With the frigid cold of the winter over, the snowbirds are headed back north and the need for travel nurses decreases. With this change in season, the job orders for travel nurses are not only down, but more travelers are being canceled or postponed. Neither one of these occurrences is great for the finances of travelers or the staffing companies that place them.
Your goal as a healthcare staffing agency is to place as many travelers as you possibly can handle. It becomes even easy and profitable if you know what travelers are looking for in a travel company. By anticipating their needs and fears, you will attract more candidates. Some tips to help understand what agencies can do to guide nurses safely through the tough times.
- Grab attention. Make sure their profiles shine when they hit the hiring manager’s desk. When you go to a website, what catches your eye? All the writing on the website or the fun graphics that tell you what a company or blogger does? People nowadays are scanning websites instead of reading them. I found the same to be true when I helped to review a few profiles. I found that the one company that had almost an info-graphic for the profile cover was much more attractive than the ones with all the writing.
- Backup plan. In the past few years, I have seen more and more contracts getting canceled or postponed. Have a plan for when a contract gets canceled. In fact, I recently had one contract that was postponed for two weeks, and one that was completely canceled. The biggest fear novice travelers have is driving 2,000 miles and spending thousands of dollars to get to an assignment, only to discover the assignment has been canceled. So be sure to have a backup plan for your travelers in place so they are not left stranded without a job or a roof over their head. And perhaps most important, be sure they know such a plan is in place.
- Be honest and educate. Educate nurses on the state of the market. Let your nurses know if there is a downturn in the market, a reason for the downturn (if you know why), and when you expect things to bounce back. With the combination of the winter season ending and a new president, bill rates have been slashed due to the instability of the market. Be honest with travelers, especially new entrants to the traveler market who gave up a staff job. Let them know that things are tough now and it is very difficult for a nurse with as little as two years of experience to find a first-time traveler job. Do your best to find the travel nurse a position, but setting them up for failure is not the way to get a stellar reputation.
- Keep your word. Do what you say you are going to do. Follow through on your words. Travelers want to be proud of who they work for. They want to be able to say they work for a company that runs with honesty and integrity. It’s just that simple — do what you say you are going to do.
For your business to succeed, you need travel nurses. Healthcare travelers are ultimately looking for a company that they can really trust to get behind them and support them through the tough times. Apart from supporting your travel nurses in their efforts and being honest with them, monitor social media. Nurses warn other travelers about bad companies. Take a negative comment or review and devise a plan to improve some of your company’s processes you might not have even considered before.