Jim Stone, a blogging recruiter, wrote two days ago in his "dochunterdiary" about what he knows he "does well".
Number 3 on his list was:
"Persuasively dealing with physicians to help them differentiate their WANTS from their NEEDS"
And here we go with the recruiter dilemma: "We have those positions to fill - out there in the country. They are a little remote, and we know that they are not the greatest jobs, but we get paid only if we fill them."
Unfortunately most of those pesky spoiled physicians prefer to live in the big city, but we just can't get those jobs. They practically fill by themselves. What do we do now?
Well, let's just try to convince the doctors that "WHAT THEY WANT" is different from "WHAT THEY NEED". Physicians need to be educated about "What they need"!
Can you wrap your mind around this kind of arrogance? A recruiter knows what I need, a recruiter "helps me differentiate between what I want and need"? After 12 years of training and extremely hard work someone is trying to tell me what I really need? What qualifies a recruiter to make a statement about what I need? His common sense, his heart, his humanity? His common sense and humanity should tell a recruiter to leave personal choices of physicians alone, period!
If I want to live in a big city, that is just where I want to live. This is not rational, I know, I know, I know. This is pure fancy, pure emotion. As are most of the truly important and personal decisions in our lives. This is how I decided to marry my wife. There is absolutely nothing wrong with irrational desires. Fulfilling those irrational desires is what makes me happy!
It is very frustrating that recruiters put their desire (want or need?) to sell, sell, sell above everything else. Just because they do not have jobs in desirable locations, they try to change them minds of physicians to make them "fit to the jobs available".
Once recruiters do not have what you want, they try to tell you they you do not really need what you want! What you really need is what they have! WOW!
It's like the legend where the Inn Keeper either cuts off part of your leg if you are too tall for the bed - or puts you on a stretching device and tortures you until you are long enough for the bed. In either case, you suffer and die.
No wonder people dislike recruiters. Trying to "educate" a physician that he may "want the big city", but that he does "not need it" is utter disrespect! Of course I do not "need" the city, I just like it. Hey, all I really need is 2 meals a day, a roof over my head and some clothes!
After the amount of training, work and sacrifice I went through to become a physician, after all that - I just want what I want. And I am going to get it! And if YOU, dear recruiter, do not have what I want, then I do neither want nor need you or your services!
I am going to get that nice job my way: buying all addresses of all doctors in my preferred area with a few clicks on the Internet (Info USA, WebMD or any other list provider), and then I will mail them my polished cover letter and CV and then I will have the job. And if I do not have the time, then "thedoctorjob.com" will do it extremely well for me!
And if that really does not work, then I will open my own practice.
Here is what recruiters need:
Learn to listen.
Respect your candidates and their wishes!
Don't sell, facilitate!
If you can't get a job where the candidate wants to go, be honest and say so!
Tell people how to find the jobs where they want to live and work. Stop pretending that you do not know how to do that. Hey, maybe there could be a fee for that!
And then, in time, you will earn back the respect you have lost. And with the respect will come communication and understanding and repeat business.
Your Matthias Muenzer, MD