As a travel nurse, the obvious first step to your dream assignment is to find a travel nursing recruiter. A great recruiter relationship is one of the most critical elements of your success and job satisfaction. The right recruiter is your advocate, guide, and mentor through the triumphs and challenges of traveling.
So, how do you know you’ve found the right recruiter? It’s important to find an individual fit. Define the qualities most important to you, and identify a recruiter who embodies these qualities.
Six RNNetwork recruiters sound off on the guiding principles that shape who they are and what they do.
Ask Chris Georgiou to share the outstanding qualities of the nurses with whom he works, and his enthusiasm can’t be restrained. Among the qualities he admires most are resourcefulness and flexibility. And as he lauds these qualities in his nurses, he endeavors to exemplify them in his own work.
“Flexibility is probably key to being a successful travel nurse,” says Chris. “As much as we want everything to go smoothly and as anticipated, occasionally we do hit bumps in the road. It’s tough to know what you don’t know. But I think almost anything can be handled with the appropriate question or asking things the right way in order to get the results you want.”
“Being solution-oriented and asking questions specific to your needs also helps your recruiter better understand your priorities,” says Chris. “And in turn, this open dialogue puts your recruiter in a better position to advocate for you.”
When Samantha Carfi began her journey with RNNetwork as an assistant, she observed the recruiters and their relationships with their nurses and she desired that same connection.
“I thought, ‘I love that! I want that,” says Samantha.
Samantha joined the recruiter ranks in 2015 and building relationships quickly became a hallmark of her service. She connects with her nurses and prospects each week, by phone, text or social media. And when she learns a nurse will be in her area, she makes it a point to take them to lunch and show her appreciation. By nurturing strong relationships with her nurses, she can better identify the opportunities where each individual with thrive.
“What I love most about my job is that each relationship is unique. I love working with so many people with different strengths and personalities,” says Samantha. “What fills me most is when I get into work and a new job opens up and I think, ‘This is perfect for them!’ That’s a really great feeling.”
While a travel nurse’s assignments and locales may vary, his or her recruiter is a constant.
“I always tell people, I don’t go away in the process,” says recruiter Jamie Zaroff. “That’s a leap of faith, and you need someone who will stand next to you.”
For this reason, reliability is one of the virtues Jamie values most. She knows if her travel nurses can rely on her to guide them through the process, she can help set them up for success.
“I will go toe to toe on anything for my nurses,” says Jamie. “I handle the administrative details, so they don’t have to – payroll, credentialing, housing, scheduling. Whatever the hurdle, I’m here for them. I know we can figure it out together.”
Chuck Klee approaches the recruiter-nurse relationship by turning it on its head. In order to understand what information is most beneficial to the travel nurses he serves, he strives to relate and see the decisions and options from the nurse’s perspective.
“The best thing I can do is to put myself in their shoes,” says Chuck. “The travel nurses we work with want to understand how the process works, how they will do financially, what we know about the hospital and what experiences other travel nurses have had. And if an assignment doesn’t feel like the right fit, I like to know that so I can work to find an even better fit.”
Chuck presents information to the nurses he works with in a straightforward and objective manner, understanding he would want unbiased facts were roles reversed.
Recruiter Ora DeVito’s respect for travel nurses bears the greatest influence on how and what she does. She values the hard work that goes into nursing and the unique challenges of traveling, and she strives to support her nurses in the important work they do day in and day out.
“My nurses are hard-working professionals. They are amazing. I have the utmost respect for them and what they do,” says Ora. “Nurses are the lifeline to the physician and a lifeline to their patients. When I hear stories about our nurses and the great work they are doing, it makes me feel proud they are working for RNNetwork and impacting patient lives.”
Ora’s respect for travel nurses translates into her communication style. She is a sounding board for her nurses, in both good and hard times.
“I want to have open communication – both good and bad,” says Ora. “If they want to share praise, I encourage them to share it with me so we can get them an extension. If they have concerns, I want to hear those, too. I think they appreciate I am there for them through the good and bad times, whether personally or professionally.”
For recruiter Samantha Wines, reputation is everything. She values her organization’s reputation and is committed to upholding her own, recognizing both bear an important impact on the travel nurses with whom she works. As such, she strives to approach every interaction with knowledge, ethics and honesty.
“With the growth of the market, many agencies have popped up that promise the sun, the moon and the stars… and then they just don’t follow through,” says Samantha. “Many times, I’ve lost people to the competition who call me back several weeks later and say, ‘you were right; they didn’t do what they were going to do.’ I want my nurses to know they can trust me.”
“Further, it’s so important to have someone knowledgeable help you navigate the world of travel nursing when you decide to leap into this vast unknown,” Samantha says. “It feels so good to have not only someone you can count on, but a standup company behind you. You’re not paid by the hospital, you’re paid by your agency – so you want to be sure they’re reputable, financially stable and committed to doing the right thing.”
Share in the comments, what qualities do you admire most in a travel nursing recruiter?