Agency Non-Compete – Revisiting This Old Tactic

 In Atlas

I wrote this piece a while back, but it needs to be revisited in a wake of some discussion around larger agencies enforcing outdated contractual rules that hurt all of us in the industry. Now more than ever, the end user needs to be as informed as possible. If you sign a contract with Company XYZ it’s possible they have language that may handcuff you to them for future contracts. Ultimately that means a less personal relationship and lower pay. I’ve seen it enough recently to say that with confidence. Too many companies don’t believe in the process or care about the nurse anymore. They are just in it for the money, and now they are looking for more ways to make even more money. They have private equity firms or shareholders to report to, and both expect large profits. Or maybe they are privately held and their president and c-level staff needs million dollar homes and fancy cars. Do you work for one of those companies? Are you ok with that?

Originally Published September 6, 2017

We’ve always said Atlas is different. In many ways, we are. But in some ways we are just like all the rest. Truly great companies like Amazon, Zappos, Tesla and Apple all have one thing in common. Their leadership listens to the feedback of their customers and adjusts accordingly. During the early days of the iPhone, you could email Steve Jobs at his Apple email address and he’d respond. Tim Cook took over when Jobs passed away and has continued that practice. Tesla’s Elon Musk regularly spends hours on Twitter responding to customer tweets. Amazon and Zappos consistently change based on customer feedback. Check the return policy at Zappos, it’s the way it is because of customer feedback.

Now, we don’t think we are any of those great companies (yet), nor do I think I’m Steve Jobs, Tim Cook or Elon Musk. But like them, listening to customers is vital to the health of our business. So we listen, every day. We’ve listened since the day we opened our doors. I’m always online, responding to feedback, offering advice, etc. Through this listening, we identified one change that should have been made a long, long time ago.

Every travel nurse contract I’ve seen has the same clause. A nurse that accepts a contract at XYZ Hospital cannot go back to XYZ Hospital with a different agency for a year. It’s a non-compete of sorts. It was written long ago to give the agency some protection from other agencies. Right or wrong, it’s there. And some companies go to great lengths to enforce it.

That ends today at Atlas. Honestly it should never have been there in the first place, and I’m embarrassed it was part of our contract. So that’s changing, and we are taking it a step further.

We know we can’t be everything to everyone. So if you are on contract with us and decide to leave for another agency, we’ll send your compliance file to you at your request. We are that confident in the service we provide, we’ll help you leave if that’s what you feel is best for you and your career. It’s our goal to earn your business for the next contract and many contracts to come. If we haven’t, then shame on us. We’ve said it in the past, and it still rings true. This isn’t a transactional business for us. We are here to build long term relationships. Where you belong isn’t just a cool hashtag.

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