8 Tips for Working with a Physician Recruiter

Posted on Mon, Aug 17, 2015
8 Tips for Working with a Physician Recruiter

By Jim McMillin

Finding the perfect emergency medicine job is more than just finding a position in your desired location. Yes, location is key, but the position should also match your criteria when it comes to factors like:

  • Practice setting
  • Hospital culture
  • The culture of the EM practice
  • The composition of the ED team
  • Available support services
  • Compensation
  • Scheduling process

A physician recruiter can meet with you to discuss your goals and ideal job, and then will do the legwork to get you the interview. This process requires a level of trust – you’re trusting that this person will present you to potential employers in the best possible light; the recruiter trusts that you’ve been honest about your background and accomplishments and needs to feel comfortable advocating for your employment. It’s a delicate dance. Here are some tips to ensure you don’t step on each other’s toes.
  1. Ask questions. Ask the recruiter about his or her qualifications, track record for placement and experience in emergency medicine. If the recruiter works for an agency, ask about the types of practice settings and hospital clients for which they have been recruiting. If the recruiter works for an EM practice, learn as much as you can about the company culture and the practice’s retention rate.
  2. Always be honest. Be straightforward about your goals, and disclose any legal or malpractice issues you may have. Make sure your CV is up to date and accurate, and that you have three letters of recommendation from credible clinical or academic sources.
  3. Be professional. The recruiter is the gatekeeper to your dream job. Respect his or her role by proofreading everything you send and being responsive when asked to provide licensure documents or other required paperwork.
  4. Be eager, but don’t badger. If you don’t hear from the recruiter about an interview in a few days or if you know that there was a deadline to fill the position and that deadline has passed, follow up with him or her. If you don’t get a reply, wait a few more days before reaching out again.
  5. Have a heart. Practicing medicine takes more than clinical skills. Remember cold Dr. Cristina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy? Medical directors, CMOs and other physician hiring managers are looking for well-rounded clinicians who possess both clinical acumen and emotional intelligence (EQ). You can read more about emotional EQ in our recent blog post.
  6. There’s no “I” in team. Healthcare is a team sport. From nurses to advanced practice providers to hospitalists to consulting specialists, you’re going to interact with a lot of people every shift. Be sure to convey your pro-team approach to the recruiter by sharing anecdotes of how working as a team helped you treat a patient with a complex case or avoided a missed diagnosis. ED directors and hospital administrators will be looking for candidates who can demonstrate a collegial practice philosophy.
  7. It’s not just about your “scrub life.” Recruiters – and progressive EM practices – know that there’s more to your life than your career. Your family, hobbies and cultural interests all factor into what will make an offer right for you. Tell the recruiter about your interests to ensure that he or she matches you with a position in a location that will allow you to cliff dive, if that’s what you’re into.
  8. Clean out your social media closet. Recruiters often use Google and LinkedIn to help source candidates. If a Google search reveals photos of you doing keg stands last week, you may drop to the bottom of the candidate pool. Adjust all profile photos to be professional, and review your settings to ensure personal posts and photos can’t be seen by the general public. Here are some tips

Qualities to Look for in a Recruiter

The physician-recruiter relationship should be mutually beneficial. Here’s what you should expect from your recruiter:
  • Helpful, not heavy-handed – A good recruiter should partner with you on your job search. He or she should provide a consultative approach to demonstrate your specific goals and job requirements. You shouldn’t be strong-armed into accepting a position you don’t want just because there is an open slot that needs to be filled.
  • Realistic responsiveness – Emergency medicine is a 24/7 specialty. Recruiters in this field should be responsive to your needs and requests, but should also be sensitive to the fact that you work non-traditional hours and that your time may be limited. He or she should return calls and emails promptly and have realistic expectations about when you can come in for an interview.
  • Interest in you, not just your CV – As explained earlier, proper placement requires some fact-finding on the part of the recruiter. He or she should ask questions about your practice philosophy, career goals and family life to fully understand your needs.
  • A clear process – Once you begin working with a recruiter, he or she should tell you next steps, and may even provide you with an outline or timeline of deliverables for both parties. You should never wonder what happens next; it should be clear every step of the way.

EmCare takes pride in creating a positive and fulfilling work environment for each of our clinical professionals. Not only will we work diligently to help you find the hospital that’s the right fit professionally, geographically and emotionally, but once you’ve decided on a community and a facility, you’ll find that you’re supported by one of the strongest packages of benefits and resources in the industry. Learn more or search for clinical jobs.

Jim McMillin is EmCare's National Director of Recruiting.

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