You can search passively or you can search actively. They are very different and yield vastly different results.
Passive search means that you look in journals and on websites and check if you come across an appealing position. Passive search will not reward you with a good job or an outstanding job. In the last post of this blog I have written about the time that passes between the moment when a practice owner perceives the need to hire someone and the time the ad finally appears in a journal. It can easily be a year. If you wait for a recruiter to offer that very same job, it may be one and a half years.
Recruiters usually are called only after word of mouth and advertising fail to fill a job. Why? Recruiters cost 20,000. It is as simple as that. If a practice owner can fill a job for free (and everybody tries to do it) he will never contact a recruiter. And if a recruiter contacts him during that time, he will hesitate to look at the recruiter's candidates, at least at first. Only when the practice owner is worn out and lost hope, then he will give in to the recruiter offers.
So, passive search shows you the jobs after they have been available for a while, late in the game!
Active search on the other hand, means you go out there and ask around, call employers and call or write hospitals in your target area. Active search means, most importantly, that you get a list of all doctors in your target area and send them your polished cover letter and CV. Either do it yourself or go to Thedoctorjob.com or Doccafe.com and let them do it for a very reasonable price.
Active search means you are in command, you do something, you do not delegate. This keeps you in control and prevent others from side-tracking you. Who could side-track you? Recruiters love to do that. You look for a job in Attractive City. Not surprising, recruiters do not have one. But they counter immediately - as the good salesmen they are- with something like: "I do not have Attractive City, but I have Podunk, which is 'near' Attractive City", and " Podunk is a great place to raise a family, has very affordable real estate and you get the good feeling that they really need you!" and "Podunk is close enough to Attractive City and they still respect doctors!" and "Podunk is a great place to practice medicine". And so on and so on. Since they do not have what you want, they try to sell you what they have. They try to sell you what you do not want. Do not let them sidetrack you!
You should know that many recruiters use "phrasebooks", a list of canned, prewritten answers to overcome any objection you might have. Click here to see one example Sometimes the "phrasebook" is part of the recruitment software itself. If you want to read more on this topic, go to Black Dog software and download the free demo of the recruitment handbook and read around. Click here. Very instructive! When a recruiter calls, you are about to leave the protective educational environment and you are about to be exposed to cold hard sales strategies and tactics. While you trained to do deliveries, they trained to convince people, to sell stuff, to win people over, to sell, sell, sell. I recommend also for that reason alone that you DO NOT ANSWER recruiter calls. What do you have to loose? Your valuable time. What do you have to gain? A less desirable job. So, don't answer that call.
I recently emailed a recruiter: "I am looking in Attractive City. On your website I did not see any jobs posted in Attractive City. Will you get any in the near future?"
And the answer of the recruiter was: "In Attractive City there are more applicants than jobs, and therefore we usually do not get jobs there" Thank you, thank you, thank you! That is a polite way of putting it. Wherever there are more applicants than jobs, recruiters do not get jobs! My words exactly since the beginning of this blog!
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR YOU?
Dear colleague on the search for a job, if you want to find a job in an area that is in demand, in an area that is beautiful, attractive, offers a great lifestyle, in a desirable area, then there will be more applicants than jobs! What else did you expect?
We know that situation where there are more applicants than slots quite well. Remember how we got into medical school? What was the ratio again, 6 applicants, 1 position? So, we are used to being where the competition is and we have a track record of getting in. We are the ones who will get a job in the desirable area, even when there is competition.
So, you will feel very comfortable with the active job search. It will put you far ahead of the competition. Let the others gaze at the journal ads and let them be bombarded by recruiter emails about less desirable jobs! We mail our cover letters and CV to all colleagues in our favorite area, we get the interviews and we get the jobs.
And when a recruiter calls you, you know that he only tries to fill the less desirable jobs. And we know that the recruiters try to gloss that over, we know that they do not advertise that fact.
But do YOU want a less desirable job?
Please tell your residency program director about direct mail and thedoctorjob.com, tell you fellow residents, tell your third years. Get the word out, there is a new, better way to get a job! Direct, on target, months ahead of the competition, where you get what you want, where you want. Please tell everybody who will listen for 10 seconds that direct mail is by far the best way to find the right job!
Your Matthias Muenzer, MD