Quote from picknenders
ha! You shouldn't have to negotiate if the recruiter is being honest! They pay is set by the bill rate at which the travel agency charges the hospital to provide the nurse.
It sucks that people treat this like a used car deal. Unfortunately it's the name of the game at this point. Set clear standards and a good recruiter will fulfill them.
OK, you are a recruiter with 10 months of experience with On Assignment. You are being rather naive. This goes far beyond a Saturn dealer's flat price no negotiating and other car dealerships. (Perhaps that is part of the reason why Saturn is a defunct brand now).
The bill rate does not set the pay rate. Let's look at some variables. Different agencies have markedly different gross profit margins (the portion of the bill rate that is not paid to the traveler). It ranges from 15 to 40 percent roughly. That's a huge difference in pass through compensation to the traveler by itself.
Many agencies recognize that there is a huge difference in risk between a nurse with 1 year of experience who has never traveled before, and a nurse with 15 years of experience who has traveled for 10 years. Agencies also reward travelers who successfully travel with them. Can you tell me with a straight face that you pay exactly the same to all three kinds of travelers - all who earn them the same bill rate (if they don't quit in the middle of their assignment)? Or that travelers do not bring up their selling points to squeeze another couple dollars an hour successfully out of you? Right now, you have many more assignments than qualified nurses. You bet you would negotiate with the right traveler for one of them!
Now beyond On Assignment's bill rate, you do recognize that there are other agencies out there contracted to the same hospital? They have all negotiated bill rates separately (perhaps they can't trust hospitals to be as "honest" as recruiters) and depending on their negotiating skills and the product they have to sell (quality or quantity of travelers), they can have significantly different bill rates. Combine that their different margins and you see why it might be in a traveler's best interests to shop around and negotiate.
Yes, it is important for travelers to have a good relationship with recruiters, but boundaries must be set. Recruiters are not travelers friends, they are sales people on commission and their primary responsibility is to their own paycheck and their employer, not the traveler. Yes, I am being cynical, and yes, there are many fine and ethical recruiters out there. You just have to understand what their job is and where their loyalties lie to do good business with them.