Residents moving from training into the workforce, are commonly solicited by physician recruiters. Although there are national recruiters, frequently recruiting firms operate in a specific geographic area. Remember the recruiter’s primary goal: to find physicians for their clients which can bias their approach. The prudent jobseeker will remember that the recruiter is an extension of their client (ie. the employer) and approach interactions carefully. Using recruiters can be help streamline the search process, but it is not a substitute for diligence on the part of the resident, nor does it eliminate all of the hard work. Working with recruiters can foster networking opportunities—a side benefit.
The following are some helpful tips when working with recruiters:
Have a plan and stick with it. Vast employment opportunities can be daunting and derail residents from pursuing their pre-determined career objectives and personal considerations. While some flexibility is needed, it is important to keep the ideal job fixed before working with a recruiter. They can be very persuasive—that’s their job—and that can cause residents to lose sight of their desired goals.
Residents with focused goals often motivate the recruiter to find the best fit for them and potential employers.
Is it in a city or suburban town?
Is it a partnership or salaried employee position?
Will there be hospital-based work or clinics only?
Verify the recruiter’s credentials (e.g., the history of the business, duration of stay for previous placements, companies that they have worked with, and their areas of specialty---geographically and medically).
An unfortunate, but common mistake, is failing to verify how the recruiter protects the resident’s confidentiality. Prior to starting any relationship with recruiters, residents need to ensure that the agreement allows them to maintain control as to where their CV goes. If it is dispersed too widely and indiscriminately it may give the impression that a resident is desperate to find a job.
In short, recruiters can save time and foster additional networking opportunities as long as jobseekers have determined what they want ahead of time, understand the recruiter relationship, and trust the recruiter. Residents must be mindful when working with recruiters to make sure that this is a positive experience for all parties.