I wanted to take a moment to review the different players you might encounter during your job search.
In-House recruiters are employed by and usually work at a given hospital or healthcare organization. Sometimes, in large hospital systems such as CHS, HCA, UHS, etc., these in-house recruiters may recruit for their hospitals in a given geographical region, or nationally for a certain specialty. Regardless, these in-house recruiters are usually very knowledgeable of the hospital, the associated urology practice, the city or town where the job opening is located, etc. The most important thing is that these in-house recruiters are usually very forthright with answers to your questions. They have nothing to hide because they are salaried employees whose compensation is not dependent upon whether or not you sign a contract. And in my experience, if they don’t know the answer to your question, they will find you an answer. Most importantly, you can get all of these answers for free without having to send them your CV.
You will find that urology practices will often collaborate with the in-house physician recruiting department at their hospital to help them in recruiting a urologist. This allows the docs to focus on being docs and leaves a lot of the recruiting legwork to the professionals.
Third party recruiters vary from one-man/woman shows to quite large search firms. They are usually hired on retainer or on contingency by a practice or a hospital. Hospitals with their own in-house recruiters usually shy away from using search firms. Did you know that the average contingency fee for getting a urologist to sign is $30,000–$40,000? This explains a lot of what you see come through your inbox or mailbox.
Ever wonder why someone would send you a pretty postcard about a urology opportunity in a beautiful place, with “great dining,” X number of miles from a large metro city, etc, without sharing the location of the job? Well, that is because it was most likely sent by a recruiter on contingency. If you call the number on that card or in that nondescript email, one of the first things they will ask you for is your CV. I would caution against sending your CV out to recruiters at 3rd party firms. I would reserve your CV for only actual employers (urology practice, multispecialty group, university, or the hospital itself). Once your CV gets out there, there is a good chance it will get shopped around.
If you’re an upper level urology resident and think that you get bombarded by emails and phone calls from recruiters, guess what? So do the in-house recruiters at hospitals/practices. Once a 3rd party recruiter gets your CV and knows what geographical region you’re looking to go work in, they will get on the phone and call all of these in-house recruiters and say: “I have a Dr. so and so, that will be finishing in June 20__, and he/she is interested in your urology job.” Believe it or not, there are hospitals and other employers that traditionally do not deal with 3rd party recruiters. Therefore, if your CV is being shopped around by a 3rd party recruiter then you could potentially get locked out of some opportunities.
I do believe that third-party recruiters add some value particularly in headhunting seasoned urologists who may not be actively looking for a job, so they need the idea of the job proposed to them. For trainees and newly minted urologists, I recommend sticking with the in-house recruiters.
Go Straight to the Source
My advice is this: If you see a job opportunity advertised, do your best to go straight to the source – the Employer – and deal with them directly. That is what we are trying to achieve here on Urology Job Search, where you see job listings from the Employers themselves, with a couple of exceptions in which we require the third-party recruiter to list the actual location of the job.
I would rather see the value of those contingency fees go to help you pay off some school loans, down payment on a new house, or a sweet new ride.
Not all search firms are the same and there are very good and reputable firms out there that do a good job.
Though, I believe the market for 3rd party firms exists only because up until now there has not been a viable alternative for employers to advertise their opportunities and know for sure that they are reaching the urology job seekers.
Welcome Urology Job Search to the stage, where we know we can fill that need and help employers connect with urology residents and fellows in a more cost-effective and efficient way. A critical mass of urologists and trainees engaged with this site will help create an efficient market for advertising and communicating urology job opportunities, without the need for expensive contingency recruiters. Please share this site with your colleagues.