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How to Choose the Best Travel Company

How to Choose the Best Travel Company


Before I started travel nursing, I had no idea what to expect or how to find a company.  How do I know if a company is good? Do I go to the Better Business Bureau?  I decided that I would be diligent and do some research.  But where to begin? Google obviously, but what sets them apart? Do I need a large agency? Or would a small local one be best? Who pays the highest? Who communicates effectively?  How do I decide?  How would I know if they were the best?

                A quick Google search let me know there are a multitude of companies all claiming to be great companies. Well, that didn’t really help. Oh, I know, how about Facebook groups! WHOA! There might be more Facebook groups than agencies! So, I joined a bunch, probably too many to be honest, but I joined anyways. And I read. Watched recruiters post jobs, and then it happened! I saw a post from asking which company was the best. Oh, this should be informative, I thought.  I followed the post, and read all the comments. I was skeptical and rightly so.  It turned out to be a bust. It was nothing more than people suggested their recruiter and their company for a referral bonus. 

                I decided to start asking questions; not about who was the best, but questions about travel nursing.  I found a great group on Facebook called Travel Nursing Newbies.  It was very informative and non-judgmental. I could ask any newbie question without feeling ignorant.  In addition to that, a friend of mine recommended a recruiter.  So, I called to talk with her.  By talk, I really mean grill. Looking back, I kind of feel bad for as many questions I out her through. Sorry; Not sorry Ava. I learned a great deal through these 2 resources, but still wasn’t ready to take the plunge. 

         The recruiter asked if she could present me with jobs, and I was amenable to that.  She offered me a plethora of assignments, and I always had a reason not to take it. She stuck with me, and found one that I simply could not pass up, so I took the plunge into the Travel nursing world.  I have always felt that if she was not the person she was, and communicated with me effectively, I would not be a traveler.  Her personality stood out, and we got along superbly. 

         This is just a little background on my journey to pick a recruiter, and a company, but I digress. The original concept is what makes the “best” travel healthcare company? The answer is simple, yet complex at the same time. The answer is that it is subjective.  I know, I know; not the most definitive answer you were looking for, but nonetheless, the most correct.  It is subjective to what YOU are looking for in an agency, and even when you find agencies that have everything you want, it is the recruiter that will make all the difference.

The first step in the process (not the Philadelphia 76ers process), is to decide what is important to you.  Things that may be important to you and to consider include: company size, offers day 1 insurance, cost of insurance, 401K, job opportunities in your specialty, OT, bonuses, swag, license reimbursements, travel expenses, locations, etc.  This list is not comprehensive, but it is a good list to start.  

         From here you could cold call companies, but who would want to do that.  There are several websites that rank companies based on their criteria, such as highwayhypodermics.com or bluepipes.com, or if you are lucky, it’s time for TravCon, and you can meet a vast cornucopia of recruiters and agencies there. However, you do it, you need to find a company that meets the requirements you just set for what you are looking for in a company. Then comes the fun part (in my opinion), interviewing recruiters.  To be transparent (travel buzzword), it was exhausting.  I met many recruiters and companies at TravCon, and interviewed my fair share. I had to cut it short, because it was taking a toll on me.  This is probably why there is a company, Nomadicare, that does that exact thing. 

         Now don’t be discouraged if you found a company you were really liked and was excited to work for, but when you talked to a recruiter, you simply did not connect with them.  Personalities don’t always mesh. Here’s a secret: there are other recruiters at the same company that will be happy to talk to you! Mind blown.  Many experienced travelers would suggest have a couple recruiters that you actively communicate with from different companies. 

        As you can see, the agency and the recruiter choices are subjective to your individual needs. To me a travel agency is similar to an insurance agency.  Your insurance policy can be customized to meet your individual needs and be perfect for you, but may not work well for someone else’s needs.  In addition, you want to make sure you have the best possible options for you, and a company that will stand behind if you if something would cause mayhem in your contract, but the overall hope is that they never have to.

You still need a list? 

I am going to suggest you create your own list subjective to your individual needs! Here is a list of companies: http://scrubsquad1978.com/agencies

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