Friday, March 23, 2007

Should physician recruiters tell you about their limitations?

If one of my patients has a problem that I cannot solve myself, I acknowledge the problem my patient has, and I tell her who can solve it. Then I give her the name, address and telephone number of colleague who can solve it. Anything else would be unacceptable and unethical.

Should not recruiters inform us that they are not able to find jobs in attractive cities or about anywhere where there are more applicants than jobs? They do not. Recruiters are fully aware that jobs are first advertised by word of mouth, then in print media and on the Internet as direct-by-employer ad, and if all this is not successful, months later, a recruiter is called.

Do recruiters refer you to someone else you can find you a job in the area you want, such as in Los Angeles, New York, San Franciscio, Miami or Seattle? NO!

Why do we not apply the same kind of standards to physician recruiters that we apply to ourselves?

For several years, every recruiter who has contacted me has heard my request "I want a job in Attractive City only, nowhere else. And only one, just one single veteran recruiter ever said, "Listen, a recruiter cannot help you there, we do not get those jobs, you have to do it yourself. Just call all the offices".

Rather than helping you achieve your careeer goal, out of a sense of responsibility, recruiters tend tell you that the good jobs are "not available".

One example from the Cejkasearch website: "If you have your heart set on Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, or Seattle, join the club. That's the problem: Such highly desirable locations in terms of lifestyle may be highly undesirable from a professional standpoint. Large metropolitan areas are either already swamped with managed care or about to be. And because competition for jobs is intense, practice opportunities are fewer, compensation may be less, and your financial future may be shakier than in less populous locales."

Or, in plain English: "City not good, country side good! Where you want to be, not good, where we have jobs, good!"

On recruiter blogs you will read musings about "what do you the doctor really need to be happy, do you really have to be in the big city, could you do with less, could you not live in the countryside?".

This lack of responsibility for a client is what really turned me against recruiters. I find it discouraging that recruiters do not intend to help you, they do not intend to give you advice, they do not feel any responsibility towards you or your career. No matter what their emails, brochures and websites say.

After years of dealing with recruiters I am convinced that they are just interested in the "quick buck". Here is an enlightening posting on a blog by a former recruiter:

Before I started my coaching business, I learned the traditional selling process while working in recruiting and sales for a national consulting firm. To say that I am familiar with prospecting would be an understatement. While working there, I burned up the phone lines each day, constantly dialing the phone in search of potential clients. The headset became a permanent fixture on my head as I "smiled and dialed" for dollars and for fresh prospects.

On an average day, I made around 100 phone calls and spent at least 3 hours actually on the phone (time spent dialing the phone or taking a break in between calls didn't count towards my daily activity goal). As part of that routine, I left multitudes of messages, dialed hundreds of wrong numbers and heard the phone slammed down in my ear - all in search of the next prospect, that potential candidate who was ready to hear my shtick about new "practice opportunities."

......Aside from reaching a certain activity goal each day, the purpose of my incessant dialing of the phone was clear. I was on the hunt for a certain number of prospects that could possibly fill the practice opportunities (jobs) our team represented. For any given job, I hoped to find at least 4-5 prospects in hopes that one of them would work out and actually take the job. If not, then I was back to the drawing board, since my compensation was directly tied to the number of interviews and number of placements (jobs filled) that I could help make happen.

Many days, I often wondered how our firm could do things differently - to better reach the prospects and potential clients in our target market. I knew there had to be a better, more effective (and efficient) way to build relationships with our potential clients. To establish trust and credibility, so that they contacted us when they were ready for our services, instead of us hounding them until they either cried "uncle" or changed their phone number.

Many of us on the team had ideas on how we could improve our sales cycle and produce even better results. No such luck. These suggestions fell on deaf ears, as "management" was not interested in changing the process. Based on their responses, it seemed that the executive team had no interest in actually developing relationships with our candidates and clients. They were focused on the short term - finding as many deals to increase profits today, regardless of the negative backlash it created both within the company and among potential candidates. But that's another story for another time...

This is an excerpt from a posting on the blog of Michael Port "Book yourself solid". I do not have to anything to add. It could not be clearer.

Fortunately for job seekers, Direct Mail and companies like "" make it easy for you to get a job just where you want it.

Your Matthias Muenzer, MD

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