What Do Physicians Really Want From Recruiters?

As the saying goes, "80% of success is showing up." That saying may be mostly tongue-in-cheek but there's a lot of truth to it. For physicians on the job hunt, they say that a successful recruiter is one who will at least "show up"–this simply means that you:

  1. Reply in a day or two to their e-mail or voicemail, and
  2. Listen to them when they explain the type of position and location they're looking for.

That's it. Do these two things and you've done at least 80% of the job.

Reply Promptly

Good communication is key. "A good recruiter is someone who I can reach by phone or e-mail when necessary, and who at least replies in a timely manner to acknowledge that they have received my e-mail, and then who answers my concerns," says a hospitalist who worked with a recruiter to find a position at a community-based hospital in rural Iowa.

This hospitalist began his job search by trying to find a position on his own. "But it was too time consuming," he says. So, the last thing he wanted was to waste more time applying for positions and then waiting for a recruiter's response that came weeks later or not at all.

The recruiter who successfully placed him in his ideal position did reply promptly, and also understood the type of position he was looking for.

Listen Attentively

Good communication is not just about responding, but also about listening. "The thing that annoys me a lot is when a recruiter tries to take a round peg and put it into a square hole," says a surgeon in Winston-Salem, NC. "It doesn't matter to the recruiter what you want or what your requirements are. The recruiter has a job and wants you to fill it."

This surgeon is currently in the market for a new position, so he's spoken with a lot of recruiters lately. The other thing that annoys him? When a recruiter is too pushy or, worse yet, stretches the truth.

"If I tell you I'm not interested for such a reason, don't keep coming back to me with a hard sell," the surgeon says. "And don't put the pressure on by saying, 'It's a buyer's market now.' Good recruiters don't waste their time with things like that."

So, be a good recruiter. Send a quick e-mail, if only to acknowledge that you've received theirs. And then listen to the physician's requirements, and respond accordingly. That's the simple formula for success.