There has been a lot of talk on social media lately about communication and etiquette when it comes to recruiters and nurses. As the market tightens up, and new travel nurses take contracts for the first time, these topics need a place in an open and honest forum.
In a very discussed, highly emotional post, a nurse was asking if it was ok to contact her recruiter on the weekends. For a new nurse, that IS a legitimate question. They might not know any better. It’s all part of their learning curve in the industry. Ten years ago, the answer to that question would have been no, as well as the inverse to that question. Recruiters didn’t really call nurses on the weekends or after hours. Some companies tried running after hours call campaigns or overnight shifts. That didn’t really work though. Maybe it was the execution, because I heard some horror stories. But in the end the industry wasn’t there yet. That changed quickly though. Now our industry, on both sides, isn’t anywhere close to the 9-5 Monday through Friday gig that it once was. It’s text messages and Facebook posts. It’s 11 pm on a Wednesday, or 7 am on a Saturday. And all of it is based on the relationship that is formed between the recruiter and the nurse. How a nurse and a recruiter get to that point is a matter of time, but I’ve seen it play out successfully over and over again. I’ve also seen it fail terribly if the relationship is forced, matched for a fee by an unattached third party, or otherwise not allow to come about naturally.
How about working with more than one agency? That’s a ridiculously flammable topic on social media, but one that can be answered easily. In any relationship where the end user has choice, it’s common to compare options. Same in our industry. There are a lot of choices out there, if you don’t shop around you will lose out. That doesn’t mean you can’t have loyalty, but it does mean you can work the system to get the best option possible. I want to be very clear, there is NOTHING wrong with that. Working with two or three agencies is smart. This is your career, do everything to make the most of it. Like I talked about last week, own the process!
No matter who you are (either the recruiter or the nurse) in that process, it’s important for you to have open and honest conversations with each other. Set boundaries if needed. It’s a working relationship that only “works” if both are on the same page. Ask the questions that need to be asked. Leaving anything to chance will ultimately spell certain doom.