Whenever you look through recruiter websites, you find notes on the "advantages" of talking to recruiters as well as appeals to "answer that call".
I have put together a few ways of answering recruiter calls. Pick your favorite and practice it:
1. "Thank you for calling! I am actually looking for a job, but really only and exclusively in Manhattan, Downtown LA, downtown Atlanta, downtown Boston, etc etc - (insert your favorite city here) because I have family there and I need to be close to them."
Then hear them squirm and listen to the excuses why their company - that has "the best jobs" and "thousands of opportunities nationwide" - just happen to be out of jobs in that particular location. An instructional approach, teaches you how the recruiter handles a request he or she can never fulfill.
2. "Hey, I heard you get 20K for placing me. What about a deal? You get 60%, I get 40%, after all, without me, there is no placement" This answer qualifies you as a future leading administrative physician executive.
3. "Hey, I have heard you get 20K just for placing me. I propose a deal. You get 20%, I get 80%. Whaddaya say?" This answer shows that you are a future HMO executive.
4. "You say somebody would pay 20K just to have me work for them? I don't believe that, nobody pays that much for me". Too depressive, not recommended. But it is true, people are willing to pay that much to have you work for them. And then they get the 20K back from your collections and then they make much, much more off of your blood sweat and tears.
5. "No, I am not Dr. Watson. But I know Dr. Watson very well, he is the doctor that leads my therapy group here on the psych floor, he is a really nice guy. But you can talk to me, I'll relay him the message...."
6. "A recruiter, you say? You fxxxxxx bxxxxx, the last so called opportunity from your kind turned out to be xxxxxx xxxxxx and xxxxxx xxxx! You are a xxxxxxx xxxxxxxx!" and hang up.
While this is a passionate response and while it is most certainly understandable, this is just not appropriate. Not professional, not recommended.
7. "Take my name off of your list and put me on your companies do-not-call list". Very matter of fact. Fully appropriate. Treat telemarketers as telemarketers. Saves a lot of time, which you then can use to search for a job the right way.
8. "Sorry, I am on the other line answering invitations to several interviews in the area that you said was "oversaturated". Good bye". Excellent answer. Will give the recruiter something to think about.
9. "I am no longer looking, since I already found a job. I mailed my CV directly to a number of physicians and got a job right where I wanted. Maybe you guys should use direct mail too". Also an excellent answer. Will give the recruiter food for thought.
10. "You are asking which of my colleagues is looking for a job? Sure, I can tell you. But first I will send you a contract and each name of a colleague I tell you will cost you 10K". Excellent answer, you are a savvy businessperson. Give them some of their own medicine.
11. "Can you call me when you work pro-bono? I can't stand the thought that those poor hospitals will have to pay 20,000 just to have me work there." You are clearly the son / daughter of a community service lawyer. You are compassionate and feel for the underprivileged. You deserve a job in the big city. Call thedoctorjob.com and you will find it. Don't bother with recruiters, they have only the less desirable jobs.
Your Matthias Muenzer, MD