5 Traits to Look For in a Locum Tenens Recruiter

October 17th, 2013 3 Min read 5 Traits to Look For in a Locum Tenens Recruiter Blog
Trying to decide which locums tenens agency to work with? Keep in mind the wise old saying "a company is only as good as its best employees." Regardless of a staffing firm's size or claim to fame, the factor that will have the biggest impact on the quality of your locum tenens experience is your recruiter. With so many locum tenens recruiters vying for your business, how do you find the right one to work with? A good start is to listen to the advice of your peers. A survey of 1,000 physicians revealed the five most important qualities of a locum tenens recruiter. RELATED: You Should Always Have a Friend in the Biz
  1. Delivers on what they say they are going to do -- Let's start with basic common courtesy. Does the recruiter respect your wishes, whether that means honoring your preferred means of communication or following through on a request? If not, look for someone else with better customer service skills. Exchanging pleasantries is not enough; you need someone whose priority is assisting you -- and doing it in the way that's best for you.
  2. Clearly explains contracts and agency processes -- A locum tenens contract isn't just a technicality for getting you on assignment; it's a legally binding agreement between you and the hospital or practice. You need a recruiter who is skilled in contract negotiations (or has access to a legal team that is) and can counsel you through this important and complicated process. Be wary of any recruiter who presents you with a cookie-cutter contract and tries to assure you that all the details have been worked out with the client; once you sign that document, you're going to be held accountable to it.
  3. Helps with credentialing and obtaining licenses -- Much like negotiating contracts, navigating credentialing and licensing for a locum tenens assignment requires a high level of expertise. While recruiters themselves may not handle these details, they should have access to people who can walk you through the process. The same goes for other assignment details like travel and housing. A great recruiter should handle all of these things on your behalf, leaving you only the task to show up ready for work.
  4. Listens to your needs -- Any recruiter can put you on an assignment, but a great recruiter puts you on a path toward a more fulfilling career. The recruiter should take the time to understand your situation and needs, and then present you with solutions for achieving your goals. Further, great recruiters make themselves available to respond to your needs at any time, or make arrangements for you to have 24-hour emergency support. Ask for it.
  5. Understands your specialty -- A locum tenens recruiter who knows a little about physicians of every specialty is not good enough; you want a recruiter who is well-versed in your own specialty. Beyond just understanding your clinical practice, the recruiter should be informed about current market conditions, industry trends, compensation, etc. They should also have relationships with the medical facilities where you want to work. This knowledge is essential for finding you the best opportunities.
A great locum tenens experience starts with a great recruiter, and there are important characteristics to look for when choosing the right one. A great recruiter has the knowledge and experience to counsel you on career matters and assist you in achieving your short- and long-term goals.