Building a relationship with your travel nurse recruiter

June 18, 2013

After a nurse’s first assignment with Fastaff, they are transferred to a legacy recruiter. While source recruiters act more as a nurse’s orientation to the company and their first assignment, legacy recruiters act as career counselor, helping with long-term job planning. Three of our more experienced legacy recruiters, Keith Aragon, Rosa Garcia and Titus Thomas, spoke about their experiences building working relationships with Fastaff nurses:

What do you believe is the biggest service a nurse recruiter can provide to nurses?

KA: Setting realistic expectations and pulling no punches, so to speak. For example, if a nurse contacts me about a position she sees but does not necessarily have the right experience for it, I will let them know. I believe that level of candor builds credibility and strong relationships. When I tell the RN’s those types of things, as well as positives, they will know I’m telling the truth.

TT: A recruiter is like a scouting agent that can make the transition easy for our nurses. Legacy recruiters act as the eyes and ears for the nurse to locate the best jobs based on our conversations with them.

RG: I think one of the most important things is accessibility. While we may typically work business hours, our nurses work around the clock for various shifts. Nurses like it when the recruiter is available all the time, even if it’s off-hours. We try our best to cater to that.

What do you believe is the most vital aspect of a nurse-recruiter relationship?

KA: I believe the most vital aspect is honesty. I expect the same honesty from my RN’s that they expect from me. Are they pursuing offers with other agencies, if so, tell me and just let me know if they extend you an offer. If they feel they might not be able to make it to an assignment tell me ASAP, don’t wait until the last minute and then cancel. That kind of communication makes it much easier to help the nurses help themselves.

TT: I would agree with Keith. Honest communication and keeping the recruiter current on the status of your job search.  A quick 5-minute call, 2-3 weeks before their current assignment ends provides the nurse the most opportunity. Many times we are their counselor, advisor, friend and manager.  We want to find the job that is best fit for the nurse, make the best money for them and keep them extending because they are happy with us.   

Since communication is extremely important, what you feel is the best way to set up a communication system with a nurse?

TT: Yes, communication is very important and nowadays we communicate by emails, phone, social media and text but, in my opinion, there is no substitute for live phone conversation.  You have a much better confidence level, commitment and clarity once you talk to a person over the phone for a few minutes rather than emailing or texting for several hours.

RG: With all of the modern ways to communicate, it’s all about emails phone calls and text messages. We try and work with what’s most efficient for the nurse – It’s everything we do today.

What’s your process for matching a nurse to a position that’s right for them?

TT: Based on the relationship and conversations with the nurse, I typically know what type of order is the nurse is looking and would be the best fit.  This is not the same for every nurse, some nurses are location-driven, some are high pay driven and some only have one license so sometimes we need to find a job with an easy-to-obtain license or compact state type of position.

RG: The biggest thing for me is reviewing their skills and previous experience. Once there is a position I feel may be a good fit, I go over the job description with them to see if they feel the same way.

What are some of the best things nurses can do to help you help them?

KA: Besides maintaining a complete file, obtaining a Manager/Director evaluation from every assignment that they go to really helps out.

TT: Nurses can help us by keeping organized, having current documents, certifications and references.  Some nurses have a professional folder with all of these things up-to-date and are able to take advantage of new positions quickly. Our FastPass Profile is also a tool that also helps the nurse stay organized with everything they need to accept an assignment in a convenient location.

RG: Many nurses have a desire to go to a certain state but, when we have that location come up, they may not have that license up-to-date. So, my biggest advice? Always keep up with state licenses and their Fastaff application and profile - Don’t let anything expire.  In terms of licensing, I always encourage my nurses to obtain additional state licensures so they can qualify for more jobs.

Want to read the Fastaff process for starting with a recruiter? Click the link to read the blog where we spoke with our Fastaff source recruiters on the topic.