The vast majority of traveling healthcare staffing firms are aboveboard, honest and won’t steer you wrong.

But the field does have its shysters. Read below for some tips on how to spot the bad apples before you bite.

1) Watch for the high-pressure “close.” Some less-than-honest travel staffing firms will try to get you to sign up “right now this instant” by offering you “the highest rates” or otherwise “force” your hand with pressure tactics.  Understand that you can sign up with as many staffing firms as you wish and that all of us pretty much offer the same rates. After all, we work in the same healthcare market and that market is the rate setter, not a staffing firm.

2) Beware of the “bait and switch.” This occurs when a company calls you up with a “terrific assignment” in Hawaii, Palm Springs or Palm Beach, for example. It asks you to send in your info and register. Then the company calls you back saying the job has closed, “but we have this other opportunity.”

Instead of just sending in your info, ask the staffing manager why the facility has a need and why it can’t fill it internally. Also ask how soon you’ll hear back from the facility once you’ve sent in your information. If the recruiter can’t answer these questions, that’s a big red flag.

Of course, mistakes do happen; jobs open and close constantly. In order to ascertain if this is an honest mistake or a pattern of fabrication, look back at your interaction with the company. Do “great jobs” close often? Does your staffing manager often tell you about “terrific jobs that nobody else has”? Most medical facilities work with more than one staffing firm; exclusivity as to jobs is rare.

3) Is your recruiter also handling your credentialing, finding you an apartment, etc.? Doing this and recruiting and interviewing potential candidates make for more than a full-time job. Ask your staffing firm if it has employees dedicated to credentialing, negotiating leases and travel arrangements, etc. Asking one person to do it all is asking too much.

4) How desperate is your recruiter to place you now? This can be a warning sign that the recruiter will work hard to place you in an assignment – but it may not be the right assignment for you. Take a close look at your interaction with the recruiter. Does he or she take some real time to find out what you’re looking for, what makes you happy in an assignment? Does he or she know what motivates you?

A feeling of urgency is important: This is a fast-paced business sector. But if you feel undue pressure, walk away.

Also, find out how long the recruiter has been placing traveling professionals. A new recruiter isn’t necessarily a bad thing, of course, but this industry is tough and turnover can be high. If you meet with a recruiter who has been placing people for a couple of years, you know you have someone who enjoys the work and knows the healthcare staffing industry. He or she is a keeper!

MedPro Healthcare Staffing has been placing traveling healthcare professionals in assignments at medical and healthcare facilities all over the country since 1983. Our recruiters have been with us for at least two years and many have been with us for five (or many more!). Most also have recruited within the healthcare sector for all of their staffing careers. You can count on us to treat you with respect, care and on the up-and-up. If you’re an RN, PT, OT, speech therapist, or other allied health professional, send us your CV/resume today!