Feb 13, 2023 — Carly Miller

How to Recruit Travel Nurses: Creative and Effective Solutions

Recruiting travel nurses isn’t as straightforward as recruiting for other professions. Several aspects of the travel nursing industry make it unique, which can create challenges regarding how you approach your travel nurse recruitment efforts.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the best travel nurse recruitment strategies and the common mistakes to avoid as a travel nurse recruiter.

The Importance of Travel Nurse Recruitment

A young nurse smiling at the camera

Travel nurse recruiters are a crucial part of the healthcare industry. As a travel nurse recruiter, you work hard to ensure that the best candidates get connected with healthcare organizations and hospitals that need their skills.

By connecting travelers with employers, recruiters enable nurses to find the right jobs and places to use their knowledge and experience.

With the help of a travel nurse recruiter, healthcare facilities can provide better patient care through connections with traveling nurses.

What Makes Travel Nurse Recruiting Unique?

A man browsing job applications on his computer

Travel nursing is a unique and exciting world that requires a specialized approach to recruiting, as several distinct elements set it apart from other sectors of the recruitment industry.

Flexible Job Nature

Travel nursing often requires more flexibility than traditional roles, including moving locations quickly and taking on multiple short-term assignments.

Additionally, travel nurses tend to be experienced healthcare professionals with established credentials. They may expect their recruiters—and the other agencies they work with—to understand how best to manage their careers.

Recruiting From A Sales Lens

Travel nursing is unique because it requires healthcare professionals to become comfortable working in unfamiliar locations.

A recruiter must connect travelers with jobs that match their candidate profiles. It is also vital to help any healthcare organization in high demand for healthcare resources.

When it comes to travel nursing recruitment, the recruiter is essentially selling both the job and the location to potential candidates. By doing so, they can help the candidate decide which destination is a better fit for their lifestyle and preferences while still assisting medical facilities in need.

A recruiter must have the ability to present each location as an attractive opportunity, including providing incentives like free housing or bonuses.

Vendor Management Services

The travel nurse industry has become incredibly competitive in recent years due to the proliferation of Vendor Management Services.

This means that more recruiters compete for each open job, and communication between agencies and middle-man often hinders their clients.

To succeed in this highly competitive environment, it’s essential to understand how to approach your recruitment process properly.

Extensive Hiring Process

The most significant difference between travel nurse recruiting and other recruitment is the need for a much more comprehensive job application. Applicants must submit resumes, skills checklists, and references to be considered for a travel nursing position. This means that recruiters have to ensure they are collecting all of this information before submitting a candidate’s application.

In addition, travel nurses are often needed in short-term bursts, so recruiters must be able to identify and fill positions when a need arises quickly. This requires developing relationships with potential candidates early on.

Need for Engaged Travel Nurse Recruiters

Successful travel nurse recruitment requires recruiters to understand how to engage this highly qualified pool of nurses in different areas throughout the country without sacrificing productivity or quality of care for patients.

This means preparing for hospital staffing changes and responding quickly to these job changes. It also means knowing how to match travel nurses with the right job opportunities and providing a positive experience for both travel nurses and care facilities.

Overall, recruiting for travel nursing positions requires recruiters to stay up-to-date on industry trends and how they impact the recruitment process. While this can be challenging, ensuring a successful recruitment process is important.

Recruitment Approaches

Two men shaking hands in an interview

The two fundamental approaches to recruitment—direct sourcing and agency-based recruitment—both present unique challenges when it comes to travel nurse recruitment

Direct Sourcing

Direct recruitment involves using job boards, social media, career fairs, and other sources to attract potential travel nurse candidates. For direct sourcing, the challenge is quickly responding to requests for qualified candidates while ensuring they meet all of the necessary requirements.

Agency-Based Recruitment

Agency-based recruitment involves working with staffing agencies to find qualified travel nurse candidates. Working in partnership with a staffing agency can provide access to a vast network of potential candidates and help streamline the process.

For agency-based recruitment, the challenge lies in matching qualified travel nurses with the right positions and ensuring they remain engaged throughout their assignments.

How To Overcome Recruitment Challenges

A recruiter comparing candidates

Successful travel nurse recruitment requires a flexible and creative approach. Here are some strategies to help recruiters overcome the associated challenges:

Utilize Multiple Sourcing Methods

Utilizing multiple sourcing methods is a great way to recruit travel nurses and fill your staffing needs quickly. Combining direct recruitment with agency-based sourcing can help you reach a larger pool of candidates and increase the efficiency of the process.

Leverage Technology

Take advantage of new technologies to streamline the recruitment process, such as utilizing automated screening to quickly match travel nurses with the right position or utilizing job boards and Facebook groups to connect you with qualified individuals.

Establish Relationships

Develop meaningful relationships with potential candidates by understanding their needs and how to meet them. This can help recruiters stay in touch with travel nurses throughout the recruitment process, allowing them to build a stronger pool of potential candidates.

Foster Engagement

Once an offer has been accepted, it’s important to keep communication open with travel nurses during their assignments. This helps ensure they are motivated, engaged, and satisfied with their work experience.

Provide Support

Recruiters should provide travel nurses with the necessary tools and resources to help them succeed. This could include creating an onboarding program for new travel nurses or providing access to mentors or role models within the organization. By developing strong organizational skills, recruiters can serve as resources for travelers starting their first assignment or a new position.

Be a Patient Recruiter

A great recruiter works closely with job seekers to ease their hiring process. To be a strong recruiter and earn more referrals, it is vital to provide reassurance to qualified applicants and guide them through the recruiting process.

As a travel nurse recruiter, you can be a career advisor to qualified applicants to aid them in their job searches and fill open positions.

A good recruiter should be available to:

  • Answer questions
  • Provide insight on the job description
  • Give advice
  • Help with the application process
  • Provide an added sense of security for job seekers

By implementing these strategies, recruiters can overcome the challenges associated with travel nurse recruitment and ensure they successfully find qualified candidates.

Common Mistakes to Avoid As a Travel Nurse Recruiter

A young male nurse smiles at the camera

Recruiting travel nurses can be challenging, but it is possible to find qualified candidates if the right steps are taken. However, there are some common mistakes recruiters should avoid to ensure success.

Neglecting Research

Researching potential candidates and understanding their needs is essential for successfully recruiting travel nurses. Carefully review the screening questions, applications, and experience of all job seekers before connecting them with jobs that might not be the right fit for them.

Inadequate Compensation

Travel nursing is a competitive job market, so it’s important to stay ahead on fair compensation. Recruiters need to be aware of how much-qualified candidates are expecting in terms of salary and benefits. Offering competitive wages and attractive benefits packages is vital for recruiting and retaining talented travel nurses.

Poor Communication Skills

A travel nurse recruiter should communicate with travel nurses promptly and provide them with clear information about the job description and expectations. Poor communication can lead to confusion and frustration, which could result in qualified nurses withdrawing their interest.

Lack of Support

Recruiters should be prepared to provide nurses with the necessary resources and support. This includes providing access to mentors or role models and creating an onboarding program to help them transition into new roles.

By avoiding these common mistakes, recruiters can ensure the successful recruitment of quality travel nursing candidates.

Effective Travel Nurse Recruitment

A group of nurses walking together in a hospital

Recruiting and managing travel nurses can be a creative and unique challenge. While there are common pitfalls to avoid, recruiters who embrace innovative strategies can benefit from a diverse selection of experienced candidates and an effective recruitment process.

Taking the time to understand the unique challenges of this type of staffing can help recruiters make informed decisions about the best approach for their agency, ultimately leading to more successful recruiting outcomes for travel nurses.

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