5 Tips for Choosing A Locum Tenens Recruitment Agency

If you're a physician or advanced practitioner seeking a new locum tenens opportunity, you have a wealth of choices in front of you. Locum tenens agencies are abundant, with more springing up every year.

Once a rare opportunity, locum tenens jobs are now enjoyed by approximately 40,000 physicians and practitioners every year.

So, how do find the right agency to connect you with the best assignments?

While we highly recommend working with the dedicated team at AMN Healthcare, we know that the choice is up to you. So here are some tips to help you sync your career goals and personal needs with the locum tenens recruitment firm you choose.

5 Simple Tips for Choosing a Locum Tenens Agency

1. Ensure the Client PaysNot the Candidate.

Recruiters are there to help you find a locum's assignment, but that doesn't mean you should pay for their services. Recruiters should always be paid by the party seeking a physician or advanced practitioner, and never by the candidate. If a recruiter asks you for any type of payment, it is time to look elsewhere.

2. Be Discerning

Anyone can call themselves a recruiter, it seems, and more and more firms are jumping on the locums' bandwagon. Therefore, it's important to get to know something about the locum tenens recruitment firms you are considering. When you talk to companies, ask how long they’ve been in business and who their clients are; request a list of their services and benefits, check how many locum jobs they have available, and evaluate their level of professionalism. Find out if they have recruiters who specialize in your discipline. This isn't a choice to be made randomly, as you're counting on this company to help you with the very important task of finding your next job.

3. Don't Spread Yourself Too Thin

Many locum candidates find one agency they want to work with and stick with them. This keeps the process simpler and more effective in many ways. Other practitioners tend to shop around. Either scenario can work, but it's a mistake to try and work with every recruiter out there. If your CV is too widely circulated, it can make you look too eager (or even desperate) for a job. It can also create confusion because employers may not know whose candidate you are. Recruiters also don’t want to work with a candidate if they think their resume has been "over-shopped.”

4. Be Clear About What You need— Not Just What You Want

Try to have a realistic vision of what you need in a locum tenens position. You may want a part-time job (with full-time pay) working for a hospital in Florida. What you may need, however, is an established referral base in an area with minimal competition. Determine the type of position, pay, and location you truly need, considering your requirements and those of any loved ones who may travel with you, or be left at home. This will allow you to better evaluate what each recruitment agency offers, and help a recruiter to accurately present you to employers matching those needs.

5. Expect Excellent Communication and Service.

During the time it takes you to identify an assignment, interview, negotiate and close, you should be in continual contact with your locum tenens recruiter. You can judge a recruiter’s commitment by the amount of time he or she spends providing you with key information and answering any questions you may have. You should also expect your recruiter and other agency staff to be available during the onboarding process and throughout your assignment.

A recruiter's goal should be to create a mutually beneficial match between you (the candidate) and the employer. The best recruiters will want to build a relationship with you that can last through multiple assignments. There shouldn’t be any high-pressure sales tactics. Rather, you should expect a consistent effort to find the locum tenens assignment that best meets your current needs, and helps you work toward future career goals. 

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