The Perfect 15 Minute First Call Formula with a Travel Healthcare Recruiter

While text messaging is certainly convenient for setting up a first call, the real magic happens when you establish that initial connection with a recruiter over the phone. This will allow you to determine whether they’re a good fit for you. Don’t underestimate the power of a quick intro phone call!

Here is the perfect 15-minute first-call formula. I’ll break each step down and provide you with some practical examples and scripts to help you breeze through the call!

  1. Have an authentic and warm connection (1 minute)
  2. Introduce yourself (1 minute)
  3. Set expectations for the call (1 minute)
  4. Share your specific needs and ask about job availability (5 minutes) 
  5. Learn how they work (interview them) (6 minutes) 
  6. Leave with clear next steps (1 minute)

Step 1: Have an authentic and warm connection (1 minute)

Sometimes, as travelers, we forget that the recruiter is also vetting us on that first call. You want to give the recruiter a great impression so they get off the call excited to work really hard for you.

Keep in mind our big picture goal right now: To build a relationship with 2-3 amazing recruiters from different staffing agencies because this is how you get to hear about more jobs and compare pay packages. Relationships are two-sided, and we want to impress the recruiter. Being a great traveler makes a recruiter want to go out of their way to pay you more, submit you fast, and work hard to get you in the best jobs. It pays off in so many ways!

So step one is nailing the first impression. This is just basic friendliness. Ask them how their day is going. Smile and sound friendly. Tell them how excited you are to meet them and thank them for their time.

Here are some examples:

  • How is your day going?
  • I’m so excited to talk to you!
  • Thank you so much for carving a bit of time out of your day to learn about my goals. 
  • Where are you located?

And when they answer your questions, use a little bit of active listening skills, throw in some smiles and laughs and just like that you have started the call off with a good vibe before getting into the juicy details about how they work.  

Step 2: Introduce yourself (1 minute) 

This is where you introduce yourself and let them learn a little about who you are. This is also to build rapport and introduce why you want to travel. 

  • State your specialty
  • Highlight your experience
  • Showcase your knowledge about the travel industry
  • Explain why you want to be a traveler (big picture goal) 
  • Include any special fun facts, such as who you are traveling with.

Here are some examples: 

“I would love to start the call by introducing who I am. I’m a travel PT, and I’ve been working perm in Minnesota for 5 years now. The last 3 years have been in outpatient and the 2 years before that was in a hospital. I want to start traveling now because I’m excited to see new cities, and I want to take off a few months in the summer to travel around Europe. I’ve been researching travel PT blogs for a few months and know the basics but would love to learn more about housing and tax homes. I plan on traveling with my girlfriend, who works remotely, so it’s perfect!”

“I would love to take a moment to introduce myself. I am an OT who will be graduating in just one month. I’ve been working hard studying for my boards, but I’m definitely looking forward to completing that milestone. Becoming a travel OT has always been a dream of mine and I would love for you to teach me about how to get started – I don’t know too much about how it works. My motivation for pursuing this path is two-fold – I want to pay off my student loans as quickly as possible and I’ve also spent the last year converting my van into a mobile home, so it’s the perfect opportunity to hit the road for a couple of years and explore. My furry companion, Bruno, will be joining me on this adventure.”

“Let me kick off this call by telling you a bit about myself. I’m a L&D RN who’s been traveling for two years now, mostly around California. Now I’m craving more time closer to my kids again who live on the east coast. One of them just had a baby and I really want to cuddle that sweet child as much as I can this year! I know the industry really well so I don’t need much guidance about how it works and I’ll be traveling solo” 

Step 3: Set expectations for the call (1 minute) 

This step allows you to sound confident and clear and keeps the call focused on what you need so you are both not wasting each other time. Simply state what you are looking to get out of the call.  

Here are some examples: 

“My goal for this call is to chat for 15 minutes or so. I want to see if you have jobs in the locations I want to travel to this year and also ask you some questions so I can learn about how you work as a recruiter and if we would be a good fit for each other. Does that sound good to you?”

“My goal for this call is to learn if you have access to school jobs for the coming year that pay over $2200 a week for a travel SLP. If you do have access to those types of jobs, I would also like to ask you a few questions about how you work as a recruiter to see if we might be a good fit to work together. How does that sound?”

Step 4: Share your specific needs and ask about job availability (5 minutes) 

This step is crucial, as each staffing agency offers unique job opportunities and may pay slightly different from one another. Working with multiple staffing agencies helps you discover job openings that you may not find with just one agency. When choosing your 2-3 preferred agencies to establish a long-lasting relationship with, make sure that they are a good fit for your specialty and location goals.

This step is where you determine whether this agency has access to jobs where you want to go. If you are open to going anywhere, ensure that this agency works well with your specialty.

The goal here is to be specific about your what, where, and when and to have the recruiter share with you where their company has access to jobs that may suit your needs.

Be honest about precisely what you want and need:

  • If you have a Plan A and Plan B, communicate both with the recruiter.
  • If you are unsure about where you want to travel, ask the recruiter for their top three location suggestions.
  • If your primary concern is salary, ask the recruiter to share the amount of their top-paying jobs and where those locations are.
  • If you are interested in working only in outpatient pediatric facilities, inquire about which locations offer those settings.
  • Let them know if you will only consider Denver and not other cities or states, so you can find out if they have a job there, and move on if they don’t.

Other things to ask at this step to get to know their company’s inventory better:

  • How many travel ___ (your specialty) jobs they have across all 50 states and where most of them are
  • What 3-5 states have the most travel ___ (your specialty) jobs in their database currently?
  • What settings do they have the most jobs in for a travel ___ (your specialty)?
  • Where do they have direct and unique relationships with facilities that you likely won’t hear about from other recruiters?
  • Do they staff travel ___ (your specialty) frequently?
  • What tips would they give travel ___ (your specialty)s for a successful journey?

At this stage, your job is to be fully transparent. Their job is then to look in their database and tell you what they see. You are getting a feel for the job market and what this particular agency has access to.

Step 5: Learn how they work (interview them) (6 minutes)

If they have access to jobs where you potentially want to work, that’s great! You have discovered that the company is a good fit for you. Now, it’s time to move on to this step and ensure that this individual recruiter inside the company is also a good fit for you.

If you realize that the company is a good fit but not the recruiter, come back to Nomadicare. We will rematch you with another recruiter inside the same company so that you don’t lose access to those jobs just because you didn’t love your previous recruiter. 

You can try again with a new recruiter inside the same company.

It’s time to interview the recruiter and get to know them. Find out if the way they work is good for you and if you vibe with them.

Things you can ask at this step:

  • How often would we talk if you were my recruiter?
  • I prefer to communicate via (text/email/phone) the most. Is that okay with you?
  • What do you enjoy about being a recruiter?
  • What makes you an excellent recruiter for travelers?
  • How do you inform me about new job openings you’ve found?
  • Do you expect me to check your company’s job board regularly for new openings, or will you contact me when you see them?
  • How can I trust that you are offering me the best pay for each job? How do you determine my pay when bill rates vary in the same city?
  • What is your philosophy on how I should negotiate pay packages?
  • How do you share pay details with me about jobs?
  • How do you ensure I am submitted quickly when I am interested in a job?
  • Who are your preferred travelers to work with, and why?
  • What do you expect from me to be a good traveler for you?

Step 6: Have Clear Next Steps (1 minute)

If you like the recruiter after the interview, it’s important to establish clear action steps to keep moving forward. Make sure expectations are aligned regarding who will do what next.

You can ask:

  • What are our next steps today?
  • When can I expect to hear from you again?
  • What do you need from me at this point?
  • Will you email me job openings or how will we communicate after this?

After the Call

If you want to add the recruiter to your official team, that’s great! Be proactive and send them an email to let them know so that they can start prioritizing you. Also, complete any paperwork they have requested at this point (resume, skills checklist, etc.) so they can set up a profile for you.

Here is a sample email you could use: 

Subject: Thank You for the Great Call!

Dear [Recruiter’s Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the fantastic call we had earlier today. It was great to learn more about the job market and hear about the job openings that your agency has access to.

After our conversation, I feel confident that you are the right recruiter for me. I would like to formally let you know that I would be honored to have you as an official recruiter that I work with. Your expertise and dedication to finding the right opportunities for me are truly appreciated.

If possible, I kindly ask that you prioritize me and keep me informed about any suitable job openings that you come across. I would love to continue our working relationship and see what opportunities arise in the near future.

Thank you again for your time and insight. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

What to do if you don’t like the recruiter 

If you get off the call and it doesn’t feel right, no worries! The goal is to find three recruiters you enjoy working with. It’s okay if they’re not an instant fit – it’s a bit like dating. Here’s what you can do:

  • Text Nomadicare and let us know. We are the recruiter matchmakers, and we will help you.
  • We can match you to another recruiter within the same company if it’s a good fit, but you didn’t vibe with the recruiter you talked to.
  • Alternatively, we can match you with a new recruiter at a different company.

I hope this guide has helped you achieve your goal of building relationships with 2-3 recruiters from different staffing agencies. By following the perfect 15-minute first-call formula, you can establish a rapport with the recruiter and learn quickly if they are a great fit for you!

Laura Latimer

Laura Latimer

Travel OT and Founder of Nomadicare

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