Whatever You Do, Don’t Work For This Medical Employer

Medical Employer

As a healthcare professional, you have more of a choice than ever about where to work. That said, you don’t want to simply step into the next position that comes up. There are some key warning signs that a hospital or practice may not be as ideal a place to work as the employer would have you believe. The same applies whether you’re a doctor, nurse, physio, dental assistant, or health manager.

If you’re applying for a new medical position, here are some of the red flags you should be looking for.


1. There are a lot of jobs available with that employer

Unless there is a reasonable explanation, like it being a brand new facility or project, if there are a lot of jobs available, you ought to be asking why. The reason may be innocuous, but it’s something you should question. If it’s a physio clinic with 5 vacancies and only one physiotherapist, you’ve got to ask why.

2. There is a terrible/mismanaged application process

If it is an unprofessional, or otherwise badly managed application process, you might wonder whether that is indicative of the organisation as a whole, and how they treat their people.

3. You don’t like the boss

While you’re not necessarily supposed to like your boss, if you walk away from the interview thinking you would have trouble working with them, it could be a sign that the job isn’t for you. Although you might be able to put up with a personality clash for a while, in the long term it may not be a sustainable situation.

4. Doesn’t pass the walkthrough test

As part of the interview, it’s a good idea to ask for a tour, and to meet some of the other staff. That way, you can get a feeling for the general morale within the team, and how things really are. If you have the opportunity to, speak with them to ask them what it’s like to work there.

5. They want to underpay you

Although many jobs in healthcare are governed by awards or enterprise agreements, there are still nuances with the pay in terms of what level of a given classification you are paid. If you are working in the private sector, there might be a good deal of negotiation to be done. If the employer clearly wants to underpay you, compared to what other employers are offering, it is one indication that they undervalue their employees.

6. There is a high staff turnover

It’s okay to ask the employer why the position is vacant, and how many people have been in that job over the past few years. High turnover in a given role is a red flag. Sure, it can just come down to bad luck, but there is likely an underlying cause. Another thing to look for is an usually high level of casual or locum use. This may be an indication that they have trouble attracting and retaining staff. If there have been fifteen GPs in one job in the past two years, there is likely an issue.

7. Bad Press

Do a quick Google search to see what comes up when you type in the name of the employer. Scrutinise what comes up so see if there are any organisational or political issues that may influence you choice. Has there been recent industrial action? Perhaps the board has just been dissolved? High profile complaints or medical errors? Look for these problems.

8. Unclear Role

If you are signing a contract, it should be very clear (and in writing) what the role is. Any ambiguity in terms of what the job is will likely arise later on as an issue. Ask for a position description.

9. Bad gut feeling

If you feel that something is off, but you can’t quite put your finger on it, you need to listen to your gut. Move on to the next option.

In reality, you’ll experience one or more of these ‘red flags’ when you apply for any medical position in Australia, whether it’s a permanent job, or even a casual or locum position. They key is to look out for the warning signs, and take them all in context.

If you’d like more information about what to look for in your next healthcare position, and to have the benefit of the experience of a professional medical recruiter, become a Beat Medical insider today. You’ll also receive our free CV and Interview eBooks.

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