How do you find a healthcare staffing agency that’s a good fit for you? Here are some tips that will help you get oriented.
Find a recruiter in your area
Right off the bat we should point out that this tip doesn’t apply to everyone. There are several occasions where seeking a staffing agency outside your area will be beneficial for you. For example, you might be in a small town that doesn’t have any established agencies, and you could potentially find better pay by looking outside your general area. Obviously, if you’re willing to relocate, you could benefit from finding someone on the other side of the country who could help you get established in that area.
That said, a local agency will likely have more local connections. Any good agency will be actively networking with local businesses, and they should have a robust rolodex of hiring managers they know personally.
On top of that, it’s nice to have a physical location to visit. You can meet your representative in person, and maybe even get offered coffee and a snack while you get pointers on landing that perfect job. You’ll have a place to go to fill out your paperwork, and you might even find a recruiter who can assist you in the interview. For example, your recruiter might know that a hiring manager prefers very specific skillsets, so you can be prepared to bring up some of the things that will make you a standout interviewee.
While you shouldn’t necessarily exclude agencies outside your area, there are a lot of benefits to working with a local staffing agency.
Ask about benefits
Speaking of benefits, many staffing agencies will offer differing benefits packages, even for the same position. When you begin homing in on an agency, make sure you ask about the benefits they offer. Some agencies will offer full insurance packages, while it’s not entirely unheard of (though it’s admittedly rare) to find an agency that offers paid vacation time.
If you make it a point to ask about benefits before you sign an agreement, you’ll be better prepared to find a benefits package that works for you.
Work with multiple recruiters
Until you sign an exclusivity agreement, there’s nothing wrong with talking to multiple recruiters from a variety of agencies. Don’t limit your options by seeking out one agency at a time. Make your recruiters compete against each other – you’ll likely end up with better offers that way, especially if your career is in high demand (as is the case with healthcare jobs).
Of course, you do need to maintain some professionalism. Don’t take advantage of your recruiters, and don’t put unnecessary pressure on them. Once you sign an exclusivity agreement, you must abide by it or you could face legal action. If you are working with multiple agencies at once, be open and honest about it. And to top it all off, a little bit of politeness goes a long way.
While you should absolutely be courteous and upfront about it, don’t be afraid to work with multiple staffing agencies at the same time.
Always read the reviews
We can’t express this enough: Always read employee reviews before signing with an agency. While we’d love to tell you that there’s no such thing as a bad staffing agency, that’s simply not true. Reading employee reviews on sites like Glassdoor can give you a good feel for what it might be like to work with a particular agency. If you find long lists of employee complaints, you might want to consider avoiding that agency.
Even reviews can be deceiving, of course. Inspect every review carefully and weed out the ones that seem suspicious. While most of the reviews you read will come from honest people, there are bound to be reviews from paid review services and toxic employees. If you spot a review that seems to go against the flow, look deeper into that reviewer and check to see if they’ve written other reviews. If you find a person who’s written about dozens of employers, and all of them are glowing, five-star reviews, that should ring a warning bell. Is it even possible to work for that many companies in just a few years, let alone that many companies that are all worthy of five-star ratings?
You don’t have to trust everything you read, but even so, you should do your research before signing with any agency.
And that brings us to our final tip:
Use your gut, but use your head too
Job hunting is stressful, and it can put you into an uncomfortable head space. Sometimes you have to rely on your gut in order to make a decision at all. If a recruiter is giving you bad vibes, even if they look incredible on paper, you might want to take that into consideration. Why are you feeling that way? Is there something you’ve overlooked?
On the other hand, making clear, level-headed decisions is crucial in picking the right staffing agency. If you can afford the time, it’s often best to give any decision a few days so you can analyze the situation without being forced into a rash decision. Try to keep a clear head, weigh benefits against risks, and do as much research as you can.
Your gut can lead you astray, but so can over-analyzing things. Try to keep a balanced approach to decision-making.
The above tips should help you sort through the overwhelming plethora of healthcare staffing agencies. Don’t be discouraged by the sheer number of options; take it as encouragement. Know that if your first attempt at landing a job fails, there are always more fish in the sea, as the old saying goes.
If you’re still not sure where to start, contact Staffing Proxy right away. We’d love to help you make the next step on your career path.
And, lastly, good luck out there!