In 2007 I posted "Avoid physician recruiters", a blog post where I summarized my bad experiences with recruiters.
Now, 5 years later, someone came across that blog post and sent in the following comment. I am posting it here, because it is a great example of how recruiters think. And it is worth going into the flaws of that attitude:
"Anonymous" comments are in " "- and my comments follow without quotation marks....
"Your points are only valid dealing with recruiters who are very unprofessional and have no idea what they are doing."
Which makes up the vast majority of the about 150 or so recruiters I have personally dealt with. It is quite a convenient way of escaping criticism to simply say - the others are bad, but this does not apply to me, I am one of the good ones! A variant of this is "of course there are bad apples among the recruiters, as in any other field", usually followed by "but not too many".....
Very strangely, those "good recruiters" only seemed to surface after I posted my bad experiences. Before posting my complaints, the good recruiters were remarkably absent. You know, had I found the job I wanted without all the misleading ads and all that BS that got me so upset, I actually would have been happy and I would have never posted any bad experiences on my blog. Doesn't that make sense? Where were all the "good recruiters" when I was trying to find a job?
"If done correctly we recruiters find jobs that are off the radar - nobody else has these jobs."
This is hilarious!
Recruiters finding jobs that are off the radar....It is hard to believe that recruiters have so little inside in the job finding process that they actually dare to say this. Dear Anonymous, I challenge you to tell me HOW you find jobs that are "off the radar". I would be most interested in your definition of "off the radar" and in your way of finding them.
And here is the executive summary about job finding - for my physician colleagues:
1. The best jobs are passed on among people who know each other personally or have a close working relationship to each other. I hear from a friend over a beer at night that at a hospital nearby, closer to town and near the water a colleague is relocating to another state. Next day I call the chairman and get the job. Another way this may work is that the chairman announces a future vacancy and calls around or announces the position to the graduating residents and / or fellows. The really good jobs are actively pursued by physicians and passed on by word of mouth.
Think Harvard system jobs, close to downtown jobs, jobs in generally very desirable areas.
2. The OK jobs are not snapped up immediately by active physicians that monitor certain hospitals or employers, but require either a longer time in "spreading the word" or even ads in throw away magazines such as "OBGmanagement" or similar. For the employer, this is still an inexpensive option, these ads cost thousand to a few thousand and are usually effective in reaching enough candidates to fill the position. These jobs often are located at the edge or beyond the suburbs of larger cities or have some other drawback, such as lower pay, higher call etc. Recruiters that monitor the throwaway journals find them and often try to present their candidates to these employers. Obvioulsy these jobs are anything but "off the radar".
3. Hard to sell jobs. The community hospital in Desert Gulch, despite being in several "Top Hundred" hospital lists (aren't they all....) consistently has difficulties luring young physicians into their remote location. They are the classic client for recruiters. I have multiple posts on my blog that poke fun at the euphemisms that recruiters routinely use to fudge over undesirable locations, oh the ways they try.....family oriented, easy access to, plenty of outdoor recreation, affordable real estate, low crime rate and many more...
Maybe these are the job that "Anonymous" refers to. Yes, these jobs are most certainly "off the radar" for most physicians...and yes, they always are offered through recruiters.
The Munford law applies: The more desirable a job is, the less likely it will be presented by a recruiter. And of course, the inverse is true as well. The less desirable a job is, the more likely it will be presented by a recruiter!
And, yet again, for the n-th time, my definition of what physician recruiters do:
"Physician recruiters specialize in selling the undesirable, left-over jobs that are too hard to fill for the employers - to unsuspecting physicians"
But, back to the comments of "Anonymous"
"We suggest NOT posting any CV online in order to avoid unwanted harrassment and the perception of desperation."
Huh? Who suggests posting CVs online? Most certainly not me. Try to find that recommendation in my blog. Maybe Anonymos did not read much of my blog?
"I only involve myself as much as my candidate wants me to involve myself."
That I do understand, more than that would be pushy and would not get you anywhere....duh.
"My wife is a physician and so are all my friends at Harvard."
Ahaaa! Anonymous has credentials! Many "friends at Harvard". Good going! From now on, we should believe and trust this Anonymous, right? He has friends in high places!
Did I mention that I trained at a Harvard hospital myself? As a physician...?
"I NEVER suggest only using me.. I always help them to apply to groups that won't use recruiters and explain how to get their CV to the decision maker."
Oh, one of the few recruiters that I unfortunately never met. No recruiter has ever offered me such a great deal. No recruiter ever introduced me to groups that do not work with recruiters. Again - all these statements about helping physicians in unconventional ways only surfaced AFTER I started blogging about it. Strange, very strange indeed....
"You really should not make suggestions about ALL recruiters as if they are the same. I feel bad for you because your experience with recruiting is obviously not favorable."
We commented on that before...
"Most likely you are not a physician because if you were you would be entirely too busy, as most GOOD physicians are, to do your own busy work to find great opportunities."
Well, well, well....after preparing the field by slipping in the "all my friends at Harvard", here comes the kill shot - I am most likely NOT a physician!
That caught me by surprise, because last time I checked, and that was yesterday, my MD ID was still in my wallett, my board certification was uptodate, my graduation certificate from a Harvard hospital was still on the office wall...and, ah, what is the title of this blog? Care to notice? It reads "A Physician on...."
But, Anonymous backs it up, he has a very good reason for suspecting that I am not an MD! Wait, wait, wait, he is not done....
Anonymous thinks that "GOOD physicians" (sic!) are "entirely too busy" "to do their own busy work to find great opportunities" (notice the busy..busy in the same sentence?)
Now the cat is out of the bag - I am not a GOOD physician! Damn, that 5 star rating on the web must be an error...And the fact that I have not been sued must be an error as well...
Nice try though...
A basic truth in lfe is that efficient and successful individuals actually do have a lot of time. The inefficient ones don't. Another issue is where you place your priorities, and finding the right place to work was certainly a high priority for me.
What else might "GOOD physicians" not have time for? I can only guess...
But I will certainly remind our president that "GOOD lawyers" should not have time to get involved in politics! There you go!
I love this argument, this link between being GOOD and not having time for a lot of things....
This particular comment was my main reason for posting this. It is a classic recruiter myth that you just need a recruiter to find a job, yes, you need it, because you are such a busy physician. Recruiters hand physicians this compliment and at the same time very smartly push themselves on you. Compliments always, always work, no matter how untrue they are (scientifically proven BTW). Everybody loves compliments. This is actually a very clever marketing and sales trick. Who would not fall for the hidden compliment in that comment "You - as a good physician - are sooo busy" and say "yes" to it. And once the physician started agreeing with the recruiter, once the physicin started saying "yes", it is a much smaller step for the physician to say "yes" again to the recruiter's next statement, which invariably will involve "you need a recruiter". Basic and very effective sales technique. Has been used by used-car-salesmen for decades! Read more about sales techniques in "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" by Robert Cialdini. Of course, no GOOD physician would have time to read such a book.
"Hence the three... now four comments."
At this point Anonymous feels he is finishing me off by stating "nobody reads your blog anyway".
Who cares? Those who read it benefit from it - if they are physicians - or get a rare opportunity to explore the dark side of their business practices - if they are recruiters.
My point is: Dear collegue, your job search is by far too important to involve a recruiter!