Working from home is the new reality for many industries. While some professions have long been accustomed to several days of remote work per week, other jobs have traditionally been done from a corporate office setting.

When you’re hiring, finding and hiring the right fit for a position can often be challenging — and even more challenging when done from a home office. Some people, however, have been meeting this hire-from-home challenge for a long time.

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In our Hard Shoes to Fill documentary series, Ashley Hazen, a senior recruiting specialist at Travel Nurse Across America, talks about how she fills roles for nurses who are deployed at short notice around the country.

In this post, she shares her advice on identifying talent without ever meeting candidates in person and managing daily life as a remote travel nurse recruiter (and mom of two).

Making a match requires thinking outside the box

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When matching a travel nurse to a hospital, Hazen says she has to think broadly.

“I’m almost like a travel agent/recruiter/therapist,” she says. “And I think any good recruiter is going to have all of those aspects.”

Travel nursing helps fill gaps in staffing needs for hospitals, a speciality developed in response to a nationwide shortage in the nursing field. In her role as a travel nurse recruiter, Hazen is responsible for finding nurses who can leave their home at any minute to travel across the country. These nurses fill positions in hospitals that are short-staffed, and the average travel nurse travels for two years.

Hazen evaluates each nurse’s job experience, so no one is placed in a position that is above — or below — their skill level. She relies on the internet to search hospital reviews and virtually investigate surrounding areas, ultimately filling open positions based on where each nurse will personally thrive.

“[It’s] seeing their everyday for them, and making sure that I understand where they’re at physically, mentally and emotionally,” Hazen says.

Remote recruiting means being your own motivation

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Recruiting is often an around-the-clock profession. Without any officemates, Hazen relies entirely on herself to remain motivated and productive while working from home.

“I don’t sit next to anybody,” she says. “I don’t have anybody to feed off of and hear how somebody else is talking and saying things and putting out fires.”

Hazen often receives messages as late as 11 p.m.  — and sometimes as early as  2 a.m. — but that does not deter her from responding. Since Haven is remote full-time, she describes herself as having her head in the game 24/7. This flexibility, Hazen feels, allows her to better serve travel nurses who need her help, no matter what the hour.

“Sometimes you want to sleep in, but you have to get up because these nurses need you,” Hazen says. “You really are your own entity, your own boss, your own motivation.”

Sometimes there might not be a “daily routine”

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As many of us have learned this year, the work-from-home lifestyle does not always run smoothly. As a mom of two young children, Hazen knows not every workday can go according to plan.

“You learn to realize that there might not be a daily routine,” she says. “The biggest thing is just getting [the kids] up and dressed.”

Even with the day-to-day challenges of balancing work and home life, Hazen feels more productive away from office distractions. She describes her home setup as her “little area,” a space she can immediately return to without interruption.

“It used to take me a full day to get done — I’m getting done in four hours at home because I don’t have the distractions of that corporate office setting,” Hazen says.

On the other hand, working remotely can often mean forgetting to take time away from the desk. Stepping away and recharging in the middle of the day can be helpful in maintaining a healthy mindset. Unplugging from the remote office and doing something for leisure is important and, when Hazen needs to clear her head during the workday, she relies on social media as an outlet.

“I run an Instagram account, so I hop on and that will be my five minutes of my release,” she says.


No matter what industry or profession, working remotely certainly has its pros and cons. And, as remote work becomes more widespread, more of us will have to learn how to manage its complexities. 

Whether or not you’re a recruiter, pairing the flexibility to set your own schedule with the right creative outlets and a clear headspace can help balance each workday — and, ultimately, keep you motivated from a home office.