Time and time again I get messages just like this one: “Hey, Laura! I’m a travel therapist. I’m currently working with two recruiters and one of them is starting to make me feel bad for it. They said it was pointless to work with other agencies and that they all have access to the same opportunities. He said I should just pick the recruiter I feel comfortable with. Is it true? Do all staffing agencies have the same travel therapy jobs? Please help!”
Those messages make me feel so frustrated for us as travelers and hearing things like that from a recruiter isn’t that uncommon! I always recommend travel therapists working with 2-3 different companies. It’s not fair for recruiters to make us feel bad about working with more than one company. We have every reason to do so. So let’s just get down to the truth on this one, shall we?
So… does every agency have access to the same travel therapy jobs?
The short answer: nope. I am so grateful that I am in a position to see both sides of this industry! I see all the jobs that our agency partners have and I can see for myself that they are SO different sometimes. There could be a travel therapy staffing agency that specializes in certain types of contracts or has relationships with certain facilities. Some companies have direct contracts (meaning they’ll hear about jobs at those places before anyone else). Maybe one agency has a lot of connections with outpatient facilities, while another one has a lot of connections with school systems. Maybe one agency does a great job placing Speech-Language Pathologists in California and another one has a ton of Physical Therapist jobs in Arizona.
To have a successful travel therapy career and real options when it comes to assignments, locations, settings, benefits, pay packages, etc., you need 2-3 experienced recruiters!
As a travel therapist, work with 2-3 different recruiters
Okay, now you’re convinced. You know that agencies have different jobs! But will working with more than one company slow you down when being submitted to travel jobs?
Nope. It will not slow you down enough to stop you from getting travel contracts. The travel healthcare industry is so fast, but not so fast that your recruiter cannot communicate details about a travel assignment before sending your resume. It’s also a great reason to make sure you get your paperwork in right away with recruiters you know you want to work with. Once a recruiter has all of your paperwork and your profile built, they can submit you. And every healthcare staffing agency knows they have to move as fast as they can – I promise! If you do your part, they should do theirs too… quickly! Dream travel position, here you come!
How does working with multiple recruiters work if my field is super competitive?
Helpful hint: If you’re in a highly competitive specialty as a travel therapist or if you want a very specific location, you might want to consider having one recruiter you trust submit you right away when something opens up (I’m talking to our SLPs who want jobs in San Diego or PTs who want jobs in Dallas, Texas). This is NOT the same as blind submitting, you are giving one experienced travel therapy recruiter explicit permission to submit you to a job that has the criteria you’ve both agreed on. But 90% of the time you don’t have to do that to be able to get jobs and interviews in our industry!
Can I tell my current recruiter that I’m working with other staffing agencies to have access to other travel therapy jobs?
It is best practice for us to work with 2 or 3 companies. A recruiter who has experience with travel therapy (and who works with integrity) will totally understand and won’t make you feel bad about doing what is best for your career. If a recruiter makes you feel guilty, even passively or does not give you a positive response… it may be time to consider other options. Or you can send them right here to this page and educate them (hello learning and growing)!
Let’s raise the standard in this travel industry by raising our standards!
We can raise this industry up together. Feel empowered to tell your recruiter the truth! And if you do get the positive response you want, you’ve likely got a good recruiter on your team. If you don’t, maybe it’s time to give those other recruiter options more attention (or hit them with your knowledge)! There’s nothing wrong with being informed, empowered, respectful, and doing whatever you can to live the life of your dreams.
Cheers to growing our partnerships and living our best lives!