So, you’re considering some locum work, or some casual shifts. Maybe you are a junior doctor, a nurse, or a general practitioner. Where do you start?
Perhaps you’ll start looking in familiar places – in the emails you get from your college or professional organisation, or on websites you like to visit. You probably won’t find what you want on there, so you begin a deeper search. You try asking friends and colleagues, or searching Google. You’re short of time, and decide to talk to a medical recruitment agency.
Recruitment agencies exist to connect candidates (you) with employers (hospitals, GP practices, really anyone who is recruiting). The employers pay us for what we do. There is no financial cost to candidates in the process. A great healthcare recruitment agency can help expand your job options, and can sometimes dramatically increase your earning capacity.
Naturally, there is a huge variation in what individual agencies offer. They differ in terms of the jobs they work with, the quality and experience of their recruiters, and their general approach to the market. It pays to look around, and make a reasoned judgement and decision about which agency to work with. They have to be right for you, and you have to be right for them.
Once you choose an agency to work with, there are some things you can avoid doing that make life very difficult for your recruiter.
1. Registering with every agency under the sun
Although it can be tempting to register with twenty different agencies, with the hope of expanding your options, this strategy rarely works. Yes, there are a lot of agencies, and yes, they might all have different jobs. Honestly, though, how many options do you need?
It’s kind of like going to a buffet. At the outset, it sounds like a great idea. Lots of choices, endless dessert bar, but in the end it’s just a lot of mediocre options.
And, one of the major down sides to registering with multiple agencies (especially for JMO locums) is that every agency is going to ask you to complete their paperwork, and your referees will be called by every agency. We don’t share paperwork with each other.
2. Being unclear
Before you talk to a recruiter, think about what job you would like. Consider when you’d like to start, where you would like to work, and how much you would like to earn. Of course, a recruiter can help you talk through some ideas about what is available, and give you salary guidance. However, it’s hard for us when we start with no information at all.
3. No CV
Ok, we can work with this one, but we do need something to go on. We can help you write a CV, but you do need to give us some information to work with. No employer will accept an application without a CV.
Sometimes, you hide from us after we talk, or send you job ideas. It might be because you didn’t like us after our first conversation, or you are getting so many calls from recruiters, you can’t keep up with all of them. Please, though, let us know what’s happening. A quick text, a call, an email, something to say “It’s not you, it’s me”, or even “It’s you, not me”. You won’t hurt our feelings, we just want to move on.
5. Pulling out
It is okay to change your mind about things, especially when it comes to jobs. That said, please do your mind-changing before you sign a contract, or commit to shifts. It’s not okay to withdraw from locum shifts at the last minute because someone else offers you a higher rate.
6. Delusions of grandeur
You’re a PGY2 doctor, and you are interested in locuming next year. Great! We can definitely help. No, we can’t get you $400 per hour. No, you cannot work solo in a remote emergency department (even though you have done two terms of emergency). Be realistic about what you can do, and what your earning capacity is.
7. Scraps of paperwork
Employment = paperwork. Yes, we all hate it. Do the paperwork your recruiter needs. They just want to make sure you get the job, and you are paid. Make it legible, and try to avoid it looking like a document that has survived the Crimean War.
8. Going Solo
If you prefer not to work with a recruiter, that’s fine! There are plenty of cases where we would recommend applying directly to employers. However, if you are in a profession with skills shortages, and you have good bargaining power, you should go with a recruiter. That said, don’t try to combine the two. A recruiter will manage the application process, negotiations, and booking shifts. When you speak directly with the employer, we don’t know what’s going on, and it’s hard for us to help you. Talk to us, we do this every day.
So, do your part to prevent baldness. Treat your recruiter kindly, and they will help your career in turn.
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https://beathealth.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/bigstock-Woman-stressed-is-going-crazy-76249304.jpg600900Shaun Hughstonhttp://devsite.beathealth.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Beat-Health-Logo-PNG-copy-2-300x72.pngShaun Hughston2015-09-17 09:44:362016-04-15 05:20:128 Things That Will Make Your Medical Recruiter Pull Their Hair Out