Beginning your job search as a physician can be a first-rate experience when gone about correctly. It isn’t necessary to brood over online applications, unsure of your status or if you’ll even get a call. Physicians have been utilizing recruiters as a tool for what seems like forever. Because they are just that, a tool for physicians to utilize, it is necessary to know what you can (and should) expect from them. Not all recruiters are created equally and knowing what questions to ask can help you sort through the clutter.
If there is one thing you can demand from your recruiter, it’s transparency. If you ask for information about a position, he should be able to give that to you, or at the very least disclose to you why he doesn’t know or can’t share. At the end of the day, a recruiter’s job is to know the positions he is trying to fill. If you feel vital information is being withheld, ask why.
On the note of disclosing information, a recruiter should provide you with the location of the position. If you have lived in Manhattan your entire life and can’t imagine life outside of the city, your dream job is not likely to be in rural Kentucky. With more and more physicians demanding more work-life balance, it is critical to ensure that the “life” portion is spent in a city or town that you love living in! Recruiters withholding location specifics is an outdated model. A good recruiter doesn’t need to rely on secret information to coerce you into applying for a job. A great recruiter will give you all the information he can while also acting as your ‘referral’ to the facility, thus ensuring you get an interview.
With location being a major deciding factor, salary definitely plays a large part in the decision as well. While not all facilities will disclose this information (even to the recruiter), having the ‘money discussion’ with your recruiter is crucial. What are your expectations for the location you will be working in? Recruiters will usually have an idea of how negotiable the salary is, as well as if sign-on or production bonuses are an option. In the long run, having this conversation can help your recruiter find opportunities that fit what you require. Also, recruiters are very knowledgeable about what different salary averages are based on location. A $200k salary means a lot more in Omaha, Nebraska than it does in Los Angeles. Bottom line: your recruiter is the best person to be having your salary discussion with.
While on the subject of pay, don’t be afraid to ask how your recruiter is being paid to get you hired. Many recruiters get a big paycheck to place you in a specific job, which inevitably can lead to dishonesty and pressure to accept a position you may not truly want. Finding a recruiter that is simply paid a salary to be a resource to you, the physician, is the best way to ensure you are being pointed in the right direction.
Since the recruiter is your resource, he should be asking questions about you as a person. Skimming through work experience and license specifics is not going to lead to your dream job. A recruiter who has your best interests in mind will also ask about your motivations for change and what makes you unique as a care-provider and as an individual.
Working with a skilled recruiter can be a pivotal moment for your career if done correctly. Take the time, ask the right questions, and land the best job. Keep this transparency in mind during your next career search and you are sure to find improved results.