Finding the Right Locum Agencies for You
There are a huge number of locum agencies out there to choose from, and every agency is likely to tell you that they have exactly the kind of work you’re looking for.
But how do you know if that’s true, when you can’t see which shifts they actually have at the time? In this article, we provide tips for how to figure out which locum agencies are the right ones for you to approach based on your own specific interests and needs.
✅ What Makes a Good Locum Agency?
1. Access to work in your areas
2. Reputation for providing a good service to doctors
3. Friendly, honest recruiters
4. Simple compliance processes
🤔 Which Agencies Should You Choose?
There are a couple of ways to approach choosing a locum agency:
Option 1 - Do some digging, then approach agencies directly
Firstly, speak to colleagues. If you have colleagues who are locuming in your chosen region (and/or in your preferred specialty), it’s worth speaking to them for recommendations. They’ll have solid information about which agencies have been providing them with shifts in each Trust, and what their experience of working with each agency has been like.
Speak to rota co-ordinators too. If you know the rota co-ordinators in the departments you want to work in, ask them which agencies they tend to work with the most and what kind of shifts they tend to have available.
You can also look online for reviews on the agencies but, beware, as with all online reviews on their own websites, you won’t necessarily get a true picture of what you can expect from them
Once you’ve made a shortlist, you can enter your contact details into their websites to arrange a registration call.
Option 2 - Let agencies pitch you, using Messly
Messly’s service has flipped the process around to put you in the driving seat, allowing you to find locum work quickly and easily on your own terms.
You create a profile which specifies exactly what kind of work you’re looking for, where in the country you want to work, and what rates you expect.
The agencies then pitch you relevant shifts that are available through your profile, but they don’t get your contact details until you choose to register with the ones you like.
This means you can see exactly what kind of shifts the agencies have available before you sign up with them, so you know they can actually offer you what they say they can. There's also a review section where Messly users give feedback about how they found the experience of working with the agency.
For more information, click here to discover how it works for yourself!
👍 Remember, You’re in Control
However you choose to approach locum agencies, the key point to remember is that you're the one in control! The agencies get paid by the Trust for every hour that you work, so it’s in their best interests to get you working as much as possible.
This means some of them might try to get you to sign up regardless of whether they actually have shifts that are right for what you want, and then may push you to take shifts that you didn’t really want.
It’s important to remember that without you working they don’t get paid, so they really should be working hard to meet your interests.
That’s why it’s important to do your research, so that you only arrange registration calls with agencies who will be able to provide what you want. And if you don’t feel comfortable, or aren't sure it’s a good fit, you can step away at any time.
This article is part of a wider series, supporting doctors like yourself with a comprehensive set of guides to ensure your F3 year is a success. These guides cover everything from initial planning, options for moving abroad, help with finding work, and tips for making the most of the experience. Click here to visit our F3 Resource Hub to explore the full list of guides and articles.
Find locum work on your terms
The best locum agencies together in one place, competing to find you the best locum shifts. Managed for free through your Messly account.