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Physician recruiting firms worth a look?

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  • Physician recruiting firms worth a look?

    I just started my fellowship and will probably begin looking for "real" jobs in the next few months. I keep getting calls and e-mails from various firms about job opportunities - none of which I am very interested in so far. I'm not even sure where they got my contact information, but I'm just wondering how many of you have used these firms to find job opportunities in the past? And what were your experiences?

  • #2
    My experience doesn't come from physician job recruiting, but it may still be useful.

     

    The fact remains that using a physician recruiter is a service and it will cost you money - though you may not realize it. They might not charge you directly, but money a hospital pays to a recruiter as a commission for finding you is money you could have had in your pocket if you cut out the middle man and did some negotiating.  Like any service, you'll have to decide whether it's worth the cost.  For many people, they have an idea of where they want to work and making cold call inquiries to the department you're looking for a job will likely nab you a bite, unless you just have to live in a market that is very saturated in your field.

    Now, if you're less attached to a particular location and you're willing to expand your search in pursuit of the almighty dollar, then a recruiting firm might spare you a lot of time but again, this comes at the expense of money.  Only you can decide what your time is worth.  Somebody else will have to chime in on their personal experiences with these firms.

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    • #3




       

      The fact remains that using a physician recruiter is a service and it will cost you money – though you may not realize it. They might not charge you directly, but money a hospital pays to a recruiter as a commission for finding you is money you could have had in your pocket if you cut out the middle man and did some negotiating.  Like any service, you’ll have to decide whether it’s worth the cost.
      Click to expand...


      I've heard this thought process on this board and I never quite get it and disagree wholeheartedly. I don't think that this is a proper understanding of the economics of the situation.

      Hiring is a MASSIVE expense no matter the industry - it takes a lot of money to go out and find the proper person for a role (especially in a highly specialized position). That's what the hospital is paying the recruiter to do - they are outsourcing the process because it's cheaper than doing it internally.  I am NOT talking about a locums type situation (and it doesn't sound like that's what the OP is talking about either), but a full time position. It's a 'cost' to the person hired as much as an HR department is a 'cost' to all the employees in a firm/hospital.

      I am curious if anyone in a hiring position in a hospital/practice can chime in and say "yes, we decided to pay this person less because we hired them through a recruiter".

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      • #4
        I think they are fine - but always look for job postings in your specialty on journals or your specialty organization. Word of mouth works too. More difficult if you don't know the area - but usually someone knows someone that can put you in touch etc.

         

        In terms of doing your research to find out more about a particular practice, try to speak with former and current docs in the practice. Also pharma reps know a lot of the inside info. They are usually more than happy to discuss this with you. Be wary of practices that have "partnered" up with an equity firm.

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        • #5







           

          The fact remains that using a physician recruiter is a service and it will cost you money – though you may not realize it. They might not charge you directly, but money a hospital pays to a recruiter as a commission for finding you is money you could have had in your pocket if you cut out the middle man and did some negotiating.  Like any service, you’ll have to decide whether it’s worth the cost.
          Click to expand…


          I’ve heard this thought process on this board and I never quite get it and disagree wholeheartedly. I don’t think that this is a proper understanding of the economics of the situation.

          Hiring is a MASSIVE expense no matter the industry – it takes a lot of money to go out and find the proper person for a role (especially in a highly specialized position). That’s what the hospital is paying the recruiter to do – they are outsourcing the process because it’s cheaper than doing it internally.  I am NOT talking about a locums type situation (and it doesn’t sound like that’s what the OP is talking about either), but a full time position. It’s a ‘cost’ to the person hired as much as an HR department is a ‘cost’ to all the employees in a firm/hospital.

          I am curious if anyone in a hiring position in a hospital/practice can chime in and say “yes, we decided to pay this person less because we hired them through a recruiter”.


          I think it's precisely because hiring can be such a massive expense that an employer can reward the employee who spares them the expense.

          At my most recent interview I was told (before I suggested/initiated/negotiated anything along these lines), "And we can add $X0,000 to the standard signing bonus since you didn't come to us through a recruiter."  Either the employer, the employee, or both will win financially when a recruiter is not involved.  It just falls to the potential employee to make sure during the negotiation process that they partake in the realized savings.

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          • #6
            In my field, the best jobs are obtained with word of mouth and networking, and they net the best candidates. These positions never even make a job posting or journal ad. The worst jobs require recruiters, and they also tend to deliver the worst candidates. Just my experience in the area.

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            • #7
              Agree with the above comments.  I do believe potential employers would award a more generous signing bonus if hired without a recruiter.

              Once a geographic area is identified, reach out to the hospitals yourself!

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              • #8
                I was told at the time of hire that they were able to give me a good signing bonus because I found the job on my own without a recruiter. My boss also told me (in a somewhat joking way) that I was favored over some equally good candidates because "I was free" (not very flattering to my ego but it's business so I didn't take it personally.) With the Internet and Google it's pretty easy to do your own job hunt and find good jobs without recruiters. I also agree with conniebird and Vagabond MD that word of mouth and networking works well if you're looking in an area where you already have some connections.

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                • #9







                   

                  The fact remains that using a physician recruiter is a service and it will cost you money – though you may not realize it. They might not charge you directly, but money a hospital pays to a recruiter as a commission for finding you is money you could have had in your pocket if you cut out the middle man and did some negotiating.  Like any service, you’ll have to decide whether it’s worth the cost.
                  Click to expand…


                  I’ve heard this thought process on this board and I never quite get it and disagree wholeheartedly. I don’t think that this is a proper understanding of the economics of the situation.

                  Hiring is a MASSIVE expense no matter the industry – it takes a lot of money to go out and find the proper person for a role (especially in a highly specialized position). That’s what the hospital is paying the recruiter to do – they are outsourcing the process because it’s cheaper than doing it internally.  I am NOT talking about a locums type situation (and it doesn’t sound like that’s what the OP is talking about either), but a full time position. It’s a ‘cost’ to the person hired as much as an HR department is a ‘cost’ to all the employees in a firm/hospital.

                  I am curious if anyone in a hiring position in a hospital/practice can chime in and say “yes, we decided to pay this person less because we hired them through a recruiter”.
                  Click to expand...


                  Disagree or not, when we are looking at two similar candidates, one of whom will cost us an extra $25K (because they came to us via a recruiter) the first year of employment when they are marginally profitable anyway, we go with the other one, everything else being equal.  If we really liked the doc who came via the recruiter, we would hire them, no doubt.  But if the same candidate we really liked had come without the recruiter, they would have a easy time getting a signing bonus of probably half the recruiter cost.

                  In "popular" areas, recruiters are only needed for lousy jobs, or if the practice is recruiting confidentially. In under served areas, recruiters can be helpful in "selling" the practice to a candidate who might not apply there on their own.

                  I would suggest candidates consider a two step approach: Apply widely to your target area, based on professional society job listings or word of mouth or even cold calling/CV sending depending on the area.  Then allow a recruiter to shop your CV to any contacts that they have.  If you have already sent your CV to the practice, they tell the recruiter that you already applied, and no fee is due if you are hired.  If the recruiter brings you together with a job you hadn't found, they are actually adding value to the process and deserve their money.

                   

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                  • #10
                    I have been involved in searches where we used a recruiter.  I work for a big hospital and the hospital, not our practice, was the one that paid for the recruiter (both upfront fees and contingency if they found someone) as this was for a hard to fill position.  Since our department wasn't paying for the recruiter we didn't offer any different compensation for the person we eventually found by word of mouth.

                    Obviously this is just 1 anecdote

                     

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