How to work well with locum agencies

As a recruitment consultant, working specifically in the medical recruitment sector, I have met and worked with a real variety of professionals. During my time at Total Assist, I have analysed the trends in our market space, seeing what factors contribute to making the ‘perfect locum doctor’. Being able to work successfully with your locum agency is a huge plus point and one of the most important ways in which you can gain more work and contact to really boost your career.

So from an agency perspective, here are my top non-clinical tips on how to interact well with your agency contacts to make yourself as employable as possible.

  • Friendship / trust

In order to achieve your short term and long term goals, you will need to form a good working relationship with a recruitment consultant that  you are comfortable with. It is important to start off on the right foot by making it clear what it is you want to achieve from your work, and the longer you correspond with your recruitment consultant, the stronger your relationship and trust will be. Building this mutual trust, honesty and professionalism will mean that your recruitment consultant will always do their best to get you what you want.

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  • Communication

This is one of the most important factors where locum doctors and recruitment consultants have problems. Make it clear to your consultant where you would or wouldn’t like to go, what timings you prefer to do,  and the pay range you are looking for.  We will need to be able to communicate with you throughout the day, and although it’s understandable that there might be moments where you can’t answer the phone, be sure to call / text text or reply to emails even if you may not be interested in the position that is being offered. It is also a good idea to list the reasons why, as this process of elimination enables us to understand exactly what it is you want, as we can then make sure we only pass on placements to you that you would be keen on.  There are many doctors that I work with that I have a good relationship and level of trust with, so they simply give me dates they would like to work and trust me to book them in hospitals and timings that they would agree with.

  • Be flexible and open

Be willing to try new hospitals and departments,  letting us know how far you will go as this opens the door to more opportunities to many jobs. Do not limit yourself to the amount of work you can get, be open to doing night shifts as this favours you over other locums who are not willing to do the nights. Also let your consultant know which hospitals you have worked before as your CV will be approved much faster. We work incredibly hard to get your CV approved and sell you to the hospital you want, so a bit of flexibility goes a long way.

  • Plan your diary

The more dates you have in advance the better, as you will get more shifts that you prefer instead of last minute availability shifts. This can really make your life easier with regards to planning your home life and family. Being organised also makes things smoother our end, as full hospital rotas are received three months in advance, so if we know your dates, we can make sure you are top of the CV pile instead of hanging around for last minute options to crop up.

  • Paperwork / compliance

Being co-operative in getting the necessary documents to us again helps you to get work faster. If you can email us over a full, up to date CV then it saves time in the long run and makes you look good to consultants studying your CV and supporting documentation. The longer you work as a locum, the more references you can get as well, so make sure to ask consultants who you work with to put pen to paper about your time in their hospital, as this will greatly benefit your file to make you stand out from the crowd.

  • Reliability

A locum doctor that is reliable always is looked at by the department in a positive way. On the other hand, doctors who cancel shifts at the last minute and don’t turn up, or are always late are remembered negatively by the department. There will be situations where unforeseen circumstances will force a doctor to be late or cancel but informing with plenty time and good communication allows for a replacement to be found so the department is not left to struggle. In order for payments to be processed to you on time, the time sheets should be treated as a cheque you take to the bank. It must be signed by the correct person in charge with all the information filled out and sent straight after shifts, otherwise if there are any amendments they can’t be dealt with promptly – don’t let it be that the recruitment consultant has to chase you every time.

[testimonial name=”Zaf Niaz” who=”Recruitment Consultant” imagelinks=”” vertical=”no”]”I deal with hospitals and A&E doctors in the south of the UK, so please get in touch if you are a locum doctor wishing to work in this specialty or area. I can help place any grade of doctor, and I am eager to find the perfect locum placement for you.”[/testimonial]


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