Salary and Benefits Negotiation: A Few Things to Consider

You’ve applied to one or more healthcare traveling staffing services and you’ve been accepted to at least one. Now comes the important part: negotiating your salary and benefits.

Read below for some negotiating tips.

First of all, understand that the staffing service wants to hire you for as little as reasonably possible while you want to be paid as much as is reasonably possible. Your staffing supervisor knows this and expects you to, as well. Which means that your staffing supervisor expects you to negotiate, so you needn’t be afraid to do so. Also, don’t become too obsessed with your hourly rate. Look more at the entire package offered to you (health and retirement benefits, per diem rates, reimbursements, etc.).

Yet even while we say don’t focus entirely on your salary, we do believe it’s important. You’ll want to find out if you’re guaranteed a set number of hours. What about shift differentials? Ask about a completion bonus, etc.

What type of insurance coverage are you being offered? Will you (and your family members, if applicable) be covered on the first day you’re hired, or the first day of your first assignment, or on another date? What happens if you don’t have an assignment for a few weeks?

One thing to consider negotiating for is malpractice insurance coverage. Or is it provided automatically by your traveling service?

What about your traveling/relocation costs? These can be tax deductible (check with a knowledgeable tax professional), but if you don’t want to pay them out of pocket, could the traveling service pay for your traveling expenses?

Before you start negotiating, decide what you absolutely must have and what you can live without. You’ll then need to make a decision regarding whether you will walk from any particular agency if your must haves cannot be met. Your must haves should be no more than two items on your list.

When you’re negotiating your pay rate, aim to let the staffing manager give a salary range first. You can then say something along the lines of “That sounds great and I’m eager to work with you. I’m wondering if there’s any room to move up?”

If you feel you must give your number first, don’t give a number, give a range. Have a number in mind that you feel is the absolute least (say, $20 an hour) you will work for (and then keep it to yourself). Have a middle number and then your top. Give your range with your middle number at the bottom and the top at the top. For example, if your top is $35 an hour and your middle is $28, then you’d say “I’m looking for something in the $28-$35/hour range.” That way you have a great chance of at least getting your middle number. If necessary, you can negotiate down to your lowest number, but that’s only if absolutely necessary.

If you’re an experienced (one or two years) OT, RN, PT, speech therapist, pharmacist, or other allied health professional looking to explore the world of the traveling healthcare professional, contact a recruiter at MedPro Healthcare Staffing today. We look forward to hearing from you.

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