As Staff Care's latest Survey of Temporary Physician Staffing Trends points out, locum tenens physicians and clinicians are more in demand than ever before, with 94% of healthcare facilities reporting having used locum workers in the past 12 months.
It should come as little surprise, then, that attempts to recruit locum tenens professionals are ramping up throughout the industry. Founded almost three decades ago, Staff Care once stood among just a handful of locum staffing companies. Today, we operate in an industry packed with locum recruitment providers, of all shapes and sizes.
In other words, today's doctors and clinicians considering locums work have a plethora of options to choose from — including software and apps designed to offer an automated locum tenens recruitment process.
Yet, it's still important — now more than ever, given the abundance of choices — to select a locum tenens recruiter carefully. The stakes are high, and include not just the potential direction of your career, but also your personal happiness and professional satisfaction. With that in mind, let's take a look at the specific factors that healthcare workers should consider when choosing a locum tenens recruiter.
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6 Factors in Choosing an Effective Locum Tenens Recruiter
These six tips are designed to help physicians and clinicians choose a locum tenens recruiter who'll go the extra mile in helping you secure the assignment that best meets your personal and professional goals. And remember: An effective locums recruiter will work with you every step of the way, not only finding you the right locums assignment, but working with you during and after the assignment to ensure your professional satisfaction.
1. You Are the Priority. A locum tenens recruiter isn't just a means to connect with a new job. Although that's certainly the priority, and the impetus for the relationship, a truly effective locum tenens recruiter will work to develop a relationship with you, and will work to understand your personal needs and professional goals. And that makes sense: The goal isn't just to connect you with an assignment you'll love in a location you prefer, but to connect you with the type of facility and work culture that best matches your personality.
> “A pediatric emergency medicine physician said in one of our surveys that she knows how much I care about her and her family, which is all extremely true, and was great to hear,” says Staff Care Emergency Medicine Recruiter Brendan Arnold. “She also mentioned three other credentialing members and one account representative that she works with, further proving the cohesive team/family aspect from Staff Care.”
2. An Insider's Knowledge of the Healthcare Staffing Industry. Effective locums recruiters always bring extensive industry knowledge to the table. They understand what facility types are best in need of someone with your specific background and skill set, and what places are most in need of locum professionals. Because they've worked in a variety of different industry locations, quality locum recruiters will have a natural, innate knowledge of these things, and will bring that knowledge into every conversation you have. The result? You get a more efficient recruitment experience, with a minimum of delays, false starts, and frustrations.
> “This is an ever-changing industry," says Brian Ishmael, Regional Vice President of Staff Care's Hospitalist Division. "Healthcare is never static with new technology and new advances. Our clients are asking us for different recruiting models to support their growth plans, so we’re always changing the way we recruit and where we’re recruiting, so that’s really exciting.”
3. A True Understanding of Locum Tenens. Locum recruiters are operating in a specific niche, and should approach recruitment knowing that it isn't just a standard job placement process. For instance, a knowledgeable locum tenens recruiter understands that some professionals are seeking locums work because of financial reasons — they might be looking to moonlight during night shifts, for example, and they need to know what options are available to them. An experienced locum recruiter will also understand that other doctors or clinicians may prioritize experience building. These professionals may prefer a short but work-intensive assignment — say, in an emergency room or intensive care unit — because they want to build valuable career experience with the goal of landing a specific permanent placement next year.
> "The idea of people always needing physicians ... gives me peace of mind," says ?Staff Care Senior Recruiting Consultant Gabriel Di Carlo. "Being able to help someone meet his or her professional goals is very rewarding, both personally and professionally."
4. A Specific Focus. A benefit of working with larger locum agencies is their ability to offer recruiters specializing in specific physician specialties. For instance, a physician seeking an assignment in neurology should work with a recruiter who also specializes in neurology setting placements, while a nurse practitioner seeking primary care work in a rural area will have a much better chance of landing the perfect role if he or she works with a recruiter specializing in that type of placement. In short, an effective locum tenens recruitment team should be just as specialized as the physicians and clinicians they work with.
> "My focus is providing job opportunities for physicians that are fresh out of residency, in between positions, heading into retirement, looking to travel or just ultimately looking for a change," says Staff Care Senior Recruiting Consultant Antoine Garnett, explaining his locum recruitment niche. "Some of my happiest moments come from placing physicians on assignments and they return with a life-touching story to share. I have also had physicians tell me about tough times they’re going through and basically just needing a new start. In fact, practicing empathy with individuals I work with has been an unexpected perk."
5. The Ability to Innovate New Solutions. As the 2017 Staff Care survey points out — and as everyone living in the U.S. today knows all too well — the healthcare world is now operating in a constant state of change and uncertainty. Adapting to sudden change requires a human touch, a capacity to process and analyze a constantly changing healthcare workplace to offer the most current, best possible evaluations at a moment's notice. As a hard-working physician or clinician, you understand the need for human intuition and insight, and locum tenens recruiters are no different. The ability to think on one's feet and analyze complex situations with true insight and expertise — from a distance and up close, long-term and short — is, today more than ever before, an absolute necessity in locum tenens recruitment.
> "Professional recruiting is not for someone who gives up easily," says Staff Care Senior Recruiting Consultant Brent Meter. "In this job, there are tons of highs and tons of lows. If you can’t temper that, then you’ll go crazy."
6. A Recruitment Team that also Understands Travel. And let's not forget the importance of travel expertise to the locum tenens profession! While not all locum assignments require travel — companies like Staff Care take pride in offering close-to-home opportunities for physicians and clinicians who want to need to stay close to their home base, or who simply want to moonlight near their current place of work — many of them do. Staff Care is one of the locum companies that offers a team of travel-savvy consultants who work to ensure that healthcare professionals find the best available accommodation in the location they're working, and get there as efficiently as possible.
> “The most rewarding part of my job is getting to know people, from our healthcare providers to co-workers and vendors,” says Staff Care Locum Housing Specialist Michelle Nance. “Building and maintaining these great relationships is something I live by daily.”
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Experience for yourself the advantage of partnering with locum tenens recruiters who go above and beyond the industry standards: Contact Staff Care today to connect with one of our world-class recruitment professionals. We also invite you to browse all available locum tenens job opportunities here.
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