to choose travel nurse recruiters who are experienced, trustworthy, and ready to put the work in.
There’s a reason Blue Pipes named Host Healthcare the #1 Travel Healthcare company in the U.S., Highway Hypodermics named Host Healthcare the leading provider for travel nurses, and we received a Glassdoor award for the best place to work in 2021; the reason is because it’s because our travelers are consistently satisfied with the service we provide.
Interested in applying to work with Host Healthcare travel nursing agency? Here’s how to do it:
Host Healthcare: We’re Here For You
Applying to work as a travel nurse or therapist with Host Healthcare is simple. All you have to do is submit your application on our website, choose your specialty, and wait for approval. Once you’ve been cleared to work with our company, we’ll find you top recruiters who are ready to kick off your career.
Our recruiters will listen to your preferences and find well-paying assignments in exciting new locations. We know times are strange, so we have implemented a COVID pay policy. If you are a nurse quarantined, we decided to implement this policy to cover your sick leave if, god forbid, you come down with Coronavirus. With dozens of experienced recruiters across the nation, you’ll never feel lost with Host Healthcare. So stop waiting around, and apply today to get started on your next adventure!
- Nurse.org. How to Find a Good Travel Nurse Recruiter – 5 Tips to Pick the Best. https://nurse.org/articles/how-to-choose-the-best-travel-nurse-recruiter/
- Blue Pipes. What You Should Know About Your Travel Nursing Recruiter’s Job. https://blog.bluepipes.com/what-does-a-travel-nursing-recruiter-do/
- Onward Healthcare. 5 Top Tips from a Travel Nurse Recruiter. https://www.onwardhealthcare.com/5-top-tips-from-a-travel-nurse-recruiter/
- Host Healthcare. Meet the Team. https://www.hosthealthcare.com/recruiters/