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What to Look for in a Physician Recruiter

April 26, 2015 13:50 PM (GMT-04:00)
Healthcare News

As a practitioner in the medical industry, you may ask yourself – why would I need a physician recruiter to help me find a job? After all, the issues of job security and abundance of job prospects are hardly top concerns for physicians. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physicians and surgeons is expected to grow by 24 percent from 2010 to 2020 at a rate faster than the average for all occupations.

However, there are unquestionable benefits to working with a physician recruiter at all levels of a physicians’ career, not the least of which includes the ability to act as your personal career agent to help uncover and identify the best fit environment for your work style, expectations, and aspirations. Physician recruiters also help you find a job faster than you may be able to on your own, and can dedicate more time to the process than your schedule may allow.

Before you can reap the benefits of working with a physician recruiter, you need to know what to look for when choosing the right partner and how to maximize the relationship:

  • Familiarize yourself with the various physician recruiting firms. A physician recruiter is the individual person you will work with on your job search through a physician placement company. A recruiter may contact you about a potential job, or you may proactively send a resume to a physician recruiter for an open position. It’s important to know the difference between each type of agency before you commit:
    • Employment agency: this is a company that helps match physicians with jobs, some charging the job seeker a fee so be sure to do your research.
    • Contingency agency: This type of firm typically works with lower- to mid-level job seekers, and only gets paid when the candidate gets hired.
    • Retained search firm: This company has an exclusive relationship with employers, and is usually engaged in filling higher-level or executive positions.
  • Look for an experienced recruiter, in the medical profession and/or in your specialty. Don’t be afraid to ask the recruiter about their experience placing physicians in your specialty, how long they’ve been a recruiter, and their familiarity with the medical profession.
  • It’s important to work with a recruiter who is looking out for your best interests. Your physician recruiter should be your personal career agent, and as such ought to be genuinely interested in your professional and personal goals. If he or she just wants your resume without asking probing questions, or doesn’t gain your feedback after interviews to ensure he/she is putting the right kind of opportunities in front of you, it’s time to find a new recruiter.
  • Leverage your recruiter’s market knowledge. An experienced physician recruiter will work with well over 50 health care organizations in the span of their career in multiple locations and a variety of practice setups. If you are a new physician, leverage the expertise of your recruiter to learn hiring trends in your specialty or in your location. This can include information such as, overall compensation trends, what to expect from contract negotiations, or typical sign-on bonuses.
  • Use your recruiter to help negotiate. If negotiation isn’t your strong suit, there is good news. Recruiters have an incentive to make sure a physician is happy with their offer and with their position. That means, they will often serve as a negotiator for physicians to get the offer they deserve, and that will satisfy their expectations, including having lawyers review employment contracts with you.

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