Recruiters and Travel Nurses Have One Thing In Common

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By: Shari Dalton

January 4, 2018

By: Shari Dalton

“You must not lose faith in humanity.  Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” Mahatma Ghandi

If there is one thing that we have all shared in this industry, it is that we have all had a bad experience.   Whether you are a traveler, recruiter, owner, client manager, or hospital, we’ve all shared some frustration with our counterpart.  In the healthcare staffing industry, it’s inevitable.  We aren’t working with a product- we are working with people.  At every aspect of this industry, we are working with people and it can be unpredictable.

Recruiters, we often find ourselves frustrated and jaded by the lack of integrity, trust and loyalty with our travelers.  We find ourselves having to explain why a traveler wasn’t able to pass a drug screen or background check.  Or why they may have no-showed on the job.  We feel let down because we worked our butts off to find the perfect job, only to find out they are no longer available or interested because it doesn’t pay enough money.  We feel used because we give up time with our families to take calls on evenings and weekends, usually for reasons that could have waited until the next business day.  But knowing that our travelers needed us, no matter how serious, we walked away from dinner or bath time and take the calls.

You must shift your focus to the good travelers that you love working with and always have had great experiences with.  Look at how that relationship was built and try to bring that into all of your recruitment efforts.  Maybe you need to set better expectations when working with your travelers.  Or better educate them on you and your companies processes so that they know what to expect.  After all, they are hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles from home and they are relying on you to help them.

Travelers, you leave your friends and family and head out on what is supposed to be the adventure of a lifetime.  Sometimes that quickly falls apart when the hospitals isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  Or you find out that other nurses working the same shift on the same unit as you, are making more money-what’s worse is that it’s sometimes with the same company.  Or maybe you’ve had a legitimate problem and your recruiter has gone rogue and you can’t get a straight answer from anyone at the company.

As a traveler, with so many options at your fingertips, take your time when vetting out a recruiter.  If there are red flags that come up in the recruiting process, like poor communication, this won’t resolve itself once you start traveling with them.  Not all recruiters are created equal, but there are some really great ones out there.  Make sure you are clearly communicating your expectations, wants, needs and fears.  The more honest you are, the easier it will be for them to help you.

I could go on and on-just when I think I’ve heard them all, I hear about a new horror story.  But the truth of the matter is, the good stories and the good relationships far outweigh the bad things that we all experience.  For the couple of bad eggs, or drops in the ocean, we all run across, there are far more good eggs, especially when we are looking in the right places.  The ocean is full of them.

The truth is, we choose who we get to work with.  We can seek those out who we feel most comfortable with.  You have got to do your due diligence with this to help create the experience you are looking for-And I mean that on both sides of the fence.

My challenge to you is this-be the change you want to see in this industry.  If you feel like you deserve more respect, then treat others with more respect.  If you want honesty and integrity from your partners, give them more honesty and integrity.  Do not let the negativity spill over into your next interaction.  We cannot control other people and how they behave, but we can control how we chose to react to it.  It isn’t easy, but if we want to create a level playing field and make a positive impact in this industry, it begins with you.


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