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Non-Clinical Careers for Physicians.

The Best Way to Find and Contact Recruiters and Headhunters
—Part One by William S. Frank

There's a lot of confusion about what recruiters and headhunters do, and how they can help you. First of all, you'll hear three terms used interchangeably, but they are quite different: recruiters, headhunters, and executive search consultants. Second, you'll hear about "retained" versus "contingency" recruiters. The chart on the next page explains some of the key differences.

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone said, "I need to get a headhunter [or recruiter] to help me find my next job." Headhunters, recruiters, and executive search consultants don't work for job-seekers, they work for hiring organizations. Because they are paid by companies, their loyalty is to the employer. Although many are friendly and helpful, they aren't job counselors or coaches. They don't see themselves as in the business of advising job hunters, unless they're trying to place you. Then they might try to groom you to impress the employer.

I once asked a high-level executive recruiter who was hiring sales managers if he would like to see the resume of one of my high-powered clients. He said, "I don't want to talk to anyone who can't hire me to conduct a search." And this executive search consultant is my friend, as well as former client.

That being said, what role can recruiters play in your job campaign?

They can play the role of safety net. You can broadcast your resume or C.V. to them to see if they have an interest in you. They may or may not, but you never know unless you try. Some physicians don't receive much response because their skills are not sought after. Others receive an avalance of calls.

One physician visited us in Denver for a day of career strategy consulting. Before he arrived we had broadcast his resume and cover letter to about 250 recruiters using this Kennedy Publications' Directory of Executive Recruiters. When he arrived in our offices, he received a steady stream of calls from executive recruiters, so many that it halted our work for the day. You can easily try it yourself to test the market. :: Next page -->

:: Go to Part Two :: Return to index of articles


"The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy." —Malcomb Forbes

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