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How to manage your locum tenens agency

If you've recently registered with a locum tenens agency or registered a while ago, but your phone is not ringing off the hook with assignment offers, read on for some quick tips on how to proactively manage your locum tenens agency to your maximum benefit.

Establish a rapport.
After you've taken the step to register with a locum tenens agency, find out who the recruiter or recruiters responsible for arranging your assignments are. Some agencies, like LocumTenens.com, will proactively call you, but don't sit around and wait for the phone to ring. Show your enthusiasm by picking up the phone and calling them first.

Let your recruiter know your availability and scheduling preferences. If your schedule changes weekly, call your recruiter weekly. Your recruiter will appreciate hearing from you, and you will stay top of mind for any new assignments that come up.

Get your paperwork in order.
When recruiters pull a database list, they do so based on search parameters such as whether your CV is in the system and complete and whether you've been credentialed in-house. As you may know, the locum tenens business works on an accelerated timetable, so recruiters are more likely to call you for an assignment if your paperwork is in order and you've been pre-screened. Pre-credentialing is a huge time-saver for you and a potential employer.

The paperwork required for credentialing a physician, advanced practitioners, psychologists, or social workers is substantial and adds to the lead time required for a specialist to start a new assignment. Some last-minute assignments will not be available to you unless you're pre-credentialed. Another advantage of pre-credentialing: it allows your recruiter to pre-populate some key fields in the hospital application when you're applying for privileges, saving you time. 

If you're taking many locum tenens assignments throughout the year, it is probably a good idea to have more than three references available so that they don't get overwhelmed with phone calls related to your assignments.

Get more licenses.
Some locum tenens agencies will pay for you to get additional state licenses. If you are interested in and willing to travel around the country, let your recruiter know. The more states you're licensed in, the more likely you'll be a match for an open assignment. One point of etiquette, though: if you agree to get licensed in a new state, make sure to follow it through to completion. Your agency will have pre-paid your license and if you fail to complete the application, that money is not refundable.

Keep track of locations where your CV is presented.
If you work with multiple agencies, come up with a system for tracking locations where your CV is being presented for assignments. It is not unusual for the same physician, PA, NPA, CRNA, psychologist, or social worker to be presented by more than one agency for the same assignment. As a matter of courtesy to the recruiters you work with, let them know if you've already been presented for a job by another agency. Not being up front with your recruiter will only breed bad feelings and hurts your chances of a productive working relationship with them in the future.

You can do a lot to make your locum tenens experience positive. Like any relationship, the relationship with your locum tenens recruiter will benefit from the care and attention you give it. You will find that LocumTenens.com recruiters are happy to hear from you whether you're giving them updates on your availability or just touching base to say hello.

Happy job hunting!