Working for a temp agency offers the utmost in professional flexibility for those who wish to work full-time, part-time, or in different areas or specialties involving patient care. Temp agency employment allows you to “test the waters”; find out if a particular facility or field might be a good fit for you. They also allow you to work on your schedule terms, and not the often-unpredictable changing shifts of a hospital schedule.
If you’ve decided to scale back on your hours to spend more time raising your family, or you aren’t quite ready for retirement, but want to get off the full-time treadmill, a temporary agency can help you keep active, and paid, in your career. Working with a staffing agency helps add to your resume when it comes to your specific skill set and exposure to different specialties.
All in all, when you sign up with a temp agency, you will have a bit more control over your career path than you would otherwise. But, how can you determine if the recruitment or staffing agency is able to meet your expectations, and not fall short?
Do Your Homework
Of course you need to vet the agency before signing up. Peruse their website for an idea of the type of employment they offer. Does the client list match the places you want to work? Read the blog posts to assess how up-to-date the agency is on the medical industry. Make sure they have a well-rounded and professional site. Look for testimonials, talk to other nurses who’ve used the services of this temp agency.
Beyond doing your own assessment of the agency in question, there are 5 questions, targeting specific areas of concern for those signing up with temporary agencies, which you need to ask. Some of these questions may seem inconsequential to your career ideas at the moment, but going forward, you might wish you had known the answer prior to signing up.
5 Questions to Ask Before You Sign Up
- What Areas are Served By Your Agency?
This can be about the geographical area in which the agency offers employment, or the field of interest where the majority of placements occur. Ensuring your geographical areas match is essential. You may like the types of referrals and positions available, but will you like a lengthy commute, or a job that takes you to an undesirable or densely populated area?
Likewise, make sure your desired field is represented among the available positions. You don’t want to end up so far out of your experience, or interest, that you end up leaving. That would be a waste of everyone’s time and energy.
- Are These The Employers I Want to Work For?
One of the best advantages to working for a staffing temp agency is that they can help you gain access to some of the healthcare facilities you may not be able to interview with otherwise. Ask about any specific facilities in which you’re interested, and let the recruiting agent know where your specific interests lie.
- How Much Can I Expect to Make?
Obviously, your wages will be right up there in the deciding factors. Clarify how much you can expect to be paid before you go any further. Don’t sign up with a temp agency until you know what you can expect in terms of pay, and benefits.
- Will I Be Reimbursed for My Expenses?
Do you need additional training, or certification? Are there uniforms and are they supplied? If travel is involved, is there reimbursement or a per diem you can expect as compensation for your time and trouble?
- Will the Opportunities Available Help Advance My Career?
Finally, make sure the positions available are of the type that will give you the experience and new skills to advance your career. You want to provide quality patient care, and learn new techniques, which will provide an advantage and edge to your resume.
Temp Agencies Can Provide Advantages
Before signing with a temp agency, make sure you’ve done your research. Being able to choose the shifts you want, where you want them, is a wonderful advantage of signing up with a staffing agency. Also, very often, a temporary employment agency can give you a foot in the door to find out how you fit with a certain nursing facility, hospital, or clinic.
There are many positive aspects to consider when signing with a temp agency, but not all agencies are able to provide you with all that you need in an employer. Take the time to ask the right questions as they apply to you, and you may find the job of your dreams is waiting just around the corner, at your nearest temp agency.