is your recruiter trustworthy

3 Ways to Find Out if Your Recruiter is Trustworthy

I read an interesting article recently about how Google spent years studying what makes teams effective. What the researchers discovered is that trust is the most important factor that matters for a team’s success. I found myself nodding in agreement while reading the article as the author defined specific actions that build trust on a team. The article continued to weigh on my mind well beyond the moments after I read it, and it made me consider what it must be like to be a traveling healthcare professional working as a team with a recruiter, while never physically showing up to work with the members on your team. I can imagine this would be a difficult task.

As a recruiter, I’m seeking candidates who I’m able to trust to be members on my team, so I would certainly assume that a traveler attempts to find the same when looking for a recruiter to join their team. I’ve heard from new travelers that it’s intimidating to navigate conversations with recruiters because they’re unsure about what to ask, and things to look out for. I’m fortunate to be on a team with a staffing agency who believes in training for its staff and looks out for all of its employees—both those working in house and those on travel assignments throughout the U.S. so I wanted to point out some things I’ve learned along the way to hopefully help you in your search for a trustworthy recruiter.

  1. Pay Package Breakdown
    Folks, there’s something very real in the world of healthcare travel called wage recharacterization. This is where an unrealistically low hourly rate and a large amount of tax free money is offered in the pay package. While there are travelers who are okay with accepting these types of pay packages, there are an equal amount of travelers who I talk with that aren’t aware of the risks they’ll ensue by working for this type of pay. If you want to remain on the good side of the IRS, don’t accept a contract where the taxable wage is well below what would be offered if you were working as a permanent employee. When speaking with recruiters, make sure to ask what their pay package breakdown looks like!
  2. Canceled contract 
    I hate that I even have to talk about this, but unfortunately I do because canceled contracts happen. So then what? What a great question to ask when interviewing your recruiter! I once talked with a first time traveler who had her very first contract cancelled, and I’ve talked with plenty of candidates who have been traveling for years and have never had a cancelled contract. If nothing else, this is something you need to be aware could happen and comfortable with how you recruiter will handle it (i.e. willing and able to work their booty off to find you a replacement!).
  3. Submittals
    It’s important for you to know that recruiters are anxious to submit your profile over as quickly as possible for an assignment opening because it offers them a better chance of locking in an assignment for you. A recruiter who is as anxious as you to find you an assignment sounds like a good thing, right? Wrong. Think about it like this: a trustworthy recruiter should want to do more than just find you an assignment, they should want to be sure it’s the RIGHT assignment for you. Make sure your recruiter is committed to calling you first about an opening to go over the details and receive your approval before submitting your profile for consideration. If you’re working with more than one agency, blind submittals are also one way to shoot yourself in the foot if more than one recruiter submits you to the same opening. Having more than one agency submit you for an opening will not enhance your chances of being considered for the opening; in fact, they often take your application out of consideration. Moral of the story, keep open communication with your recruiter about the jobs you’ve been submitted to, and set the expectation that you want to be contacted before your profile is ever submitted to an opening. On your end, you can be proactive in landing a great assignment by being responsive and quick to answer to calls/texts/emails from your recruiter.

As in most things, it takes teamwork and ultimately trust for both a traveler and a recruiter to have a positive experience and great working relationship. Is there anything you would add to the list?

Katie Lutmer is a Recruiter for the Aureus Medical Social Media Recruitment Team.


  1. Great information! This happened to me! I left a high paying, high bonus program to be a travel COTA/L. Unfortunately, I trusted a brand new aggressive recruiter. The assignment “fell through”. My prior job was already filled because I gave a good notice, and helped train. I was out of work for months, and took a temporary position with an insurance agency, just to pay bills. To this day, I still doubt, that there was even an actual assignment. Senior recruiters reached out to me, however there were no other positions in my state where I am licensed. There was never any other contact with the original recruiter. If it sounds too good to be true, or if you feel too pressured to commit, trust your instincts!!!!

  2. It makes sense that having a good recruiter would be important for businesses. It’s definitely a good idea to ensure that you know how they will be charging. That way, you don’t have to worry about spending more than expected.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *