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There seems to be an abundance of medical staffing agencies across the country; how do you know which company is right for you? How do you know which recruiter you should work with? The choices can sometimes make it overwhelming. The relationship you have with your recruiter is a symbiotic one, and both recruiter and nurse will benefit from a healthy and transparent relationship. A good recruiter will have access to a multitude of contracts all over the country and have connections with facilities that can help get you in the door. More importantly, your recruiter should be your advocate.

Update your resume

Before you begin your search, be sure your resume is up to date. Your resume should give a recruiter a good summary of your qualifications and skills. It is important to mention a fancy format is not necessary; the punctuation and information you supply is what really matters. Be sure when building your resume, you use your legal name and make sure you have up-to-date contact information. Add any relevant licenses or certifications you have with their numbers and expiration dates. When listing past employment, it is best to go back ten years with no gaps. If you have a gap in your resume, be sure to explain why you weren’t working. List the company you worked for along with the position, city, and state along with the month and year of the start and end dates. If an agency is listed, be sure to include a list of the facilities you worked in a while working for that agency.

Find the perfect recruiter

After you have updated your resume, it’s time to find the perfect recruiter. There are two ways to find a company to work with:

  1. A recruiter may reach out directly to you after you show interest in a specific job, usually through a job board or social media channel, like Indeed, Facebook, or LinkedIn. 
  2. You contact a recruiter, either through a referral or because you saw something that drew your interest to their company.

Before you choose a recruiter, it is best to research the agency they work with to make sure the company is real, a precaution to protect yourself from being the victim of a scam. The right recruiter will be responsive, knowledgeable, and transparent.

Interview process

The interview process is not only a good time for the recruiter to find out if you are a good candidate, but you will have the opportunity to interview the recruiter. During the interview, the recruiter is getting to know you and your goals. Do you want to live close to a beach or do you like snow? Are you planning on starting a family, or do you have a vacation planned? Are you planning on going back to school to advance your nursing degree? All these factors could help the recruiter when finding the perfect contract for you. Be upfront and honest about what you are looking for; a great recruiter will look for contracts that align with your goals.  

As a candidate, you should never be afraid to ask questions. Be sure to ask about benefits the agency offers as well as stipends and bonuses. Don’t be afraid to ask tougher questions, like if there’s a penalty for backing out of a contract. The more questions you ask, the better prepared you are to accept the contract. You will also get to know your recruiter by asking more questions and help you understand if they are well informed about the agency they represent.

Communication is key in every great relationship

Lines of communication should always be open and transparent. Some people respond quicker to text, while some like email, figure out what works best for both of you. As a great candidate, you should return phone calls and texts as quickly as possible and expect the same from your recruiter. 

Expectations and requirements should all be discussed during the interview phase; this will ensure that the process moves as smoothly and quickly as possible. If at any time you change your mind and decide to not move forward, please let the recruiter know. It will not hurt the recruiter’s feelings if you decide to go in a different direction, and it will give the recruiter an opportunity to evaluate their own processes. Mutual respect is also important when building a relationship.

Finding contracts that best fit your needs

Your recruiter will then look for contracts that best fit your needs based on the information you provided during the interview. A good recruiter won’t bring you contracts that do not align with your goals, and they will not pressure you to take a contract that you do not feel comfortable with. Expect the recruiter to give you as much info as they have for the contract, which should include the facility and location as well as shift, pay, and length of the contract.

Once you have found the perfect recruiter, this process should feel comfortable and seamless. It is important to be flexible and proactive. If you have chosen a recruiter that is honest, knowledgeable, and reliable, you can trust that they have your best interest at heart. A great recruiter is also with you throughout your contract. Make sure you make them aware of any issues you face; it is their job to make sure the contract meets your expectations. But remember, we are all human, and mistakes can happen; it is how those mistakes are handled that makes all the difference. With the right recruiter, the two of you should have a mutually beneficial and successful relationship, one where you are proud to also call each other friends.

Need a referral for a great recruiter?

Medical Edge Recruitment is the premier travel nursing recruitment agency specializing in providing top talent to clients in the healthcare industry. We connect clinical and allied providers to their ideal opportunities, focusing on building long-lasting relationships through honesty and transparency. In travel nursing, bigger does not always mean better. While we have an extensive network of job opportunities, our experienced team is dedicated to making a personalized provider experience a priority. There are a lot of moving parts in getting set up for a new assignment, but we take care of all the details along the way. Adventure awaits; let Medical Edge Recruitment show you where to go next!

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