Recruiters Behaving Badly: 5 Signs You Need a New Physician Recruiter

Posted on Fri, Aug 15, 2014

megan-fields-headshot.jpgBy Megan Fields

After spending six years as a physician recruiter, I’ve seen it all—the good, the bad and the ugly behavior physician recruiters engage in to fill positions. Here’s my list of five ways to spot a bad physician recruiter and what to do if you happen to get stuck with one.

  1. You don’t feel like they’re listening. The recruiter physician Doesn-t-Listen-(1).jpgrelationship is just that, a relationship. And in any relationship, listening is key. A bad recruiter doesn’t view recruiting as a relationship business; they view it as a numbers game, so they may not take the time to listen to you and understand what you want. A good recruiter knows that every clinician is unique and takes time to listen to what makes each clinician’s situation special, so that they can wow you with positions that are tailored to you.
  2. They just don’t get you... or what you do. In some industries, it’s easy to hide a lack of understanding, but in healthcare, and particularly in healthcare recruiting, when a recruiter doesn’t understand the unique concerns of an emergency physician or a hospitalist, it becomes apparent very quickly. How can you trust a recruiter to place you in the proper environment if they haven’t educated themselves on your industry? A good recruiter knows that part of their job is developing a deep understanding of your specific field because it will help save them, and you, time when it comes to finding your ideal facility.
  3. You caught them in a lie. What do bad physician recruiters have in Dishonest.jpgcommon with Run-DMC? They’re both known for being “Tricky.” A bad recruiter may use deception or embellish when describing facilities and other details about a position. If you suspect the recruiter is being dishonest, visit the site in question, or do some research online by checking out the facility’s website, the local CVB site and by reaching out to current docs who practice there through LinkedIn and Twitter.
  4. They’re hard to find. Your recruiter should not be the proverbial needle in the haystack. Physicians don’t work 9-5 M-F and neither do recruiters. A good recruiter knows that there are always issues that may arise that require attention – you may need to change your availability or you may need to change facilities—and they’re available to work with you as the need arises, not just during their office hours.
  5. They’re too pushy. A bad recruiter doesn’t take “no” for an answer when you express reservations about a position. A physician recruiter’s goal should be to ensure you are 100% satisfied and have no doubts or surprises when it comes to signing on for a new position.

The One Tip You Need to Fix a Bad Physician Recruiter Relationship

To ensure the recruiter gives you the best possible guidance when it comes to finding a new facility, create a list with the following columns prior to communicating with them to explain exactly what items are non-negotiable for you:

1. Must-have

2. Nice to have

3. Deal breaker

It’s important that this list is in writing so that there’s no room for miscommunication.

Remember: A physician recruiter’s job does not solely consist of filling positions. Signing on with a new facility is a big commitment with many variables including location, compensation, talented team, and other items that are simply important to each individual clinician and a recruiter’s priority is to ensure that each clinician’s unique needs are met. If all else fails, and you and your current physician recruiter just can’t get on the same page, contact a recruiting manager; their information can usually be found on the company’s website.

Tell us:  What do you look for in a good physician recruiter?

megan-fields-headshot-(1).jpg Megan Fields in a recruiter for EmCare’s West Division. Follow her on Twitter at

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