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How do I choose the best nursing agency?

It can be very overwhelming and sometimes confusing deciding what healthcare nursing agency to go with, especially during the current turmoil of the healthcare industry.

Before we tell you how to choose the best nursing agency, it is important to go through the benefits of choosing a nursing agency.

As we all know the NHS is currently struggling with staff shortages and with placing nurses and midwives. A major factor for this struggle is the lack of online application systems that the NHS provides. The ones that are currently in place offer minimal support and little contact with agents to place the right people to the right jobs. Something that nursing agencies offer that the NHS simply cannot.

Other benefits of working with Nursing Agencies:

 1. Nursing agencies have more incentive to get you placed.

As nursing agencies work in the private sector, most of the agents will work on commission, meaning that they will go the extra mile to ensure that you get hired. However, word of caution, an agent should push for YOU to get the job YOU want, not just to get YOU a job. Remember they work for you, not the other way around.

 2. Nursing agencies are not limited to NHS roles and can offer a wider range of opportunities.

A lot of nursing agencies out there work both in the public and private sector meaning that they have a wider choice of jobs available for you in comparison to NHS job boards.

3. You can work the hours that you want – Flexible hours.

One of the biggest benefits of working for a nursing agency is that there is no minimum or maximum amount of hours that you need to undertake. Meaning that you don’t need to leave your current nursing role to take on agency work because the number of hours that you pick is completely up to you. Simply, specify how many hours you want to work and the agent will get you placed.

4. Try new settings

If you’re looking for a change of setting, agency work is a great way of doing that without even having to leave your current job. Sometimes a change of scenery can be refreshing, good for meeting new people (networking), as well as gaining more experience. The agency that you choose can suggest roles suited to you and your skillset and should set you up with a trial shift.

5. Maintain and develop your skills set.

Working in a variety of settings could improve your skills. Working with different people you will be able to pick up new skills as well as develop existing ones.

6. Various payment options are available.

With the recent IR35 legislation coming into play, we would like to reassure you that we still can pay you in three different ways (making sure that you are paid in the most comfortable way possible)

  1. PAYE
  2. Umbrella
  3. Limited Company

(As per HMRC requirements)

Talk to an agent today!

How do I choose the best nursing agency to work for?

It can be very overwhelming and sometimes confusing deciding what healthcare nursing agency to go with, especially during the current turmoil of the healthcare industry. However, the key thing to remember when choosing an agency is to see which one best suits your professional needs AND your personal ones too.

What a lot of people might not realise is that nurses that work for an agency are in complete control of what they do. They choose where they want to work, what hours and with who. This ability to choose also comes into play when choosing an agency, making sure that they are the right fit. Below we walk through the things you should look out for when choosing a nursing agency. Hope this helps.

Will the nursing recruitment agency offer me support?

Making sure that the nursing agency offers good ongoing support is vital as this is one of the major differences of getting a job via the NHS. The agents should understand the market and how it functions, as well as getting you the right information at the right time.

Saying all of this, most nursing agencies do offer good support. Support in career development, guidance and career advice. However, what separates a good agency from the rest, is all the other methods of support and services that they offer (Going above and beyond!)

Below we have listed some that we think are vital for any nurse looking for a good nursing agency.

  1. DBS (CRB) service
  2. 24/7 Help desk (365 days a year)
  3. Supply of uniforms
  4. Training Courses
  5. Basic Life Support Courses
  6. Highly knowledgeable and trained agents/consultants
  7. Referral bonus
  8. Help to find accommodation
  9. Weekly Pay
  10. Revalidation and Appraisal Services

These extra things are key to look out for as they can make your life so much easier when working for a medical or nursing agency.

Will the shifts offered by the agency suit my lifestyle?

Each nurse will have their own preferences on how and when they want to work. There are some who want to work in multiple settings across a variety of locations. Whereas there are some nurses who prefer to work close to home and others who want to further and develop their skills in a different country altogether.

For those looking to work in different places and different settings, you need to make sure that the nursing agency provides these services and have jobs available in a variety of settings.

Nurses that want to be close to home, due to family or lifestyle reasons and want to stay in a similar setting for a long period of time must make sure that the agency that they choose is happy for you to stay in a fixed role and offer longer-term contracts.

If you are looking to travel, make sure that the nursing agency has a wide variety of locations and roles throughout the globe as you might want to visit multiple places and experience different roles.

How significant is the nursing agency’s online presence?

The standard of an agency’s online presence can be a direct reflection of how they operate as a nursing agency. If the online presence is old and antiquated then it is very likely that their methods of working are too. As well as this, an agency with a terrible online presence will make it harder for you to communicate with and to navigate the information that they provide. Below are some of the key points to look out for, before choosing a nursing agency:

  • Make sure that their website is mobile-friendly.
  • If they have a social media presence make sure that they are posting regularly and see what people are saying about them (reviews). Also, what social media platforms the agency uses will reflect who they are targeting and how up to scratch they are.

Social Media platforms to look out for:

  1. LinkedIn
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter
  4. Instagram
  • Make sure that their website is more than just a job board, make sure that it is educational (as this will directly reflect the way that they operate) – Lazy agencies don’t update their websites.

What should I look for in nursing recruitment agencies?

Everything that we have mentioned so far should be factors to look out for in a nursing agency. Whether it is having a good digital presence or offering great services (as well as the extra little things). However, one thing that you cannot buy or overestimate is a good relationship and the human factor.

Having a good working relationship is the thing you should look for the most in a nursing agency. Getting on with an agent straight away can be a huge deciding factor on whether you should work with that agency or not.

What are the pay rates like in nursing recruitment agencies?

There are two types of nursing agencies, framework and non-framework agencies. Depending on what you are after will tell you what type of agency to go with.

Framework agencies don’t always pay the highest rate, but they are the most popular amongst agency nurses. Here’s why:

  • First-hand pick on newly released shifts
  • Tailored shifts to your personal needs
  • Ensure shifts are scheduled ahead
  • Continuity of shifts
  • Offer opportunities to work alongside quality clients
  • Advise and support you with nursing advisors / clinical advisors

Many Framework agencies have lucrative referral schemes that can really act as a great bonus to you. Here is a link to our referral scheme where you can find out more information.

Non-framework agencies are usually the best paid, but shifts are often last minute and may require you to travel long distances.

Ask yourself, does my lifestyle require me to plan? If it does, Framework agencies could be a better fit for you.

Right, so who is the best? What nursing agency should I work with?

It all depends on what you are looking for, there are definitely things you can do to eliminate bad agencies (online presence, services, etc.) however there is no definite right or wrong answer to this question as every nurse has a different reason in doing what they do and living how they do.

However, if you follow these steps you should find a good nursing agency for you.

  • 1 – Make a list of the top 5 agencies you would like to work with.
  • 2 – Make a list of what is most important to you
  • 3 – Research: The brand, the presence, reviews, talk to them.
  • 4 – Choose the top 2 and arrange a meeting with their agents.
  • 5 – The most important step of all, which one did you get on with the best, which one will provide the best working relationship.

Are we the best agency for you? 

If you have gone through all of these steps and the answer is yes. Then simply book an appointment with one of our specialists or give us a call straight away – 01908 776270

Talk to an agent today!