Travelers Stories: An Interview with Recruiter Jennifer McCabe at HEALTHCAREseeker.com

June 26, 2012

HEALTHCAREseeker.com is a travel nursing agency that places travel nurses and Allied professionals in hospitals across the U.S.  1 out of every 4 hospitals in the U.S. has a contract with them, and they consistently obtain a 99% satisfaction rating from their travelers and hospitals they work with.  The Director of Public Relations at HEALTHCAREseeker.com interviewed Jennifer McCabe, Recruiter, at HEALTHCAREseeker.com about what it’s like being a recruiter.

What are the top three qualities for a recruiter to have?
The first quality is definitely being able to listen and to be able to match skills, wants and needs of each individual with what jobs are available.  The second quality is to be tenacious and never give up on searching for opportunities because you never know when a position is going to open up that will be perfect for one of our travelers.  The third most important quality is to be able to communicate well.  It’s important to be able to thoroughly and clearly explain to nurses the different jobs, policies and hospital’s expectations.

What initial questions do you ask new travel nurses?
We really want to get to know our new nurses.  We’re interested in where they want to go and why, the money they’re looking to make, what they’re expecting in an assignment, where they have traveled in the past, what professional experience they have, what their skills are, etc.  It’s also exciting to talk to them about some of their experiences to get an idea of what they like and what they dislike because it helps to match them up with an assignment that’s perfect for them.

How do you match nurses up with their perfect assignment?
We talk to nurses about the location they want to travel to and why, the kind of money they’re looking for and how much they want to spend, their shift preference, etc.  For example, if a nurse says that they don’t want to be isolated, you know not to send them to Alaska.  It’s vital to listen to everything the traveler has to say and to be able to clearly communicate travel information.

How do you prepare nurses for new assignments?
With travelers who have traveled before, there isn’t much explaining that needs to be done because they already
know the procedure and know what to expect.  With new travelers, we talk them through the process from the very beginning to beyond the end of their assignment.  We tell them what their interview process is going to be like, what to expect when the hospital calls them, the questions they should be asking, we explain the information they need for orientation right down to where they need to park and what door then go in, give them their move-in information for where they’ll be living, and so much more.

You are a travel nurse’s source of information throughout their assignment.  How do you prove your trustworthiness to nurses?
Communication is a fundamental part of being a recruiter.  At HEALTHCAREseeker we deeply care about each relationship we have with our nurses.  I have recently been told by one of my more experienced travelers that HEALTHCAREseeker is the only company that has ever consistently kept in touch, called back when we say we’re going to, and have the answers to her questions when we say we’re going to have them.  Also, if a conflict arises and the chips are down we are always there- we never back down on our travelers.  It’s important for them to know we will not only be there to walk them through the good things, but also the bad.

Do you check in with nurses to see how their assignment is going?
Absolutely- we check in very often.  We are excited to hear about how our nurses traveling experience is going.  Keeping in touch can also give us a chance to take care of any issues we see brewing in the background before they become a problem. 

How quickly are any conflicts taken care of?
Immediately.  We don’t want our nurses to be upset.  We have a hotline available 24/7 for our nurses so any situation is handled as soon as possible.  We’re always ready to handle any obstacle and we consistently prove to our nurses that they are our top priority.   

What do you like about working as a recruiter?
The days just fly by.  95 percent of the day is fast-paced and it’s always different.  I never know who I’m going to talk to, who’s going to take an assignment that I find for them, who’s going to travel to where and if I’m going to be able to give someone a trip of a lifetime.  It’s really neat to be able to give someone a great experience.  I recently talked to one of my nurses who took her son with her on her assignment in Alaska, and she told me all about his experiences crabbing, fishing, hiking and hunting.  Not only was I able to give her this opportunity, but I gave her son a chance to experience something that most kids his age will never do. 

What is the most challenging aspect of being a recruiter?
The most challenging aspect is maintaining an optimistic view of things when searching for hard-to-find assignments.  What makes this easy is the environment here at HEALTHCAREseeker.  I think we do a great job of being personable but also professional.   Also, the amount of teamwork we have here is remarkable- there is always someone here to lend a helping hand.