In my last blog article, I uncover one of the truths of travel healthcare. That truth… THERE IS NO FREE MONEY IN TRAVEL!!! To read the full article, click here. To briefly review, where do staffing companies receive their money from? Staffing agencies only generate revenue from billable hours worked by the travelers who are employed by them. I don’t know of one single staffing agency that is a not-for-profit agency. They don’t have FREE money pouring in, therefore, they can’t gift anything FREE to travelers.
Just as individual travelers who must budget, staffing agencies must also budget. Each staffing agency’s budget will look slightly different. That is why for a job offering a $65 rate, company A can pay $1400 while company B can pay $1600. $200 a week!?!?! That’s a big difference you might say!!!
Anyone who decides to pursue travel therapy should have a clear understanding of what motivates them to travel. In other words, what is your WHY? Are you motivated by top pay, specific locations, a particular setting, or something else?
Pay isn’t everything, but as an educated consumer (yes travelers are consumers to staffing agencies), you should have some idea of where your money is going.
In this article, I want to address TWO KEY POINTS that can significantly affect the pay packages a staffing agency can offer.
To simplify things for the case of this example, let’s assume two different staffing agencies each have 50 therapists working for them in contracts all with a $65 bill rate with 40 hours guaranteed. From these 50 therapists working this single assignment, the revenue generated is $1,690,000.00. That’s a lot of money! Let’s say staffing agency A has a marketing budget of $50,000 a month and staffing agency B has a marketing budget of $5,000 a month? In that one 13 week assignment, staffing agency A has spent $150,000 on marketing and staffing agency B has spent $15,000 on marketing. A large portion of staffing agency A’s budget from that 13 week assignment has gone to marketing. What does that mean??? It means that they are not able to pay their travelers as much as the company who decides to not budget as much of their revenue in marketing.
While travelers may not take a hit in their individual pay packages, those travelers choosing to work for companies with an astronomical marketing budget take a hit in ALL of their pay packages. The money for marketing has to come from somewhere. The company spending $50,000 a month on marketing doesn’t just have an extra $600,000 lying around in their yearly budget to still be able to pay their travelers the same amount that a company who only allocates $60,000 a year towards marketing.
So What Goes Into Marketing???
Advertising – on TV, radio, social media, google, YouTube, etc
Student outreach initiatives
Lead generating sources
One of the things companies will market to students and new grads in particular is TUITION REIMBURSEMENT. You’ll see ads with verbiage, “Earn up to $2,500 a year in tuition reimbursement”. Remember, THERE IS NO FREE MONEY. This has been budgeted for…. Either the company is setting aside the money in each contract to be distributed to that individual traveler later, or every single pay package is taking a slight hit to be able to offer this program. The money has to come from somewhere!
Is it really advantageous for recent graduates to seek tuition reimbursement as part of their compensation? In my opinion, not really! I recently asked travel tax expert Joseph Smith about this, and we were in agreement. With the changes in the tax code, it would be better to be reimbursed for items that are no longer deductible at the end of the year on taxes. In 2018, professional expenses such as licensing, CEUs, conferences, uniforms, and travel expenses cannot be deducted on taxes. It would be much more advantageous for travelers to be reimbursed by staffing agencies for these expenses! There are still tax benefits with regards to student loan interest and tuition. Think about where you want your money going and have your pay package customized accordingly!
CONCLUSION: At the end of the day, staffing agencies are not non-profit agencies. There is no free money! The money has to come from somewhere! Do yourself a favor and know where your money is going! The larger the marketing budget, the less money that is left over for YOU (the traveler). Are we seeing the end of tuition reimbursement propaganda?