Timing of pay negotiations and accepting a job.

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    I hope to accept my first travel assignment soon. My question is, do I get submitted and accepted to a job and then negotiate pay and compensation. Or do I negotiate all aspects of compensation before being submitted?

    It seems when ever I ask the agency for specifics about compensation they give me general amounts and excuses of "I can't seem to pull up that information at this time".

    Thanks
    Truckee
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  3. 13 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    You need to talk to more agencies. Most have no problem quoting details.
  5. 0
    I told my recruitor my minimum "take home" needs to be to cover the expenses at home. and then I start from there.... he would find me different assignments and gave me time to research the hospitals. after that, I would call him back and let him know to set up an interview or not. There are this thing called "bill rate", your hourly is all depends on how much reimbursement you are getting.
  6. 0
    I'm not sure that is the best negotiating tactic. You may find, depending on the agency and recruiter, that you will always be offered your minimum or a bit less. Honest communication is not always the way to go.
  7. 0
    Well I took the assignment as the contract looks like my recruiter told me it would. Pretty happy with the process, pretty happy with my recruiter.

    Wish me luck.
  8. 0
    Good luck!
  9. 0
    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.
  10. 0
    Cincinnati RedsExcellent advice and that is what I found out. I'm very happy w my recruiter and the assignment.Will be heading to Bethel, AK in 3 weeks. And thanks for everyone's advice here.
  11. 0
    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.
  12. 0
    Ned - You are exactly right in what you say. I had never recruited prior to working for On Assignment, so it was a whole new ballgame for me. Yes, unfortunately there are negotiations that do occur. However, all of our jobs are put in to our system at our required margin - Many agencies are contracted with the same hospital - however, the majority of those are contracted through vendor managers who charge universal bill rates - on the flip side, there are still hospitals out there who have direct agencies and they do not work with other travel companies. The other aspect not being considered by your point above is the commission structure of the recruiter. Some agencies pay their recruiters exactly like car salesmen - the greater the gross margin on the particular nurse, the greater the commission. We pay recruiters based on full time RNs working. This means there is no reason to withold money from the RN. Of course I've had to negotiate and of course I feel that the compensation should be higher based on the experience and specialty of the RN. Unfortunately, we don't bill the hospital differently if we send them a RN of 25 years or an RN of 2 years. That's why I say if you set your standards appropriately in the beginning, there should be no need for negotiating.

    There's no doubt that you are well in-tune with the travel industry - I'd say probably more so than I am. However, I thought it would be nice to lend a different perspective to some of the questions on here. I definitely respect all of your knowledge!


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