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Calling all aspiring traveling therapists. If you are thinking about working short-term assignments in the travel therapy industry, you probably noticed that there are hundreds of staffing agencies. It can get very overwhelming to choose an agency. So how do you find the best travel therapy companies?
Personally, I do not think that there is one “best agency” or agencies out there. There are many wonderful staffing agencies that offer different benefits. It’s up to you to find what works for you. Determine your priorities and what you want in an agency, whether it be jobs, money, benefits, etc.
As a traveling SLP for over 10 years, my biggest priority is finding the right job. I only want to work in the acute care setting with adults. Hospitals tend to, but not always, staff with some of the larger travel agencies. So, I tend to be limited to working with the larger agencies who have direct relationships with hospitals. However, your priorities may be completely different. That’s why I avoid saying that there is a single greatest agency or agencies.
If you want a white glove service to connect you with a top agency and recruiter, I highly recommend using Nomadicare. This company acts as a middleman between travelers and agencies and connects travelers with an agency and recruiter that fits their needs.
Connect with your agency match here: Nomadicare
Without further adieu, here are the top five things to look for when selecting an agency.
Travel therapy job inventory
Different agencies have access to different jobs. While most staffing agencies tend to have access to skilled nursing facility (SNF) jobs, if you want a job out of the SNF market, you may need to search around more.
Agencies might specialize more in a specific geographic area of the United States (such as New York City), or they might specialize more in a certain setting (such as schools).
To determine the job inventory of an agency, I recommend looking for jobs that interest you on an agency’s website listings or wherever you go to get your job listings, such as a job board. You can also ask your recruiter about their inventory of jobs.
Money is not the only form of compensation that we receive as travel therapists. We are also eligible for certain benefits, which can vary based on the travel therapy agency. Determine what benefits you need and then find an agency that matches those needs. The thing to remember about benefits is that they are factored into your weekly pay. For example, if a company offers wonderful benefits, they may pay less weekly than a company that offers no benefits and vice versa.
Nothing in travel therapy is free. Everything comes out of your paycheck in one way or another.
Great read: Understanding travel therapy pay
Benefits may include:
- How much will it cost per paycheck?
- Does it start on day one or later in the contract?
- Is there a high deductible?
- Can you keep health insurance after a contract? If so, for how long in between contracts – 14 days, 30 days?
- Is short-term or long-term disability offered? If yes, after how many days of work?
- Is there an option to opt in for a 401k or similar plan? If yes, after how many days of work?
- Does the company offer matching?
- Does the agency have a program in place that pairs new travelers with mentors? Is this something that you need or want?
- Does the agency offer loyalty incentives?
- How long do you have to work for the agency to receive the loyalty bonus?
- Current loyalty bonuses include paid time off, a free vacation to the Caribbean, student loan payments, and scholarships.
Money varies by agency and it takes some shopping around to see who is going to pay you the best for your needs. One agency might be able to offer you a pay package for $100 or even $200 more per week than another agency. This is a huge difference!
However, the highest pay does not always equal the best fit for you. As I mentioned earlier, if an agency has a lot of benefits to offer, that may mean they offer less of a weekly take-home pay than other agencies. For example, maybe the company that offers a job at $200 more per week deducts $150 per week for access to their health insurance plan, doesn’t have access to a 401k, or any mentorship for new grads.
As mentioned before, nothing in travel is free. So while dollars matter, also consider the whole pay package: loan reimbursements, scholarship opportunities, and monetary bonuses.
Matching with a good recruiter is actually the number one thing to look for in a travel therapy company. When working with an agency, you are really primarily working with a recruiter and you want to find somebody that works for you.
Things to consider when looking for a recruiter:
- Does this person appear to be honest and knowledgeable about what you need to know?
- Can the recruiter provide references of other therapists that he/she has worked with?
- Is the recruiter available when you need to speak to them? Time zones and work schedules mean that you may need to communicate with the recruiter outside their 9-5, so are they available when you are?
- Can you communicate well or are you missing texts, emails?
- What does your gut say? Do you feel like you could have a working relationship with this person or is there something that makes you think you cannot? Trust your gut feelings in this case, they are usually correct.
Reviews of Travel Therapy Companies
What are other people saying about this agency? In the digital world, reviews can be a bit overwhelming as people tend to write the bad instead of the good. However, it is still worthwhile to see what people are saying about a particular agency and recruiter.
You can seek reviews on agencies from places like Google business, Glassdoor, Facebook business pages, and community forums.
Finding the best travel therapy company for you starts with determining what you need and want from a company. There are hundreds of companies out there and plenty to offer. Determine what you need and want in an agency. Don’t be afraid to ask your recruiters if they have the jobs, benefits, and money to meet your needs.
Again, if it sounds overwhelming to find the best travel therapy companies, I highly recommend checking out Nomadicare to be connected with a hand-selected agency/traveler match.
Read more about travel therapy:
- How to Find Short-Term Housing for 13-Week Travel Contracts
- How to Get Started As a Traveling Therapist
- Understanding Travel Therapy Pay
- Understanding Health Insurance as a traveling therapist
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