Healthcare professionals who have spent any time at all on working with a staffing agency will tell you that one of the keys to their success is having a good recruiter. As you can find in any walk of life, some people are better at their job than others, and recruiters are no different. That said, the process of establishing a relationship with a good recruiter should not fall solely on the shoulders of the recruiter. Clinicians play as much of a role in recruiting success as the recruiter does. Let’s explore that concept further with Senior Recruiter, Jim Burris' top tips for improving the recruiter-clinician relationship.
- You don’t have to settle. That may sound harsh, but keep in mind that as a nurse or allied healthcare professional, you are a commodity that is in demand across the country. Therefore, agencies are all vying for your attention and the opportunity to work with you. If you don’t feel like you and your recruiter are on the same page, ask for, or find a new recruiter. If the agency isn’t the problem, they will go out of their way to place you with a recruiter who is a better fit with your goals and personality. If they aren’t willing to do that, your decision to move on is an easy one.
- Establish communication ground rules up front. While the onus is on the recruiter to work with and for you, it is equally important for you to do your part in making sure the recruiter has the means to hold up their end of the bargain. Let your recruiter know your preferences in communication, important things like whether you find texts easier, phone calls, emails, the best times to reach you, etc. Giving your recruiter a chance to be successful in reaching you is the least you can do to help establish a strong relationship.
- Be open and honest about your goals. Your recruiter is going to do everything in their power to make sure you are getting the assignments you want and ones that will help you achieve your longer-term career goals. They are unable to do that if you haven’t thought about or communicated those goals to them in the first place. Think of your recruiter as an adviser. They are someone with a lot of healthcare industry experience and can be relied upon to help you navigate a successful career path.
- Don’t be afraid to express your “bells and whistles.” If you have aspects of an assignment that you like to have to make things easier on you, don’t be afraid to let your recruiter know about them. Also, more non-negotiable things that you may have like shift, location, clinical setting, even money should be expressed up front. Your recruiter may not always be able to work magic, but never hesitate to put that information out there for them to work with.
- Get your answers from the source. If you have been traveling for any length of time, you have met other travelers. They may be working with the same agency as you, or with another, but to rely on them to answer questions you have is a sure way to create confusion. Anytime you have a question about an assignment or particular detail, the best way to get accurate information is to get it from the source. Keep in mind that the goal of your recruiter is to make sure you are getting what you need and are set up to be successful in every assignment. Never hesitate to reach out for answers to your questions.
- Stay in touch. Are you sensing a theme throughout this article? Communication is the key to your relationship with your recruiter. They will be your main point of contact throughout the life cycle of your assignment and beyond. Your recruiter knows how busy you are when on assignment, so if you haven’t heard from them recently, reach out and let them know how things are going. Another small gesture that every recruiter appreciates is when you drop them a line with positive news! Did you receive a compliment from your manager, or earn Nurse of the Month honors? Call your recruiter and let them share in your achievements. Trust me, they will thank you for thinking of them.
What tips do you have for developing a strong relationship with your recruiter? Share them in the comment section below, or feel free to chime in on our Facebook page.
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