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The Right Recruiter Can Make Your Physician Job Search Stress-Free

Jackson Physician Search
May 7, 2021

The results of our recent Physician Retention Survey show that 54% of physicians are planning to make an employment change due to COVID-19. Of those, 50% are considering leaving their current employer to work for another. Whether they’re looking to advance their career, relocate to a new part of the country, want to make more money, or are simply unhappy in their current role, they face the daunting task of launching a physician job search. If this sounds like you, partnering with a well-respected and well-connected physician recruiter can increase your exposure and guide you through the entire process.

Recognizing a Great Physician Recruiter

Finding a trusted recruitment partner can take much of the stress out of a job search for you and your family, but how do you distinguish between a good one and a great one? For starters, great physician recruiters will take the time to build a relationship with you, so that they can accurately represent you with employers while also looking out for your best interests. They’ll want to have a phone conversation with you to find out what you’re specifically looking for in your next job opportunity, including your career goals, location preferences, and personal and professional interests. They’ll also be concerned with meeting the needs of your family and will encourage you to engage them in the process.

Once there’s interest in a position, top-notch physician recruiters will help you prepare for the interview, assist the organization in customizing the community tour, and even guide you through the job offer process. Having the right ally on your side can make all the difference in finding a role and a community that is a long-term fit for you and your family.

What Each Kind of Recruiter Can Do for You

Understanding the differences between the various types of recruiters can help you set realistic expectations. Healthcare administrators and physician recruiters have been diligent in trying to navigate the physician shortage, so you are likely receiving numerous job opportunities every month. How do you distinguish who’s who?

In-house Recruiters

In-house recruiters only represent the facility or healthcare system where they work. Because of this, they have extensive knowledge about the practice setting and the medical community. One potential drawback is that they are recruiting for a specific employer and will not be able to help you consider other practice opportunities.

Retained Recruiters

Hospitals, healthcare systems, and medical practices often engage a retained recruitment firm like Jackson Physician Search to help fill a physician vacancy. Depending on the size of the firm, these recruiters will have access to a wide range of practice opportunities – in multiple specialties – across the nation. These recruiters often visit the facility and have extensive knowledge about the culture, position, and the community. A retained firm adds the extra benefit of being able to help you consider opportunities from multiple facilities, and they’ll stay with you throughout the entire process.

Contingent Recruiters

Contingent recruiters, depending on size, also have access to multiple opportunities. However, they don’t usually visit the facility or the community, putting them at a disadvantage in terms of the inside knowledge they can share with candidates. They also typically don’t stay involved in the interview or contract process.

8 Benefits of Working with a Retained Physician Recruiter

Physicians often favor retained recruiters because of the personal relationships they develop and the wide array of job opportunities they have available. Here are the biggest advantages such a recruiter can offer you:

  1. Nationwide Reach. No matter where you’d like to practice, a recruitment partner can open up doors to opportunities across town or across the country.
  2. Candid Feedback. A physician recruiter can help you set realistic expectations for your job search, such as how well suited you are for a particular position and what you can do to increase your chances of landing an interview and receiving an offer.
  3. Market Dynamics. Recruiters have a pulse on the market and can tell you how competitive it is based on specialty and region, information that can help you set realistic expectations and empower you during negotiations.
  4. Income Expectations. Who doesn’t want to maximize their compensation? Fortunately, recruiters have access to a variety of compensation data sources, making them an excellent resource.
  5. “Insider” Information. Recruiters often have access to information that is rarely mentioned in a job ad, such as patient populations and local provider competition. They also know how long the position has been vacant, how many candidates are interviewing, when the employer plans to make a hiring decision – details that can help candidates assess how much weight to put on one opportunity over another.
  6. Access to Unadvertised Jobs. A recruitment professional will already have established relationships with administrators and in-house recruiters. They may even know about job opportunities before they’ve been made public.
  7. Interview Tips to Make a Great First Impression. Matchmakers by nature, recruiters aim to facilitate a long-term fit between physicians and healthcare organizations. They will often help you prepare for each phase of the interview process, so that you make a winning first impression.
  8. Help Navigating a Job Offer. When you receive a job offer, recruiters can you navigate this phase of the job search process, so that you can successfully negotiate the best contract possible.

Communication is Key

There’s no doubt that physician recruiters can save you an immense amount of time and effort when you’re evaluating potential job opportunities. But the only way they can ensure the jobs presented to you are a great fit for you and your family is if you’re both on the same page. Be transparent with your recruiter every step of the way. If you have reservations about a position, ask questions – they’re a safe resource.

The physician job search process can feel time-consuming and slow at times, but like most things that truly matter in life, you’ll get as much out of it as you’re willing to put in. Though it can be a challenge to commit the time, the benefits are well worth it—and may pay handsomely for many years to come.

Whether it’s your first job or the last before you retire, it will be something you’ll always remember, so it’s important to make sure it’s the right one for you. We’re here to help. As a national leader in physician recruitment, our expert recruiters will be with you every step of the way. We’re recruiting for hundreds of positions, across all specialties. Search open physician jobs now.

A Checklist to Getting the Most from a Physician Recruiter

  • Establish Trust. Be open and honest with recruiters, as it ensures they understand your requirements.
  • Be Responsive. Your recruiter is working hard to find you the best opportunity, so it is important to stay in touch and respond promptly. Respectful communication is key. Remember, employers are likely to get their first impression of you from the physician recruiter. Also, be prepared to act fast if the right job comes along.
  • Use Recruiters as a Resource. When you are working with an experienced recruiter, they will have access to information that can help you make informed decisions about your career path. Never hesitate to ask tough questions about the work environment or reasons for a vacancy.
  • Commit to Your Search. Always respectfully consider opportunities that are presented to you. Never use a new job offer as a bargaining chip with your current employer.
  • Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin by Working with Multiple Firms. Choose recruitment firms that have a large number of jobs for which they’re recruiting and isolate your job search to them. They’ll be in the best position to help you find a position that meets all your needs.
  • Tell Physician Recruiters if You’ve Taken Another Job. If you’re no longer considering new opportunities, be sure to send a short email or call any physician recruiters with whom you’re working so they don’t present your candidacy.


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