Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The drawbacks of physician recruiters and the best way to find a physician job

EvilHRlady was kind enough to insert a quote of my post in her blog! It is important to tell the other side of the story of recruitment, the story of the disappointed and mislead candidate, the story of recruiters acting like mere salespeople, mostly interested in placement - nothing else. It is necessary to publish the the drawbacks, the downside of physician recruiters. Everybody should be aware of the criticism that is out there. Graduating residents and physicians in general looking for a job have to know how to best find a job, what techniques are available, how to network. They also should know what physicians recruiters can do and what they cannot do.

Nobody has published on the drawbacks of physician recruiters in an organized or systematic fashion. Some kind of balancing information has to show up if you google "physician job" and "physician job search". Information that comes from physicians, not from third parties. The view and the experiences of the job seeker has to be published. We need peer to peer information that cuts through the sales fluff on the Internet.

All you get if you Google your area of work and "find job" is hundreds and thousand of recruiter websites touting the same "advantages" of "fabulous" recruiters. If you look behind the curtain, you find that the "wizards of recruitment" are not quite what they claim.

They mostly turn out to be volume oriented sales people that add much less value to a job search than you expect.

Occasionally you read idealistic publications on what recruiters should be: the experts that know or sense or figure out just who is the right fit for a given job - and who know just how to find that particular person.

While that sounds very nice and reasonable - how can it be accomplished? How can a recruiter know the atmosphere, the intricacies, the issues of a particular job, practice or hospital? Even physicians that start working in a new job take 6 months to fully understand who has the power, who is nice and helpful, and who stabs you in the back. It takes months to find out what the personality of a practice or a hospital truly is.

Recruiters cannot, short of a miracle of clairvoyancy, find these things out with their usual tools. And their usual tools are: the 10-15 minute phone interview, a 10-15 point checklist and some common sense. As you well know, there is no defined professional training for recruiters, no exam, no degree. All you need is the ability to sell and the willingness to spend hours and hours on the phone.
Hey, that, and a $200-2000 off-the-shelf software package and you are ready to go. Blackdog software even comes with prepackaged canned answers to most arguments that "hiring authorities" and "candidates" might have.

That is all you need to become a recruiter. Should you go for the long-term success, for building relationships, for adding value etc, your business will grow slow. Should you go for the "quick placement", your business will grow faster. Quick placement means: a maximum number of phone calls a day, since this process follows statistics, the more phone calls you make, the more viable cadidates you get, the more placements you make, the more you earn. You also should immediately drop candidates that may not be marketeable, since they are a waste of time. I have experienced this when mentioning that I wanted a job in "Boston inside the I 95 ring" - you are usually not called back, you just get on the general email recipient list, and from this point on you receive job offers from all over the US.

And, on top of all this, medicine turns out to be an area where recruiters might be unnecessary. Why? Because it is not hard to find doctors. It is much easier to find a doctor than to find a certain manager in the hierarchy of a large corporation. Doctors advertise, their names are published in many lists that can be purchased with a few clicks on the Net (InfoUSA.com). Doctors do not hide, they are easy to find, they want to be found. You do not need any special knowledge or tools or help to find them

All a physician looking for a job has to do is get a list of doctors in their chosen area and send all of them a letter. Click here for a detailed description. Done. Response will be 1-2%. Send out 500 letters, you will get 5-10 phonecalls - very good ones usually. And with this method you uncover all the never advertised jobs, you tap the "hidden job market". You will find more positions than you thought possible.

Direct mail works extremely well! Why else would the NAPR, the National Association of Physician Recruiters, regularly do massive direct mail campaigns?

I highly recommend direct mail in addition to personal networking as a winning job search strategy for physicians. Direct mail and networking is all you will ever need!
Direct mail and networking is all a physician needs to find the best jobs!

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