How Do I Choose The Best Locum Agency in 2023?

By , Melinda McCarthy published on 12/04/2023

Locum Doctors are in high demand in both Australia and New Zealand. Whether you're a General Practitioner, Emergency Medicine Physician, or General Medicine Locum, hospitals and practices rely on your clinical expertise to fill the gaps left by permanent doctors on leave and general workforce shortages that have been exacerbated during the past few years, particularly in rural and regional areas.

Locum Doctors can liaise directly with hospitals and practices when looking for work, or they can engage the services of a recruitment agency. In many instances, locum doctors will register their interest with a number of agencies. Here are a few tips to help you navigate your way around locum agencies and how to choose the right one for you.

Before making contact with a recruitment agency, decide what you want and need. 

  • Do you want to work in the city, bush, on the coast or in the country?
  • Do you want to create a working holiday? 
  • Are you bringing your partner or family?
  • Are you looking for FIFO contracts or longer-term locums?
  • Are you looking to broaden your scope of clinical work or upskill?
  • When can you start?
  • What locum rates and benefits do you require?

Knowing the answer to these questions will help you find an agency that can best meet your requirements.

Tips to help you choose the best locum agency

Choose an agency and recruitment consultant that specialises in your field of medicine. 

At Ochre, we specialise in General Practice Recruitment. Our key strength is finding general practitioners and rural generalists locum jobs most meaningful and beneficial to you. Because we are part of a larger healthcare group, (The Ochre Group - comprising Ochre Recruitment, Ochre Health, and Medical Directions) we hold a unique position in the medical recruitment industry as a company that understands the challenges of managing a medical centre or emergency department while keeping doctors happy, valued and well rewarded. This gives us a sense of balance and fairness. We work to keep all parties happy and to find the right match for all involved.

We also work with emergency medicine and general medicine doctors in Australia and New Zealand.

Choose an agency that is certified in the quality standard of AS/NZS 9001:2015

Ochre Recruitment achieved ISO 9001:2015 in 2009, and since then, our recruitment team has been committed to demonstrating quality values such as personal professionalism, operational integrity, expert knowledge, and being ethical and respectful of others.

We assist our doctors with completing all the essential paperwork before they start their new role, so there is less hassle for them down the track. Being on top of all paperwork requirements, from immunisation checks to indemnity insurance, ensures our doctors and clients are prepared for any unexpected events.

Embracing these values day-to-day obviously has a positive impact on the way our team interacts with our doctors. We go above and beyond in everything we do to make sure we fulfill our service promise. The ISO process brings trust and confidence to our teams, doctors and clients who share our values and compliance principles.

Support, genuine care and service

The best agencies and recruiters will go above and beyond to meet the unique needs of doctors. At Ochre we assist with all the paperwork and credentialing which can be time-consuming if you go it alone. We won't rest until you're happy with your travel and accommodation arrangements. If you do have to travel to remote regions, and the travel factor is hindering your ability to arrive on time, we have access to a private plane and pilot that will get you to where you need to go.

Our business was 'born in the bush' so we know the challenges rural-based doctors can face, such as distance from family, access to support networks, and cultural differences. We are dedicated to providing extra levels of care and support so rural doctors can focus on providing quality healthcare services without worrying about any associated issues.

Relationship building and listening is the key to our success and one of the reasons 98% of our doctors are delighted to refer their friends and colleagues to us. 

We understand how important it is for doctors to feel supported and valued when they enter a new role. Our loyalty program is very different from other agencies and celebrates remarkable achievements with generosity and kindness. Our first-day welcome pack, quarterly surprise and delight hampers, and golden gratitude awards promote a circle of generosity, reward our dedicated doctors, and allow us to make a difference where we can.

"I just received the hamper, I can’t believe you did that! I’m so touched, it’s such a lovely thought. I really meant what I said about working with you all, you’ve been so efficient and I would recommend you to anyone." Dr Holmes

"Thank you for this big surprise. I don’t know if I deserve this great honour. I will humbly accept the golden stethoscope. Thank you." Dr Viki

Word of mouth

Ask your work friends and colleagues about their experiences with locum agencies and recruitment consultants. It's always helpful to hear positive and negative feedback and can often push you in the right direction. Our number one source for new doctors is from referrals which lets us know that we are providing an excellent service throughout the entire process from start to finish.

"I am a very positive ambassador for your services whenever I am ‘out and about’ in rural and regional Australia. Keep up the great work. I am privileged to be associated with your brand." Dr Bills

What's the point of difference?

With a growing selection of medical recruitment agencies to choose from it's worth identifying the point of difference between the ones you have shortlisted. Ask yourself, does that difference benefit my needs? At Ochre we are proud to say that we are one of a kind. As a healthcare provider and locum agency we also have a workforce solutions division, which means you can be part of innovative service models based on the key factors of safety, effectiveness and sustainability. 

Having been 'born in the bush' back in 2002 by Dr Hamish Meldrum and Dr Ross Lamplugh, we are, still today owned and run by these two influential and inspiring doctors who champion our purpose. Our purpose has always been to support doctors and clients to improve the health of communities in both Australia and New Zealand. 

Stick to the one locum agency and recruitment consultant

When you have found a consultant that understands your career aspirations and career goals, avoid spreading yourself around to other agencies. Loyalty, if your requirements are being met, generally means you'll get first dibs at new locum opportunities at the best rates around your preferred dates.

With over 20 years of supporting Doctors, Ochre provides you with an unmatched selection of opportunities to further your medical career. We offer locum jobs and permanent jobs in the widest range of locations across Australia and New Zealand. We focus on your professional needs, working with you to find the roles most relevant and beneficial to your chosen pathway. 

Contact us today to start your journey.

Email [email protected]


Register to find out more




Subscribe to get
the latest updates


a call