Travel Physical Therapy Career Guide: Step 11 – Traits of a great recruiter

travel physical therapy recruiterNow that you have applied for a travel physical therapy job, you can be assured that you will soon be contacted by a recruiter. Physical therapists that are willing to work short-term contract jobs are in high demand, which will put you in a good negotiating position to make sure you get what you want out of an assignment.

But before you do that you need to make sure you have a good recruiter.

In the travel physical therapy industry it is often your relationship with your recruiter that determines whether you enjoy your assignment, like your company and even to a certain degree how well you do on the job.

As you start down a travel physical therapy career path you will find that the relationship you have with your recruiter is one that will grow over time. They will be your source of information and a resource for you throughout your assignment so it is important that you trust them. The relationship should be one that feels like a partnership where the two of you work together to achieve your goals, not an employer/employee one.

[pullquote]There are bound to be challenges that come up during your assignment and you will want to feel like you can be completely upfront and honest with your recruiter about it so that you can resolve the issue as quickly as possible.[/pullquote]

There are bound to be challenges that come up during your assignment and you will want to feel like you can be completely upfront and honest with your recruiter about it so that you can resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

Open communication is the best way to make sure you get the most of out of your assignment and meet your goals whether they are learning new skills, treating different kinds of patients or just seeing new places the more your recruiter knows about you and your aspirations the better.

In the end, due to the fact that your recruiter will play such a large part in your life while you are traveling or working a contract close to home you want someone that feels more like a friend than a business associate.

They should be someone who calls just to see how you are doing and someone you can call when you need advice. You want a recruiter who will stand up for you should the need ever arise.

Travel Physical Therapy Career Guide: Step 10 – Applying to travel PT companies

traveling physical therapists applying for jobs onlineNow that you have your paperwork in order and have done your research online to see what companies interest you, compared them to each other and matched that up with your goals, wants and needs for your travel physical therapy career, it is time to start applying with the top companies on your list.

Applying to travel therapy companies is usually done online, but you can also call in directly. In this step though, we will just look at applying online. We will cover calling in later in this Travel Physical Therapy Career Guide.

When you are applying online you basically have two choices.

  1. Apply to companies one at a time
  2. Use a company gateway site to apply to several companies at once

Both of these have their pros and cons, which we will cover next.

Applying to One Travel Physical Therapy Company at a Time

Pros

  • This method keeps you in more control of how many companies are contacting you and have your information.
  • This method also lets you be more selective in the companies you talk to.

Cons

  • When you apply to one company at a time it will be a lengthier process for the simple fact that you have to visit multiple sites and put the same information on each company’s website.
  • Another negative is that if none of the companies you talk to have a position you want or just don’t seem like a good fit, then you will have to broaden your search and start the process over again.

Using a Gateway Site to Apply to Several Travel Physical Therapy Companies at a Time

Pros

  • Using a gateway site can save you time since you can complete a lot of information in one sitting and depending on the site you use, submit it to the companies of your choice.
  • This option will save you the time of searching the Internet for companies to work with since they are all aggregated in these sites.

Cons

  • Applying to a gateway site all but ensures that you will be contacted by all the companies paying for the site’s services if they do not have a company select option
  • Gateway sites can also take longer to complete the required information than a travel physical therapy company’s website because their goal is to provide only the top matched candidates to the companies paying for the service.
  • You will receive a lot of calls from recruiters and marketing efforts from companies once your information is passed on

Some Travel Therapy Gateway Sites are:

Regardless of the option you choose, be prepared to be contacted almost immediately and regularly once your info is submitted.

One final bit of advice to make whatever option you choose easier is to be sure to set up and utilize your “AutoFill” Google toolbar. It will make completing a lot of the basic info requested in on online apps less repetitive to fill out since you can do it with the click of a button.

Travel Physical Therapy Career Guide: Step 9 – Making sure your paperwork is in order

the three ducks isolatedThe next step in your traveling physical therapy career, even before you start applying online is to have all your ducks in a row and make sure your paper work is in order. Having this all organized and easily accessible is going to make the application process at travel physical therapy companies much easier.

The most common paperwork you will need includes copies of (although some companies may ask for more):

  • A current resume
  • Your PT License (if you don’t have one for the state you want to work in your company should help you get it and pay for it)
  • Any other special certifications needed for your clinical area (front and back)
  • Your BLS
  • Your Driver’s License
  • Your Social Security card (front and back) or passport
  • Two references from your supervisors at your most recent jobs
  • And all your immunization records, include the following:
    Health Statement (completed annually by a MD, PA, or NP)
    TB Skin Test Results OR Chest X-Ray (TB <1 year; Chest X-ray < 1 year)
    Hepatitis B (Vaccine Series (3), Titre, Booster (after titre) or Declination Form)
    Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (2 Childhood Vaccines, or Titres)
    Varicella (Titre or 2 Vaccines)
    (if you don’t have your immunizations or can’t find the documentation most companies will set it up for you)
  • A voided check to accompany your Direct Deposit information

It will be best if you have both paper copies and digital scans of all of these. If you don’t own a scanner you can go to the library or a FedEX/Kinkos, CopyMax or something similar to get them scanned.

After this initial organizing of your paperwork, take time once a year to update and keep it current with your experience.

Travel physical therapy company reviews – thumbs up or thumbs down?

thumbs upWe have seen a lot of traffic coming to Rehab and Therapy Jobs.comlooking for information on who the best traveling physical therapy companies to work for are.

That’s why we built our own easy to use travel physical therapy company review tool (you can find under “Travel PT Career Guide”). It allows you to see what companies other travel PTs think are the best.

We used a simple interface; if you like a company give it a “thumbs up”, if you don’t give it a “thumbs down”.

We attempted to add all the best travel therapy companies in the industry, but we may have missed some, so if your company isn’t there click the green briefcase to get it added.

This tool will only be as good as the people participating in it. The more travel physical therapists nurses that that rate companies the better it will be, so if you are your company’s biggest fan or had a terrible experience give them a “thumbs up” or vice-versa.

Travel Physical Therapy Career Guide: Step 8 – Evaluating Travel Therapy Companies

The next thing you need to do is to take the information you put together in the first seven steps and use it to evaluate travel physical therapy companies you may want to work with. This is important because the first seven steps are used to help you know the things that are going to be important to you in a travel physical therapy job.

So keeping these things in mind your first stop is to spend some time on their website. The sign of a good company that are seen in a company’s website are first foremost easy to find answers to your questions and contact information.  You also will want to make sure they have plenty of jobs for you, if you list them on their site, but not every company does. As you click around on their site remember to look for answers about the things we have already covered:

The next thing you will want to do is some background on what other travel  physical therapist think of the company and what it’s like to work with them. Some good places to do this are (in order):

  1. Actual live referrals who you know personally that have worked with the company
  2. Travel therapy company rating sites like MedTravelerClub.com
  3. Former employees of the company provided by the recruiter for you to contact

Next you will want to do some background on the company. You should also be doing this when you are the company’s website, reading their about pages and finding out how long they have been around and look for signs that the company is growing (growth awards, press releases, etc.). You also want to make sure the company is good financial standing as is going to be able to pay you. This kind of information is easy to find for publicly traded companies, but is something you will need to ask your recruiter about with privately held companies.

The final thing you can do to research travel therapy companies is to ask your recruiter questions that help you rate the company. Here is a list of questions we recommend:

  • How long has the travel physical therapy company been in existence?
  • How large (or small) is the company?
  • What does the company have to offer that sets it apart from others?
  • Are there physical therapists who can give references?
  • Is there always someone available to answer my call (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)?
  • Can I see a sample contract?
  • Is my travel physical therapy job guaranteed by a written contract?
  • How much do I get paid during my travel physical therapy assignment?
  • Explain the mileage reimbursement policy for travel physical therapy assignments?
  • Is help (financial and administrative) provided with licensing and my other credentialing needs?
  • Who will I talk to if my recruiter isn’t available?
  • Do I only have one recruiter my entire career with your company?
  • If I want to go perm are there any clauses in my contract to prevent me from being hired as a perm employee? If so, what are the details?
  • What are any areas your company could improve on?

Here are some other questions you may want to ask your recruiter as you are evaluating travel physical therapy companies.

Travel Physical Therapy Career Guide: Step 7 – Looking at Travel Physical Therapy Benefits

Now your next step in the traveling physical therapy process is evaluating the benefits that each company provides its employees. One way travel therapy companies differentiate themselves is by the benefits that they offer, but there are also some basics that you should look for. These are:

Housing
401(K)
Health Insurance
Dental Insurance
Travel Reimbursement
Certification Reimbursement
Direct Deposit

Now your next step in the traveling physical therapy process is evaluating the benefits that each company provides its employees. One way travel therapy companies differentiate themselves is by the benefits that they offer, but there are also some basics that you should look for. These are:

  • Housing
  • 401(K)
  • Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Travel Reimbursement
  • Certification Reimbursement
  • Direct Deposit

Companies will offer differing levels of these basic benefits and some will also offer other benefits including:

  • Life Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Referral bonus
  • Completion bonus
  • Sign-on bonus
  • Extension bonus
  • Free continuing education credits
  • Paid-Private Furnished housing

Keep in mind however, these benefits still come from somewhere and that is your pay, this is especially true if the travel physical therapy company you are going with only offers standard packages that you can’t customize. But if your company lets you personalize your pay package and utilizes Per Diem allowances you will have a lot better opportunity to get the benefits you really want and maximize your pay at the same time.

Next up in the Travel PT Career Guide we will look at how to research and evaluate travel therapy companies.