A Guide for What to Look for in a Travel Recruiter

September 19, 2022


Megan Bebout

What-to-look-for-in-a-recruiter-minThe great Avril Lavigne once sang: “You’re not alone, together we stand. I’ll be by your side; you know I’ll take your hand.” While she never admitted to singing about the unique relationship between a professional health care traveler and their recruiter, she never said that wasn’t what inspired her song.



A Guide for What to Look for in a Travel Recruiter



Like Avril said, you’re not alone—you have your personal health care travel recruiter by your side. Travel nurse recruiters and allied health recruiters are your trusted allies through your travel journey. Whether you need help finding your next med travel job, a supportive pep talk before your first night shift, or an advocate in workplace conflict, your travel recruiter is here for you.

And if you don’t yet have a recruiter, then what are you waiting for? Recruiters are like the Robin to your Batman, minus the yellow tights and batmobile. Now, you may be asking yourself, “What makes a good recruiter?” And if that’s the case, we have the answers you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a recruiter, keep an eye out for these five recruiter characteristics:


QuotesAboutRecruiters-02 (1)-min

No. 1: Their knowledge knows no bounds

You know the old saying, “Knowledge is power.” Well, it’s a famous saying for a reason—because it’s got a point. And it’s true for the best recruiters, too—their knowledge is their power.

Travel recruiters are not only knowledgeable about the medical travel industry, but they also know their stuff about your specific modality and health division. That means that travel nurse recruiters are experts on all things travel nursing, radiology recruiters keep up with all the rad trends, therapy recruiters are know-it-alls when it comes to physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), and speech-language pathology (SLP), et cetera, et cetera.

Knowledgeable recruiters make your life easier as a traveler because your recruiter is constantly keeping up with industry knowledge, like “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” but with health care staffing trends, themes, and data. Then, travel recruiters use this learned knowledge to help you get to where you want to be in your travel career, which is what we would call a win-win situation.


No. 2: They say what they mean and mean what they say

Did you know that 89% of people believe solid communication is extremely important? Good recruiters think so, too. Not only do they believe in effective communication, but the best recruiters also practice their communication skills on the daily.

“Your recruiter is your first contact in the travel nursing world and someone you will stay in close contact with throughout your traveling career,” said travel nurse, Lindsey Mieras, RN. “It can be an overwhelming experience deciding what city to move to, where to live, and choosing your place of work…not to mention the licensing, forms, taxes and insurance changes, and the general headaches associated with frequently moving.”

As cliché as it sounds, communication is key. You need a travel recruiter who will say what they mean and mean what they say so you’re never left wondering what was unsaid between the lines. Good communication between a health care recruiter and professional traveler helps build trust, weeds out ambiguity, and strengthens the relationship between the recruiter and traveler.

If you’re not sure what it means to be a good communicator, check out these five characteristics of an effective communicator:

  • They have a balance between listening and talking
  • They leave judgements and biases at home
  • They’re empathetic and understanding
  • They understand the importance of body language
  • They maintain a positive attitude

When you’re looking for a recruiter, try to find someone who values communication at least as much as you do! Quality recruiters know communication is a big piece of the recruitment puzzle, and they’re ready to use their communication skills to help piece it all together so you can see the bigger picture of your travel journey.


QuotesAboutRecruiters-03-minNo. 3: They’re patient listeners

Just like good recruiters are effective communicators, quality recruiters are also patient listeners. Sure, recruiters are often the ones communicating job information and travel updates to their professional travelers, but they wouldn’t be very solid communicators without finding a balance between listening and talking. But nowadays, how would you know if someone is a good listener? Here’s how:

  • They maintain an appropriate amount of eye contact
  • They are aware of their body language
  • They indicate that they are listening through nods, smiles, and other non-verbal cues
  • They don’t interrupt or try to complete your sentences
  • They ask follow-up questions about the topic of conversation

When you partner with a travel recruiter that integrates communication and listening skills into their every day, your life becomes just a little bit easier. Because now you know that you can be open, honest, and transparent with your recruiter on how you feel, where you want to go, how an assignment is going, and then some. On the flip side, you’ll have the comfort of knowing your recruiter is open, honest, and transparent with you, as well, so you’ll know that they have your best interest in mind and at heart.

Find your next assignment!

No. 4: Trustworthy is their middle name

Here’s a jeopardy question: This is the foundation of all healthy relationships. If you answered, “What is trust?”, then cue the confetti!

Trust is one of those concepts that’s introduced to us at a young age. As we get older, we learn that trust is precious because it can be hard to earn, but easy to lose. As adults, we place a lot of assumed trust on one another—trusting that you won’t cross the solid double line and creep into my lane of traffic, trusting that you will show up to your first day of work on time, and trusting that your recruiter is doing what’s best for you.

“Find someone you trust,” said Fusion recruiter, Ashtyn. “There are a million recruiters out there, so you have to make sure you have someone who is looking out for your best interest.”

According to multiple studies, data shows that the more trust there is between a team, the better the team’s performance. Think about it: Do you think you’d perform your best if you felt like there was no trust between you and your recruiter? Or do you think your recruiter would perform their best if they felt like there was no trust between you and them? Probably not, right? The trust between you and your recruiter is like the fuel that keeps your travel journey running smoothly.


QuotesAboutRecruiters-01-minNo. 5: They’re always available when you need them

Travel recruiters are like the modern-day Kim Possible because you can call them or beep them when you want to reach them. And we’re not gonna lie, that’s one of the perks of having a quality recruiter.

It’s not your fault you work weird hours as a medical professional. So, don’t worry about texting your recruiter at 3 A.M. or shooting them an email in the middle of the night—that’s what they’re there for. Of course, they may not respond right away at 3 A.M. (and if they do, bonus points!), but you bet they’ll give you an answer the second they wake up and see your message. One of the best qualities of a recruiter is that they’re available and ready for you when you need them, no matter what you need them for.


4 questions to ask travel recruiters

It can be tough to choose a recruiter because it’s not just about finding a recruiter, it’s about finding the right recruiter for you. When you’re looking for a recruiter, consider asking these top four questions to help make your pick:

No. 1: How long have you been a recruiter?

Why you ask: As with any type of job interview, you’ll want to gauge the recruiter’s experience level to ensure they’re knowledgeable on the medical staffing industry, as well as your particular specialty. Follow-up questions could include:

  • How long have you been at this staffing company?
  • How long have you worked in the medical staffing industry?
  • How many clients do you work with?


No. 2: What’s your availability?

Why you ask: A recruiter’s availability can make or break a connection between you and them. Since your health care recruiter is your biggest resource, their availability will need to align at least somewhat with yours. Follow-up questions could include:

  • What’s your daily workload like?
  • What are the best times to schedule meetings together?


No. 3: What is your submission to interview ratio?

Why you ask: A submission to interview ratio is the number of contracts a recruiter applies for versus the number of interviews their travelers actually book. Pro tip: You’ll want a recruiter who has a high submission to interview ratio. Follow-up questions could include:

  • What’s the percentage of your travelers who accept a travel job?
  • How long does it take to find a travel job for your clients?


No. 4: What insurance benefits am I eligible for and when do they kick in?

Why you ask: Every medical staffing agency is different with the benefits they provide their travelers, so make sure you ask what’s in it for you! Follow-up questions could include:

  • What other traveler incentives does your staffing company offer?
  • What benefits can you offer me that I can’t get anywhere else?







Don’t try to embark in a travel career solo. Instead, choose a recruiter who will help take your travel adventure to the next level and guide you towards your unicorn travel job. If you’re in the market for a high-quality travel recruiter, use this guide to help you find the perfect travel recruiter for you.

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