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During this Internet era with massive job posting boards and thousands of online recruitment sites, the idea of working with a recruiter may seem unnecessary. Nothing could be further from the truth. Take a look at these facts:

• Headhunters are involved in about half of the available Physician Practice Opportunities available today, according to a study conducted by JSMG.

• Recruiters provide no-cost advantages such as career guidance and the ability to hone interview techniques and polish a CV.

• Prospects using the services of a recruitment firm are better prepared for job interviews and have the inside scoop about the company, as well as the skills and intangible factors that the hiring manager desires in a candidate.

• Recruiters have access to jobs not advertised or posted on the Internet.


Focuses the Scope of a Job Search
Working with a recruiter can expand or narrow the scope of your job search. You now have access to new opportunities. Many companies hire recruitment firms because they don't have the resources to conduct searches themselves and prefer the professionalism and expertise recruiters bring to the process. The employer devotes time to interviewing only the most qualified candidates. In addition, some companies don't advertise or post jobs on the Internet because they don't want to sort through a flood of resumes. Finally, recruiters also handle confidential searches. At the same time, the scope of your process narrows by eliminating unsuitable jobs that waste your time because they don't match your qualifications or demands.

Interview Preparation
You'll learn who will conduct the interview, as well as gain insight into personalities, topics to avoid and what components of your experience to play up. Anyone can obtain information about the company on the Internet, but the headhunter has details about why a position is being created, how a department has been impacted by recent growth or what happened to the person who formerly occupied the job. Ask your recruiter what experience and leadership skills the organization seeks. You go into the interview prepared with information you can't obtain elsewhere.

Enhances Candidate's Skills
Once they've identified a qualified candidate, good recruiters coach them throughout the job search process, often starting with the CV. It may require an overhaul to better position a candidate, or simply polish to highlight expertise for a particular job. In addition, many will role-play or conduct trial interviews with prospects. This enables you to safely practice for the meeting with someone who has insight into what is actually wanted by the hiring authority. You also can determine how to finesse difficult questions.

Handles the Compensation Conversation
Recruiters eliminate the need to negotiate salary with employers. If the topic comes up, you simply explain that the headhunter will handle that aspect of the process. That allows all interactions with company representatives to focus on you and the skills you bring to the table. It's important to note that while the employer pays the recruiter a fee, the recruiter negotiates on YOUR behalf during salary discussions. Because fees are often pre-determined in advance, it is in the recruitment firm's interest to make sure you obtain what you deserve. If you work with a recruitment firm, it does NOT lessen your chance of getting the job because the organization has to pay the recruiter a fee; the fee is a budgeted item for the hiring organization and has no real bearing on your prospects, salary or viability as an excellent candidate. In today's job market, signing bonuses and non-traditional benefits such as extra vacation or telecommuting are important to some prospects. Your recruiter handles discussions about these issues as well.


Honesty is the Best Policy
Some people advise job candidates to be cagey during the interview process: "Don't reveal income, don't discuss unsavory career details and never let them know what you really want." While discretion can be a valuable tool in some situations, when you're working with a recruiter, honesty is much more productive. One distinct advantage a headhunter provides is the support to achieve your income and career goals. It is vital to communicate this information. Talk about your bottom line related to job demands, salary and perks. You and your recruiter need to know what points are negotiable and which ones are not.
Headhunters provide other benefits as well. Through trial interviews, they can help you position yourself in the best light. Remember, they want you to get the job. If you openly discuss how to handle questions about a former layoff, a personality conflict with a manager or a failed project, the recruiter can help you respond in a positive and appropriate manner.

The Speed Factor
Today, speed is the name of the game. Recruiters and employers are under tremendous pressure to fill positions. According to an employment trends survey conducted by JSMG during the spring of 2000, fast decisions are the single most effective action companies can take to hire the most qualified candidates. Prospects play a crucial role in the process. Among the ways you can help:

• Submit CV's and complete forms in a timely fashion.
• Return phone calls and respond promptly to e-mails.
• Arrive on time or early for interviews.
• Don't delay requests for personal interviews if travel is required.
• Alert references about potential inquiries and request they respond promptly as well.
• Make decisions as quickly as reasonably possible.

Being prompt benefits you as well. Those who labor over decisions -- even if they are the best qualified for a position -- have lost out to less desirable candidates willing to move at a faster pace.

With the advent of casual business attire, the proliferation of multiple telecommunications devices and the presence of the Internet, a word about professionalism is in order. It is never wrong to err on the side of caution during the job search process. When working with a recruiter, some candidates feel these interactions can be handled more casually since it is not the "real" job interview. Don't make that mistake.
Recruiters assess your performance every step of the way and use this information to determine whether to recommend you to their clients. Always dress professionally. Be selective with cell phone usage. If you answer calls and happen to be at the pool with the kids or inside a noisy restaurant this will not convey the message you want to deliver. Even answering calls during a meeting can give a potential employer the impression that you don't have the proper business focus. Caller ID or a beeper can eliminate these difficulties and enable you to return calls from more appropriate locations. Make sure your voice mail message is suitable for job hunting situations and substitute that partyon!@hotmail.com e-mail address with something more businesslike.

If a recruiter contacts you, these questions can help you determine whether the firm is right for you:

1. How long has your recruitment firm been in business? With low unemployment and an enormous demand for qualified employees, many new recruitment firms have popped up. Companies with established records might have more solid industry contacts.
2. Do your recruiters specialize in my particular market niche? You have a much better chance of being placed in the position you desire by working with headhunters experienced in your field.
3. Name some organizations where you have successfully placed candidates in my area. The answer will provide more insight into the firm's experience and whether they represent companies where you'd like to work.
4. What is the average tenure of your recruiters? Beware of companies that will not provide this information or those with an average of less than five years.
5. Is there a charge to me for your services? You want to work with a recruiter who is paid by the company for placing candidates. There should be no charge to you.
6. Does your company have a national reach or are you located in just one city? If your job search is limited to the city where the firm is located, this may not be a problem. If your interest is more national in scope or you seek a higher-level management position, then select a firm with a more extensive presence.

Send questions or comments to information@jsmg.com. Copyright © 2000 J.S. Medical Group. All rights reserved.