Deciding to become a locum tenens provider opens a world of personal and professional possibilities. Choosing your next position can be daunting; having the right locum tenens recruitment company in your corner relieves stress, saves time, and helps ensure the best financial package possible.
With all the recruitment companies, how do you know which is best? Start by doing the research and asking key questions to help you easily find the right company for you.
Top 12 questions to ask potential recruiters
1). Will the salary be competitive and will it vary between locations?
Respectable recruitment agencies build relationships with healthcare systems to not only offer competitive salaries, but help ensure your other personal and professional requirements are met. Salaries will vary, depending on the need, size of office/patient base, and the location (urban vs. rural).
2). What specialties do you represent and how much do the recruiters know about them?
The best locum tenens placement agencies have a large stable of specialties including primary care, general surgery, APP roles, psychiatry, and anesthesiology. This is not only appealing to medical providers, but also makes agencies valuable assets to healthcare administrators.
Recruiters should be well-versed in the specialties to help them not only find ideal placement, but understand the challenges and triumphs of your role.
3). Do I have an assigned contact and will that person help me throughout my placement?
You should have the same person from start to finish. Beware of any testimonials that note a bait and switch regarding a contact person after the contract is signed. Think of your recruiter as your foundation no matter where you are or how long your contract term.
4). How do I reach someone if there are problems during my contract?
Again, a quality company will give you a few methods to contact someone, night or day with concerns or questions. Ideally, your recruiter will be available and may even schedule routine check-ins during either your first assignment or the first week or two of a new assignment.
5). Do you have employee testimonials?
You can quickly gauge a company's merit by what others have to say about it. Be cautious if testimonials aren't present on the company's site, or if the company is unable to provide them.
6). How long have you represented locum tenens providers?
Obviously, this will vary between companies. Use your best judgement and determine if you have a minimum number of years that you'll accept. Keep in mind, that companies will often be purchased and consolidated, so weigh the years in business beside other reputation factors.
7). How do you work with the hiring facilities?
The right fit is key. The staffing agency should have dedicated account manager for each facility, building relationships and ensuring the placement works for all parties. The account manager reviews several factors about the providers and the facility to make the ideal match.
8). Do I have to handle my own travel and relocation?
A quality locum tenens agency will have a travel or relocation department. Experts in logistics, they'll arrange your accommodations prior to your arrival.
9). Will someone help me with licensing and any resulting questions?
Reputable agencies will have a licensing team to answer your questions, and help you get state licenses and hospital privileges before your contract starts. They should also easily move you through the process and introduce you to key contacts.
10). Do you provide malpractice insurance?
This should be a make or break requirement. The locum tenens staffing agency should provide malpractice insurance coverage. Be sure they clearly communicate if it's a comprehensive policy, if there are associated charges, and when the policy ends.
11). Do you have a risk management department or legal consultant?
This is another absolute necessity for any locum tenens provider. Reputable staffing companies should have a risk management or physician advisory group to provide answers.
12). Are you a member of NALTO?
NALTO is the National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations. It's important to you because this group created and enforces rigid industry standards about honesty, objectivity, integrity and competency - the key ingredients to a harmonious working relationship and the building blocks for a strong medical career.
Ready to start your locums journey? Contact a recruiter today.