There are so many locum tenens agencies out there — how do I know which one is best for me?
With over 100 locum tenens agencies in the United States, it can be difficult to determine which agency to work with. While every locum tenens agency offers — in essence — the same thing, each agency has its own recruiters, business practices, specialties, and other unique elements that sets it apart from other agencies.
So, how do you know which one is best for you? Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for a locum tenens agency to work with:
1. Ask questions.
When speaking with a recruiter employed by an agency you’re unfamiliar with, ask questions about their company. How long have they been in business? How many job opportunities are available in your specialty? What benefits do they offer? How much experience do their recruiters have? Investigating a locum tenens agency is essential to determine whether or not they’ll be a good fit for you.
2. Industry standards.
If a recruiter is requesting compensation in exchange for assisting you in your locum tenens job search, hang up the phone and start searching elsewhere. Recruiters are paid by their clients, not by the providers they work with. To ensure the highest standard of legal and ethical business practices, look for an agency that is a member of the National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations (NALTO).
3. Agency benefits.
Working with an agency should make your career easier, not more difficult. Find an agency that handles licensing, privileging, credentialing, contract negotiation, malpractice insurance, and travel accommodations for you.
4. Be realistic.
Narrow down the position, pay, and location you need in order to find the most suitable agency for you. Be realistic about your needs — while you may want part-time work for full-time pay, what you may need is a larger professional network that extends into less-populated areas.
5. Expect excellence.
You’ll have the ability to identify a recruiter’s commitment to you by the amount of time they spend with you. Is your recruiter giving you as much information as they possibly can? Is your recruiter answering all of your questions in a timely and effective manner? You should be in regular contact with your recruiter. Expect them to be available and accessible before, during, and after your assignment.
6. Your recruiter is your advocate.
Look for a recruiter you can maintain a good relationship with. Better yet, look for a recruiter with knowledge in your specialty. A recruiter who understands your specialty will be familiar with the cases, patient volume, and rates you expect. Because your recruiter will be managing your scheduling and negotiations, finding a good fit is essential. If you haven’t found a good fit, keep looking elsewhere.
7. Safeguard your CV.
While you’ll benefit by working with a locum tenens agency, locum tenens agencies will also benefit by working with you. Sometimes, an agency will attempt to convince you that accepting a particular assignment is in your best interest, when it’s not. Be wary of this. Most locum tenens agencies possess “ownership” of your CV for two years after a presentation; so, in order to work at the facility they presented you to, you would have to do so through their agency. Before sending over your CV to an agency, ensure it’s an agency you like working with.
8. Bigger isn’t necessarily better.
Larger, more established locum tenens agencies may offer greater efficiency, but agencies of a bigger size allocate significant amounts of money to advertising and other overhead costs. Smaller locum tenens agencies will typically offer better rates — rates that the big ones simply can’t afford.
9. Maintain balance.
Many locum tenens providers choose only one agency to work with. Others choose to work with a variety of agencies. While both are effective, sticking to a single agency simplifies the process. Whichever method you choose, keep the future in mind. Having a heavily-circulated CV can look messy, and may make you appear desperate for — or unable to keep — a job.
10. Transparency in all things.
Look for an agency that is honest, transparent, and integrous in its business practices. An agency that has nothing to hide is an agency you can trust.
Interested in learning if Fusion Healthcare Staffing is the right agency for you? Call 855-537-8353 to speak with a recruiter!