A career in health care provides an incredible life full of experiences, challenges, and heartbreak, mixed with incredible satisfaction. With the rapidly shifting global economy, health professionals retain a large degree of flexibility and geographic independence. That said, it takes a unique proposition from a recruiter to pull one away from a satisfying position. I have, on a rare occasion, taken the bait and enjoyed great rewards as a result. Here is how it happened.
1. Research. The recruiter researched the issues at hand and found the salient pain points. He knew about the administrative problems and the recent loss of several key physicians. After a bit of digging, he brought to light a pending restructuring of the compensation system. To this day, I still don’t know how he came across that information, but it all bore true with time.
2. Advocacy. Experienced board-certified physicians with clean records are highly desirable. Getting this type of physician to a facility in dire need requires more than the average package. Talented recruiters understand this and go to work negotiating ahead of the wave of resistance. The decision to jump ship should never be just about the money, but face it – it’s about the money, at least to a degree. I always appreciated an honest dialogue about the financial impact of making a change and knowing what lies ahead in the immediate and mid-range term.
3. Hard facts. Understanding the challenges that lie ahead and finding a candidate willing to embrace those issues is key. I have seen many a physician leave after only a few months due to untenable circumstances. No one likes being blindsided. An honest appraisal and candor are always required.
4. Show me. There is truth to the depth of a candid photo. When a recruiter has taken the time to visit a facility and capture pictures of the day-to-day happenings, those images speak volumes. I don’t place much faith in the professionally edited and photoshopped images prominently displayed on a facility’s website. Seeing the raw, gritty images reveals a lot about the character of a place.
5. Finesse over brute force attack. It shouldn’t amaze me, but nonetheless, it still does. Having someone understand your wishes and right to privacy as well as granting time for contemplation of a serious career decision is not infrequently overlooked. Despite my frank statements about not being interested or please don’t contact me again, some recruiters feel that filling my inbox with emails every few days or calling my cell phone at random times will sway my decision and lure me into accepting their misplaced proposition.
The bottom line is that many incredible opportunities exist in the health care world. Presenting opportunities based on specific desired parameters and listening to the needs and wants makes all the difference. I have a friendly relationship with several recruiters with whom I’ve never signed. I enjoy the conversation about the current landscape of medicine and politics, and a good cup of coffee never hurts. In the end, we are all people and have a desire to be respected and appreciated for our talents.
Mitchel Schwindt is an emergency physician. This article originally appeared in the Healthcare Career Resources Blog.
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