Things happen that you can’t plan for, even in the healthcare travel industry. While you may get a sense of security after accepting and signing the travel contract, nothing is set in stone. In fact, contract cancellations are possible, and they happen.
It may not happen often (or to you, ever), but if it does, it sure is helpful to have a backup plan in place. So, why do contracts get cancelled? What can you do if your contract falls through? How can you lessen the impact of a cancelled contract? Let’s find out.
Why do contracts get cancelled?
Since most travel contracts are at-will employments, they can be cancelled for many reasons, either by you, the healthcare traveler, or the healthcare facility that you planned to work in. What is “at-will employment,” you ask? Essentially, at-will employment means that an employer can fire you for any time for any reason they see fit without incurring legal liability.
So, then, why exactly do travel contracts get cancelled? One common reason for cancellation is because of a census change. Many seasonal destinations, like Florida or Arizona, see an influx in patients during a particular time of the year, which requires more healthcare personnel. Sometimes the census can change, and hospitals and healthcare facilities quickly become overstaffed. In that case, your contract may end early or be cancelled altogether before you even start.
Another reason for contract cancellations could be because a perm staff employee came back from leave early, so your services are no longer needed. If you were hired to cover an employee’s leave or time off and they change their minds and decide they don’t want a break or they return before originally planned, it’s possible your contract could be impacted.
If you decide to cancel your contract, it could be because you found a better opportunity, or experienced an unforeseen event. Regardless, there are consequences for you if you jump ship before your contract even starts. The biggest consequence of bailing on your travel contract is negatively affecting staff levels at the hospital and impacting patient care. If you cancel on your travel job, it leaves the facility in a pinch to find a replacement in a timely manner, which is easier said than done.
Secondly, your agency may have already spent money on your onboarding, travel, housing, etc. If you opted for agency-provided housing and decide not to go through with the job, your staffing agency may be out a housing deposit, first month’s rent, or the cost of the entire lease.
Lastly, your decision to cancel your contract can negatively affect the agency’s relationship with that healthcare facility. It’s no surprise that hospitals and other healthcare organizations don’t love it when their contracts are cancelled, but last-minute cancellations are even more frowned upon. In fact, depending on the agency, healthcare facility, and their relationship, your agency may be subject to a financial penalty for cancelling the contract. So, if you’re unsure about a particular job, fully read your contract and reach out to your recruiter to find a resolution before you cancel altogether.
Now, it’s more common for healthcare facilities to cancel contracts before they even start. That means that you’ve applied for, interviewed for, and been hired for the job, and then for whatever reason, the institution decides you’re no longer needed. And because these contracts are largely at-will, they’re not required to give you a reason for their decision.
However, there can still be consequences even if it’s the healthcare facility that ultimately decides to waive your contract. The biggest downfall is it’s likely you won’t have adequate time to find a replacement job. Because of this, you could be set back financially and lose out on expenses you’ve already incurred to get to the assignment.
The bottom line is cancellations are bad for everyone—you as the healthcare professional, the healthcare staffing agency, and the healthcare facility. Although they don’t bring any good news, cancellations do happen. So, what can you do if it happens to you?
What do I do if my contract falls through?
Hopefully you’ll never have to experience a cancelled contract, but on the chance that you do, have a back-up plan in place.
There are bound to be a lot of feelings about a cancelled contract. You may feel frustrated, annoyed, defeated, and more. So, first thing’s first, take the time you need to digest and process all your feelings. Then, when you feel strong and ready, get back on the horse, and do your thing to find a travel job.
Fusion Marketplace allows you to take control into your own hands and gives you the power to choose the job right for you. All you have to do gain exclusive access to top healthcare travel jobs in the U.S. is create your Fusion Marketplace traveler profile.
Your Marketplace profile is the winning ticket to your next travel job. To get it set up, simply sign-up with your email address. Then, once your profile has been established, add details to show off your healthcare skills, talents, and qualifications. Include a profile picture, personal biography, primary specialty, employment experience, education and certifications, licenses, professional references, and any supporting documents that further showcase your healthcare expertise.
Then, customize your account even further with travel job preferences. Here you can choose your healthcare department(s), specialty/specialties, top five preferred states, top 10 cities, three shift types, and three job types, in addition to your desired pay range. By adding these specifications, you help narrow down your job search, so you don’t see opportunities that don’t apply to you. Fusion Marketplace allows you to narrow down your travel job even further through enhanced transparency with job type, placement location, estimated weekly work schedule, pay package, type of healthcare facility, available start date, shift type, length of assignment, and staffing agency.
Your Fusion Marketplace profile makes it effortless to get back out there and find your ideal travel job. This traveler-first job platform offers the support and transparency you need to take charge of your own career. The future is in your hands.
How can I lessen the impact of a contract cancellation?
Now that you know that it could happen, how can set yourself up for success if your job does get cancelled? Let’s take a look.
Maintain a savings account
There’s nothing worse than a financial setback, and if your travel job gets cancelled before you can even get there, this could be a reality for you. Unless you have a well-maintained and established savings account.
A savings account is important for a myriad of obvious reasons—it helps you save money, it’s low-risk, and it can earn you a return. But a savings account is vital for healthcare travelers like yourself because no job is ever guaranteed. In the event your job gets cancelled, your savings account gives you more options than if you didn’t have one.
For example, let’s say your travel contract was cancelled 10 days before you were set to start, and you already have your next gig lined up. Bummer, right? If you have a solid savings account, maybe you don’t need to panic. Perhaps you even have enough funds to get you through until your next job’s start date.
Work with a staffing company you trust
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it can be harder than you think to find a reputable staffing agency that you trust. You’ll know you’ve found the right agency for you when you’ve found a recruiter who knows and appreciates your healthcare skills and job preferences, when they’re easy to contact and quick to respond, and when they support your needs as an individual.
Before you commit to an agency, do some research ahead of time. Read recruiter ratings and reviews on Fusion Marketplace and get an accurate depiction of who the company is, what they value, and how they treat their travelers.
Work with multiple staffing companies
What better way to increase your chances of hire than to apply for more than one healthcare travel job? When you have your traveler profile on file with multiple staffing agencies, it increases your chances of finding a job in a pinch. If you find out that your contract has been cancelled, simply reach out to one of your back-up agencies, and ask if they have jobs that need to be filled as soon as possible. Who knows? Your next travel job could be waiting for you with another company.
Make sure to have references
Your Fusion Marketplace profile has a dedicated space for you to include personal and professional references, so take advantage, and include as many references as you can. It’s always helpful to have people who can vouch for you and confirm your successful reputation.
References can come in handy when in search for a new job, especially if you’re trying to get hired quickly. Ask one or more of your references to write you a letter of recommendation that you can submit along with your job application and increase your chances of hire.
Use your support network
As we mentioned earlier, you may have a lot of feelings revolving a cancelled travel contract. So, reach out and lean on your support system. Share your experience with them and absorb their praise as they reassure you that you’re a one-of-a-kind, talented healthcare professional.
It’s a bummer when a travel job gets cancelled, especially if it ends before it has a chance to begin. Although there’s no way to guarantee your contract won’t get cancelled, there are steps you can take to ensure that you land on your feet if it happens to you.
And if it does happen, turn to Fusion Marketplace to help you find your next travel job in no time. With access to thousands of healthcare job opportunities, you’re sure to land one that fits your preferences, needs, and skillset.