In this Together
Let's be honest. A traveler-recruiter relationship is a business relationship. A recruiter is a customer service rep and the traveler is the commodity. At least, that's the way it starts. A traveler could choose to keep it as such and have strictly a professional business relationship. Many, however, do not. The relationship can blossom into a friendship' maybe even to the point of feeling like family. There are several components to consider to have an effective relationship.
From the recruiter side, remember this. There are 3 travelers you will talk to; one you will find a job today, one you will find a job next time, and one you will never find a job. It is simply the way sales works. Set your expectations. Know that you will not be able to find everyone what they are looking for. Let's focus on the one you will find a job for "next time."
The key will be communication. One of the biggest ways ways to do this is to simply do what you say you are going to do. If you tell a traveler that you will call them on Friday, then call them on Friday. One way to help you accomplish this and make your traveler feel you are going the extra mile is to under promise and over deliver. If you are sending the traveler something, and know you can get it to them by 4 pm, tell them 5 pm and get it to them by 3 pm. It's a little thing, but it will change their perspective. If you send it at 4 pm, they will feel like you are waiting to the last minute. Now, if it's time sensitive material, make sure you get it to them early enough for them to complete it and get it back to you.
Furthermore, take an invested interest in what they say. Make notes, set up reminders, go the extra step to make them feel like you care. Find out what there love is, and ask them about it. Family, pets, etc. It could be anything. Any little thing that helps. You don't need to send gifts. A card would go a long way for a life event would go a long way. I have heard many travelers be shocked that their recruiter did not even send a card when a family member passed.
Now relationships are a 2 way street.
Travelers must strive to make the same concessions as the recruiters. They need to communicate. They need to get the paperwork into the company in a timely fashion. They need to do what they say they are going to do. Travelers need to respect that professional side of the relationship as well. Personally, I am open with my recruiters. I let them know that I communicate with several recruiters every time I am looking for a job. I also only submit to one job at a time. Every recruiter I have have been respectful of that. Don't submit to a job you have no interest in taking. You will only be wasting every one's time and money and could burn bridges. Set your expectations as well. Do your own research. As travelers, we represent the industry and the company we are working for. If you are a lackluster nurse, who does things such as being late, calling off all the time, and being an overall poor employee, you are not only affecting your image, but staining the image of travel healthcare people, the company you are working for, and everyone involved. This may cause that hospital to not hire further travelers, your company to not rehire you, and our industry to suffer.
At the end of the day, we are all one team and need to have those professional relationships grow and flourish. Be mindful of what you do and say, especially when on assignment. My first assignment, I was told that the hospital system had not used travelers in a long time because the last one they had passed her meds, and then found a spot somewhere and napped on might shift. Some agencies are better than others; some recruiters are better than others; but also some travelers are better than other travelers. We all affect the image of the travel nursing industry, but I do not feel we all realize that. The relationships we culture today may one day affect us, so keep that in mind when you talk to the next person in the travel industry as we are all in this together!