Overview of Healthcare Recruiting Careers:
Healthcare recruiters help to find qualified candidates for healthcare jobs. Recruiters help market and sell the job opportunity to healthcare professionals. Then the recruiter would pre-qualify the candidate based on their education, credentials, and prior experience, and assist with coordinating the interview process. Usually the pre-qualification process involves reviewing many CVs and resumes and then phone interviewing the candidates who appear most qualified on paper.
Where the Jobs Are for Medical Recruiters:
As a recruiter, there are a few general types of recruiting opportunities from which to choose. One option is to work as a corporate recruiter, or “in-house” recruiter. As an in-house recruiter, you are employed by a hospital or healthcare company, as a recruiter to fill internal positions for your employer.
Another option would be to work for a recruiting firm or agency. As an agency recruiter you would manage a number of searches for a variety of employers, who pay you for recruiting services as a third-party, or out-sourced basis.
Lastly, a staffing firm such as nurse staffing or locum tenens physician staffing firm is another option. Working for one of these firms, recruiters search for doctors, nurses, or other clinicians who are interested in being employed by the staffing firm and contracted out by the hour for short-term openings in a variety of locations.
Recruiters are needed to search for just about any healthcare professional you can imagine. For every healthcare job described on this site for example, there are recruiters who specialize in placing those types of positions.
Typical Work Week for Medical Recruiters:
Most healthcare recruiting jobs are more than a 40-hour per week job. Recruiting often requires evening hours (while candidates are available for phone interviews, as most clinicians are working with patients during the day and unable to talk on the phone). Also, some candidate visits include dinner or luncheon meetings with executives or managers, coordinated by the recruiter, who is often expected to attend. Additionally, many in-house medical recruiting positions also require weekend work, entertaining candidates and their families during visits, particularly if the candidate has traveled from out of town.
Skill Set for Successful Healthcare Recruiters:
A recruiter spends a great deal of time, several hours per day, on the phone interviewing and pre-qualifying potential candidates and applicants. Therefore a recruiter must have excellent phone skills and enjoy talking to people. Presentation skills and persuasiveness also are helpful for successful recruiting. Additionally, recruiting requires an hour or two of administrative work per day, reviewing resumes and CVs, emailing candidates, arranging travel, typing up itineraries, posting jobs, checking background and references, and more.
Whether you’re working for a third-party recruitment firm or for a hospital or corporation hiring internally, recruiters often juggle several openings at once. Therefore, recruiting requires organizational skills, focus, and attention to detail to find the best candidate for the position, and to keep the process moving forward. As a healthcare recruiter, you must also be able to keep track of candidates’ licensure, credentials, and certifications.
Tenacity, and a positive attitude will serve you well as a recruiter, to help you to keep trying to fill a job even after multiple rejections and turn-downs.
Compensation for Healthcare Recruiters:
Due to the variety and diversity of jobs available in healthcare recruiting, salaries also vary. For example, corporate or in-house recruiters typically are paid a base salary with some performance-based bonuses. Conversely, agency recruiters typically earn little to no base salary, with the bulk of earnings coming from commissions on placement fees.
Salaries may range from $30,000 to $45,000 for entry level or lower level recruiters, up to mid $100,000s for experienced top producers. Therefore, the average income usually is somewhere in the middle of those extremes, in the $60,000 - $85,000 range.
What's to Like about Healthcare Recruiting:
The more you work, the more you earn. Also, another plus to healthcare recruiting is the demand for good recruiters, and therefore the variety of jobs available. If you prefer to recruit higher-level professionals like doctors or medical executives, the search process will be longer but you’ll earn a higher fee when you complete the search. If you prefer smaller, more frequent successes, then recruiting lower-level medical staff such as techs or medical assistants, while not as rewarding per placement, can be very rewarding if you’re able to place more of them.
What's Not to Like:
Rejection, and lots of it. Also, if you don’t enjoy being on the phone or talking to people all day long, you won’t enjoy recruiting!
Breaking into Medical Recruiting:
Usually, employers who are hiring healthcare recruiters seek someone who has some experience or knowledge in the healthcare industry. This doesn't necessarily have to be clinical experience, but could be medical sales or some other non-clinical or healthcare industry experience.
If you don't have healthcare experience, but you do have recruiting experience, you may be able to find a job based on your knowledge of the recruiting process if you can show that you're a high producer and fast learner and could pick up the medical knowledge needed.