ok, so the agency I am with right now is Liquid Agents. this is not a commercial for them, I swear. I was referred to this agency by word of mouth from a nurse who was working cath lab at my old hospital. He said he had been working with them for quite a while and was very happy with them. he gave me the website address, explained to me a little bit about how he got paid, and how it was working for him. I went to their website and completed an application, but also started looking at some other agencies as well. The other ones I spoke with were American Mobile, and On Assignment Staffing. I filled out some forms for some others online, but they never got back in touch with me. On Assignment I contacted online, but someone I knew also worked with them on occasion.
a summary of my experiences and why I chose who I did:
On Assignment- very aggressive recruiter- seemed young and inexperienced, not a nurse by trade at all. pluses- was trying to get me work quickly- minus- not the best pay package, and something turned me off in a very used car salesman sort of way. the recruiter was always ‘reaching out to you” and “wanted to check to see if you had a chance to reach out to the hospital”. it gave me the creeps. I also felt like he was just submitting me for anything and everything, without a real thought as to my worth or my specialties. no real overtime pay, nothing remotely resembling time and a half. the people they said were going to call me did not call me, and when they would tell me to contact someone for an interview I had difficulty getting return phone calls. the only one who did was for something that was not an appropriate assignment for my area of expertise.
American Mobile– professional, prompt in their response. not very high on the payscale, and it feels like a machine. I think these are the big dogs in the industry, but do seem to lack some of the “personal touch” that I like. I got along ok with the recruiter, but she did not seem to remember me from one conversation to the next, and the payscale especially for OT was not up to par. If they were to offer me something that paid enough, I would consider working with them.
Liquid Agents– these were the first people to call me back. My recruiter is Jessica, and she is a delight to work with. she actually seems like a real person, and she is easy to deal with. everything was clearly spelled out in my contract, and she was very flexible with working with my needs. I had originally been looking for some local travel, but she had this great opportunity come up and submitted me for it. it fell into place like a dream, and I got hired right away. the pay is excellent, and she was more than patient to go over all my pay options for the contract. it was spelled out exactly what was what, how I would get paid, and which options I could select. everyone is pushing this tax incentive thing. I personally like it, it works well for me. I take a housing and travel allowance that is tax free, and find my own housing. my taxable rate is far less, which is what saves me on OT. this company actually is giving me an OT bonus, on top of the “time and a half” of the lower hourly rate. they are not keeping that for themselves, which is what I think in truth many of the agencies do. I do not have a problem with them making money- they find me the jobs and take care of a lot of hassle for me. but I am the one who is bringing home the bacon so to speak. I am the one working gobs of shift, representing the company, doing a good job and bringing them more business. I should be the one getting the lion’s share. I am a good nurse, experienced, flexible, and I know what I am worth. I am not desperate for work, and I will always have a job. I feel like I have a very good understanding with this agency, in that we work together so we both can be happy. and if I am happy, they will be happy- because I will bring them more business with those hospitals and recruit more nurses to work for them.
I will make another post more in detail about the pay thing, and how it works exactly with the different pay options most agencies do. this post is just to detail my experiences, it is not meant to be for or against any particular agency. I went with who I did bottom line because of the money and clarity of the offer. I wanted short term assignments, and they offered that as well. I am getting ready for my second 8 week assignment, so we will see if the shine is still there!