What Makes a Good Recruitment Agent?
When you sign up to a recruitment or a locum agency, you’ll be assigned a dedicated recruitment agent who will then serve as your main point of contact and assist you with your search for work. It’s their job to:
- Support you in your search
- Help find job opportunities for you
- Act as liaison between you and the Trusts
- Manage your shift bookings
- Answer any questions you have
- And help you resolve any problems that might crop up.
Obviously, that makes your recruitment agency a very valuable asset, so it’s important that you think carefully about which agencies you go with, because this will probably come down to which recruiter has impressed you the most!
But how do you judge whether you think a recruiter is a good match for you, and what makes a good recruiter overall? We’ll discuss this in the article below to help you make the right decision.
What makes a good recruiter?
Essentially, the key things you'll want is someone who is experienced, working for a reputable agency, and with good contacts with Trusts. Often there will be certain Trusts that an agency will get more shifts at than others, so it’s useful to find out which these are for your agency and make sure that matches what you’re looking for.
You'll also want someone who has good personal working relationships with the local rota co-ordinators. The better recruiters will cultivate close, positive relationships with Trust staff that regularly book through them, so it’s important to find out if your recruiter has any advantages over others in this area.
You definitely want to ensure your recruitment agent is knowledgeable about the local market, in terms of knowing what are the usual shifts available and the local rates that you can expect to be paid.
Another trait that separates good and bad recruitment agents, is that you'll want someone who is proactive in seeking out work for you. The best recruiters will keep in regular contact with you and provide frequent updates to let you know about any opportunities that might suit you.
Finally, a recruiter with good negotiating skills is a great person to have supporting you, as they'll find it easier to get you the best pay rates.
How do you judge whether they’re a good match for you?
Talk to the recruitment agents during your registration call with all the agencies you speak to, or afterwards if it’s someone different, to ask questions and to get an idea of whether you think they’ll suit you.
It's also useful to seek out personal recommendations from colleagues. If someone you know mentions a particular recruiter they’d recommend, you can ask the agency to be allocated to them. This might also get your colleague a referral bonus for sending you to them!
Do plenty of your own research as well. You can check out reviews of a particular recruiter using Messly’s service, which allows locums to rate their recruiter and give information about how they found the process of registering and working a shift with them.
And, of course, don't be afraid to speak up if there’s a problem. Even if you’ve already signed up to an agency, if you find you're unhappy with the recruiter you’ve been assigned for whatever reason, there are plenty of others you can be assigned to so it doesn’t mean you have to change agency altogether. Just be clear about your requirements and expectations, and remember that you're the one who they need to find work for so it's in their best interest to meet your needs.
Our Top Tips
1. Look into plenty of reviews, do your research, and get recommendations from colleagues if possible.
2. Ask lots of questions during your registration call, or when you first speak to them, to see if you think they’re a good match for what you need.
3. If there’s an issue, raise it! You’re not obligated to stay with the first recruiter the agency suggest for you, so say something if you're not happy.
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.
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