Middle Men: Who Are the Players in the Recruiting Business?

February 21, 2011

I want to touch on who the players are in the recruiting business because the more time I spend working on Urology Job Search, the more obvious it seems to me that this venture has the potential of being a real game changer.

In-House Recruiters

In-House recruiters are employed by and usually work at a given hospital. Sometimes, in large hospital systems such as CHS, HCA, etc., these in-house recruiters may recruit for their hospitals in a given geographical region. Regardless, these in-house recruiters are usually very knowledgeable of the hospital, the associated urology practice, the city or town where the job opening is located, etc. The most important thing is that these in-house recruiters are usually very forthright with answers to your questions. They have nothing to hide. And in my experience, if they don't know the answer to your question, they will find you an answer. Most importantly, you can get all of these answers for free without having to send them your CV.

You will find that urology practices will often collaborate with the in-house physician recruiting department at their hospital to help them in recruiting a urologist. This allows the docs to focus on being docs and leaves a lot of the recruiting leg work to the professionals.

Third Party Recruiters

Third party recruiters vary from one-man/woman shows to quite large search firms. They are usually hired on retainer or on contingency by a practice or a hospital. Hospitals with their in-house recruiters usually shy away from using search firms. Did you know that the average contingency fee for getting a urologist to sign is $20,000–$40,000? This explains a lot of what you see come through your inbox or mail box.

Ever wonder why someone would send you a pretty postcard about a urology opportunity in a beautiful place, with "great dining," X number of miles from a large metro city, yada yada yada, and then not even tell you where in the world the job was located? Well, that is because it was most likely sent by a recruiter on contingency. If you call the number on that card or in that nondescript email, one of the first things they will ask you for is your CV. I would caution against sending your CV out to recruiters at 3rd party firms. I would reserve your CV for only actual employers (urology practice, multispecialty group, university, or the hospital itself). Once your CV gets out there, it will get shopped around.

If you're an upper level urology resident and think that you get bombarded by emails and phone calls from recruiters, guess what? So do the in-house recruiters at hospitals/practices. Once a 3rd party recruiter gets your CV and knows what geographical region you're looking to go work in, they will get on the phone and call all of these in-house recruiters and say: "I have a Dr. so and so, that will be finishing in June 2012, and he/she is interested in your urology job." Believe it or not, there are hospitals and other employers that have policies whereby they do not deal with 3rd party recruiters. Therefore, if your CV is being shopped around by a 3rd party recruiter then you could potentially get locked out of some opportunities.

Go Straight to the Source

My advice is this, if you see a job opportunity advertised, do your best to go straight to the source, the Employer, and deal with them directly. That is what we are trying to achieve here on Urology Job Search, where you see job listings from the Employers themselves.

I would rather see the value of those contingency fees go to help you pay off some school loans, down payment on a new house, or a sweet new ride.

Not all search firms are the same and there are very good and reputable firms out there that do a good job.

Though, I believe the market for 3rd party firms exists only because up until now there has not been a viable alternative for employers to advertise their opportunities and know for sure that they are reaching the urology job seekers.

Welcome Urology Job Search to the stage, where we know we can fill that need and help employers connect with urology residents and fellows in a more cost-effective and efficient way.

Tell your friends, your co-residents, your fellows about Urology Job Search. Make sure they sign up on the site. The critical mass of urology residents and fellows on the site will help this little experiment become the game changer it can be.


? writes:

Thank you Ian!

As an in-house recruiter, I can tell you that most of us hate working with third party (retained or contingent) recruiters! I get no less than 10 phone calls and well over 30 emails a day from outside firms looking to "sell" me a candidate. I would MUCH rather hear directly from a physician than hear about you from a recruiter. Plus, each hospital has individually negotiated contracts with the recruiting firms. I may have agreed to pay $20,000 for a Urologist and another hospital may have agreed to $40,000. I guarantee you that the 40k opportunity will be presented more often than mine...even if it's in a city/hospital/region you don't want to be in.

I've even had physicians tell me that their "firm" told them we weren't recruiting for their specialty when we were; however, when the recruiter called to sell me the doctor I told them I wasn't accepting candidates from outside firms for this search. Outright lies.

If you know where you want to live, then it's not that hard to figure out who the local hospitals are  and get in touch with their in-house recruiter. For instance, if you google "physician opportunities saint francis" I am the first link that shows up. Bam! There's my phone number and email.

Another resource for physicians looking to bypass the world of outside recruiters is ASPR (Association of Staff Physician Recruiters). Here's the link to their seach tool that will help you find phone numbers and email for most in-house staff: https://m360.aspr.org/frontend/search.aspx?cs=1890

Happy Hunting!



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