If you’ve ever signed up with a traveling healthcare agency and later regretted it, you’re not alone. Many traveling healthcare professionals are so excited about the idea of a career as a traveler that they sign up with the first traveling staffing agency they find.
If this has happened to you, read below to learn the red flags you should look for when researching travel healthcare staffing firms, and how to “fire” any firm that’s not for you.
Finding and Working with a Travel Staffing Firm
First of all, it’s perfectly OK to register with more than one firm. You will be able to pick and choose among the assignments offered to you. As time goes on, you’ll undoubtedly find that just one or two firms rise to the top of your list and you’ll end up taking on assignments from just these firms. Until then, however, take advantage of different firms’ offerings and register with three to five.
Important note: While it’s OK – and recommended – that you register with more than one healthcare travel staffing firm, it’s not OK to accept an assignment with one and then turn it down just days before you’re scheduled to leave because you prefer to take an assignment with another firm. Once you accept an assignment, keep it. If you do try to “play” firms against each other, word will get out and you’ll become persona non grata throughout the healthcare staffing industry. (This caveat also goes for quitting an assignment before the assignment’s scheduled end in order to take on another with a different firm. Doing so is considered extremely unprofessional and you will soon enough find your name “blacklisted” with travel staffing firms. Stick with your commitments.)
Instead, politely turn down assignments from other firms once you’ve accepted one. If you are interested in working with another firm, let the other firm know of your expected end date and tell them you’d be happy to entertain assignment offers then. It’s also OK to call other healthcare travel firms as an assignment nears its end to remind them of your coming availability.
Vetting Your Firm and Getting Out of a Bad Partnership
Before registering with a travel staffing firm, research its website thoroughly. Look at its FAQ pages, its benefits pages, etc. Does it offer the types of assignments in which you’re interested? Will it help you achieve licensing in the states in which you wish to work? Are its managers/recruiters available 24/7 should you find yourself in a bind while on assignment and you need to contact someone at the firm?
Another red flag to watch out for is how you’re treated by the firm’s representatives the very first time you contact the company. These first impressions are important and if you feel at all rushed into registering, if you feel that the staffing manager/recruiter isn’t listening to your needs, do you really think this will improve once you’ve registered and become an employee?
Trust your gut. If you get a bad vibe when you contact a staffing service, listen to those instincts.
Finally, if you feel it’s time to remove a staffing service from your roster, and you’re on an assignment through it, do your best to finish the assignment. Then, once you’re done with the assignment, call or write the firm and let it know you know longer wish to accept assignments. If you feel you were treated poorly by someone at the firm, you should say so, but do so professionally.
If you’re an RN, PT, OT, speech therapist, pharmacist, or other allied healthcare professional with an itch to see the country, contact a recruiter at MedPro Healthcare Staffing. We look forward to hearing from you.