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Working with Nurse Recruiters

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Finding your dream job might take work. But nurse recruiters can be a helpful tool. Nurse recruiters work for healthcare companies to find clinicians to fill their job openings. Which begs the question, what’s the benefit of working with a talent scout that is paid to get you to take a job. Should nurses work with recruiters?

A nurse seeking new job opportunities might find it helpful to work with a professional nurse recruiter. Also known as headhunters, employment recruiters can help nurses with job searches, interviews, and job offers. A good nurse recruiter can guide, coach, and support nurses to land their dream job.

Nurse recruiters can be a great resource for nurses who are tired of a current position or just wondering what opportunities exist. Here’s what nurses need to know about working with a nurse recruiter.

Working with Nurse Recruiters

Working with a Nurse Recruiter

If you have never worked with a good nurse recruiter before, you are missing out. Hunting for a job with someone whose goal is to get you a job takes away some of the stress of the job search. And it beats hitting the job boards alone.

Nurse recruiters established in the industry can help nurses find great job opportunities. Their job is to help healthcare companies fill open nursing positions. And in some cases, recruiters are privy to job openings or details about a company and its culture that aren’t widely publicized. Count on a good recruiter to spill the tea.

Getting the inside scoop on exclusive openings before they’re posted is just one benefit of working with a nurse recruiter. Here are a few other ways nurse recruiters help qualified nurses find and land their dream jobs.

  • Resume help
  • Interview practice
  • Appraisal of your hire-ability and marketability
  • Guidance on salary ranges

Having a recruiter by your side is like having your own agent. This agent is working all day to find good options for you, even when you’re not.

I know all this sounds great, and now you’re probably asking how to find a nurse recruiter.

Finding Nurse Recruiters

Where are the nurse recruiters? Well, healthcare recruiters work in a variety of settings.

  • Some large healthcare facilities or organizations employ full-time recruiters. Hospitals, for example, have their own recruiters that source local job candidates.
  • Other nurse recruiters work for staffing agencies. Talent agencies and executive search firms are types of staffing companies that might specialize in nursing and healthcare.
  • Still, other nurse recruiters might work independently or have their own businesses.

Now that you know where they work, how do you find them? You see, that is where working with a nurse recruiter might get tricky. Traditionally, nursing recruiters attended job fairs, nursing conferences, and other events to network with nurses and hiring managers. Today, many nurse recruiters are working from home. As a result, hunting down an established nurse recruiter might take a little time and effort.

Many professionals now hang out on LinkedIn. It is probably the best place to find a quality nurse recruiter. First, make sure you have an updated LinkedIn profile and resume. Next, search for the words “nursing recruiter” plus your specialty or city and see what options come up.

When you see recruiters that could be a good fit, message them or email them directly. Let them know you are looking for a nursing job and would like to connect.

Here’s a sample email template:

Hello,

I just saw your profile on LinkedIn, and I would love to connect. I have been a nurse for X years, and I am currently looking for a new opportunity in X specialty(ies). If you know of any openings, let’s hop on a call to discuss how we could work together.

Thank you,

Nurse

Reach out to recruiters who are knowledgeable about your field. Those will know the big names in your nursing specialty and how certain jobs can benefit your career. They will be familiar with the challenges nurses face. And they should be able to give practical advice to help you make decisions. Consider recruiting firms that have extensive healthcare networks. Likely, they will have more resources for the job search.

Working with Multiple Nursing Recruiters

A word of caution about reaching out to multiple recruiters at once. It is generally frowned upon to work with more than one recruiter at a time in your job search. While it might seem natural to “play the field,” it can work to your disadvantage.

Here’s why. For starters, working with multiple recruiters on multiple positions can get confusing and time-consuming. It can make the job search more hassle than it already is. Secondly, it can indicate a lack of trust. The nurse should be able to trust their recruiter and vice versa. Nurses who choose to work with multiple recruiters are essentially telling their partners that they don’t trust them to find the best job.

Types of Nursing Recruiters

Here are just a few more things to know about the nurse recruiting world. It helps to be knowledgeable, especially when you are contacted by more than one recruiter and have to make a decision. Knowing about nurse recruiter jobs empowers nurses to ask better questions. When screening your options, you want to consider the recruiter’s motivation.

Contract vs. Permanent Nurse Recruiter Positions

Some recruiters work on a contract basis, which means they have been hired to fill a role, and once that job is filled, they are no longer working for that company. Others, as in the case of a recruiter that works for a hospital, are employed full-time and always on the lookout for the right nurse. While neither is necessarily better or worse, the recruiter’s position can show how aggressive they might be in a job hunt.

Contingency vs. Fee Nurse Recruiter Agreements

Of the types of payment agreements for recruiting services, Contingency and Fee-based are the most common. Companies that hire a nurse recruiter on contingency do not pay anything unless they make a successful hire. On the other hand, some organizations use recruiting services for a fee. This fee might equal a percentage of the new hire’s salary or be a flat rate.

As we mentioned on the types of recruiting positions, neither pay agreement is bad. But knowing what type of agreement the recruiter is working under can give clues about how driven they might be to match a nurse to a job.

Recruiters are paid by the organization that is filling the position. Never pay a recruiter yourself! A recruiting firm that asks for a fee from a nurse is a RED FLAG.

Tips for Working with a Nurse Recruiter

Once you’ve decided to work with a nurse recruiter, the next steps are simple. Start working with your recruiter and build a relationship. Here are some practical tips for working together.

  1. Be upfront about what you want. That means what your desired salary is, what you want in a position or contract, and your long-term career goals.
  2. Be prepared for an initial interview or pre-screening. Most recruiters will screen their clients upfront. Be prepared to feel like you’re on an interview. Don’t be nervous about answering the questions wrong. At this stage, the recruiter is only trying to get information from you to help you find the best jobs.
  3. Determine the best way for you to keep in touch. Are you a text-er? Is email best for you? Share your communication preferences and find out the best way to reach your recruiter and what times they are available.
  4. Maintain transparency. If you are still searching on your own while working with your recruiter, it’s best to let them know. And if you do get an offer on your own that you want to move forward with, tell your recruiter. Honesty is the best policy.
  5. Ask for an honest appraisal. A good recruiter can give an honest assessment of your resume to help you immediately and in the long run. They can tell you what skills are in demand and what holes they see in your experience. Use this valuable information to enhance your career.

Warnings about Working with a Nurse Recruiter

Like any service, use caution to make sure you are working with a nurse recruiter.

New Nurse Recruiters

Talent and skill are important. But so is experience. New recruiters may not be as connected in the industry as those who have been doing their job for a long time. It is a good idea to ask about a nurse recruiter’s track record. Find out how many placements they’ve made. More specifically, ask how much experience they have in your specialty area or geographical location. These can be clues to how well a recruiter may match your needs.

Compensation for Recruits

As mentioned before, some recruiters are paid on contingency. That means they are compensated only when the organization makes a hire. In this case, recruiters are incentivized to get you hired and may not care if the job is the right fit for you. Or they could be quiet about problems within the organization. They could say whatever it takes to get you on board. Hypothetically. So watch out.

Dishonest Companies

Recently news outlets have reported on dishonest nurse recruitment practices. There are class action lawsuits in which international nurses are suing for unpaid wages. An article in Nurse.org reported on nurses contracted to work for travel agencies discovering unsafe conditions. These examples remind nurses that unscrupulous individuals will always be out there looking to take advantage of others. As with all decisions about your life and your career, be prudent. Check online for reviews when deciding about companies or individuals to work with.

Summary

Now you know what you need to consider before working with a nurse recruiter. In short, there are a few warnings to keep in mind. But working with a healthcare recruiter is one of the best ways to open doors in your career and land your dream nursing job. Good luck!

If you’ve worked with a terrific nurse recruiter and want to show them some love, share this article and tag your recruiter below! Capsol provides the nursing industry with a resource center for news, updates, and much more. Join us today!

Sarah Falcone BSN, RN

Sarah Falcone BSN, RN

Author

Sarah S. Falcone BSN, RN is a dedicated nurse based in Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX. Her first nursing gig, was night-shift floor nurse in women's services (PP, L&D, nursery). Through a series of fortunate events, she found home health and a passion for helping seniors age in place. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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