10 Questions to Ask a Travel Nursing Recruiter Before Working with Them
As a travel nurse, your recruiter is one of the major players in your life and career. Their job isn’t just to get you to your next assignment. They’re also there to make sure you are informed, supported, and satisfied. You want someone who will be a team player in your travel nursing life.
So, when you’re scouting out a new recruiter, you’re interviewing them as much as they’re interviewing you. Here are some key questions to ask a potential recruiter before you take them on.
1. How long have you been with your agency?
You want an agent who knows their stuff and can advocate for your needs. While experience doesn’t guarantee success, it certainly helps. Get a sense of how familiar the recruiter is with the hospitals and states you’re interested in, your housing options and pay structures, and the unique challenges of travel nursing.
2. Will you be my recruiter as long as I’m with your agency?
When you’re out in the field, it’s great to have one person who knows your background, your concerns, and your preferences. If an agency tends to bounce nurses from recruiter to recruiter, you may find yourself explaining your job preferences or circumstances over and over. Or you may just get lost in the shuffle. If you can stick with one person who really has your back, you’ll build trust and a better working relationship with your recruiter over time.
3. How many travel nurses do you work with at one time?
This will help you suss out how much attention you’ll get from the recruiter. Will you be just a number on a list? Or will your new recruiter have the time and energy to work to meet your goals?
4. How often can I expect to talk to you?
Not every travel nurse has the same communication needs, so set your expectations early on. This is especially true if you like your recruiter to be active in your travel journey or if you anticipate needing more support on particular assignments.
5. When can I best reach you, and how do you prefer to be contacted?
In all likelihood, when you want to get through to your recruiter, you really want to get through. You have a question about your pay, or your next assignment, or a current on-the-job problem, and you need answers — stat. Playing phone tag with a recruiter isn’t just annoying, it can put your life on hold. Find out right from the start how to connect with your recruiter so you won’t be left hanging when you need them most.
6. Why should I work with your agency vs. another?
Don’t be afraid to ask the hard-hitting questions. Part of your career is in the recruiter’s hands (potentially), and you deserve the best. A recruiter who believes in their work will be able to tell you why they rock and why their company is the one to travel with.
7. How will you support my success?
You want a recruiter who will step up to the plate for you. So before you sign on the dotted line, think about what support you’ll need when you’re in a new town, in a new hospital, and your recruiter is the person who knows you best. Will they be there for you if a hospital changes your shift or asks you to float on a unit you’re uncomfortable with? Will they make sure you’re paid on time? Don’t settle for less than yes.
8. What do your other travel nurses say are your best qualities?
Have your ideal answer in mind before asking this question. What do you value most in a recruiter? Look for answers that match your expectations. If they have a hard time answering this, they may be too green, or they aren’t listening closely enough to their travel nurses.
9. What’s the biggest challenge about working at your agency?
This question will give you insight on the company culture, the dynamic of the agency, and how they address problems. It will also give you clues about how honest your recruiter will be with you and if they can handle a little bit of pressure!
10. What’s the best part of your job?
The answer to this question will tell you how the recruiter feels about their work (i.e., serving nurses like you), what they value, and what their agency culture is like. It will give you a good sense of what drives the recruiter: are they motivated by helping nurses or helping themselves? Do they want just want to hit their numbers or do they want to help their travelers really thrive?
Getting the answers to these questions should give you a clear idea of the recruiter who will go to bat for you when you’re on assignment and the agency that will be your home base.
Looking for more career questions? Check out our blog on discovering what specialty to pursue next.