Understanding the Role of Recruiters


While you are executing your job search plan, you will be getting many calls, emails and postcards from physician recruiters. It’s important to know the difference between the two types of recruiters.

In-house Physician Recruiters

  • Employed by a hospital, clinic or health system.
  • Often there are more than one and they are assigned to a certain specialty. 
  • In-house recruiters typically live in the communties they hire for, so they are very familiar with the area and the health system.

Agency Recruiters

  • Agencies are “for profit” groups who charge a hospital $25,000 or more as a placement fee to find them one physician. They may attempt to steer you to look at certain organizations that will be willing to compensate them more and move away from others who do not prefer to pay their fees.

Most hospitals have gotten away from using agency’s due to the costs. When you apply with a hospital health system or clinic, you will talk to an in-house physician recruiter first.

What to Expect While Working with an In-House Physician Recruiter

In-house physician recruiters will review your CV and get to know you not only as a candidate, but personally, as well. They will want to learn about your family and what your goals are for employment and lifestyle. This helps them to match you to the type of practice you are looking for and if their location meets your personal needs.

During your first conversation, they will:
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  • Explain in detail practices that have openings and their locations.
  • Inform you about the other physicians and providers who work in the practice and about the population of patients served.
  • Share information on starting salary, student loan repayment assistance, sign on bonus and benefits.

If you both decide you would like to take the next step, the recruiter will share your information with the hiring leader to review and decide if they would like to interview you.

Should you be chosen to move on to the next step, you will be invited to attend an interview with the hiring leader. If all goes well, they will then bring you back for a site visit that can last from 24 to 48 hours.  You will spend time in the practices in which you have shown interest and will have breakfasts, lunches and dinners and spend time with the providers you will be working with and their administrators.

The recruiter will arrange everything for you including your travel. Most hospitals cover any travel costs. You will receive a detailed agenda as soon as the recruiter has everything in place.

While you are at your interview, the recruiter will be your guide and get you to wherever you need to go. They truly go out of their way to make your visit as smooth as possible. Your last meeting before leaving will most likely be with the hiring leader again, just to get your feedback on the visits with practices and staff.

If you both feel that the position being offered is a good fit, the recruiter will forward you a contract with a letter explaining the conditions. Don’t be intimidated by the process. It is designed to be equally beneficial to you and to them.
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