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How to justify using a healthcare provider recruiter when you are not convinced it is beneficial to hire an outside firm for your provider openings

Unless you are a large fortune 500 company you probably don’t have a qualified provider or candidates lining up at your door. For instance, recruiters specialize in provider markets, they know what the provider is looking for, what type of schedule they want, importance of quality of life, etc. The recruiter can also share what is fair market value and what others in your area are offering so you can stay competitive. Recruiters live and breathe recruiting and they do not pursue only the 12 percent of the workforce who are actively seeking a job. They go after the 85 percent who are working and open to hearing about a new opportunity (according to LinkedIn).

Don’t let the placement fee scare you away. This is a business expense which, if done quickly, will not affect missed revenue that occurs from not having the position filled. Let’s say the revenue you are losing for this open position is $500K and every day this loss grows, as well as the possibility of losing a patient to a competitor due to the lack of provider coverage. Then look at the advantage of paying a placement fee of $25K that fills your opening with a quality provider who can start working within 4-6 weeks (normal credentialing time).

Most companies already have an in-house recruiter or human resource person who is trained to screen and interview prospective providers. However, they may need help getting quality candidates. Did you know according to CareerBuilder, your recruiting department could easily receive up to 80 CV’s for each job opening in a given week. Each CV is reviewed to ensure they have the qualifications required for the job they are applying for. This review could take approximately 10-15 minutes. This adds up to a lot of hours studying each one to hopefully find a candidate who would fit. The same study shows that half of the candidates submitting CVs are not qualified.

The advantages of a recruitment agency. A recruitment agency will do the “leg” work for your recruiter by sourcing and screening the candidate! These agencies have skilled recruiters who know what you as the client need and want to see in a qualified candidate. During the screening process they can discover what type of candidate is applying and if they are a right fit for your job.

The in-house recruiter has many hats to wear and it can be difficult juggling all their responsibilities. Most of the time companies do not have a budget for an entire human resource department where they have a dedicated person posting the job, reviewing the applicant CV, screening the applicant on the phone to see if they are a good candidate, setting up various in-house schedules for others to make a phone screen call, set up an extensive on-site interview, verifying their references, preparing an employment agreement, negotiating the agreement and finally doing the preparations for employment. A recruitment agency can assist with most of these duties along side your recruiter!

The recruitment agency is paid once the job is filled and the provider starts working for the company. They don’t get paid to send you CV’s or book interviews. They know the “pulse” of who is looking for what and where. It is important to seek out an agency who pays their recruiter fairly and by production, not “clicks”. Some agencies pay recruiters by the number of phone calls, text messages or emails they send in a day. These recruiters, in my opinion, cannot spend the quality time that is needed on each applicant if they have a quota to meet. The company you hire should strive for quality and not quantity in the performance that their recruiter achieves. This will ensure that you hire the type of candidates you are looking for on your team.

The most general types of recruitment agencies are:
Retained: Money is paid upfront and the agency usually has exclusive rights to fill your opening. They usually have a six month guarantee for a replacement.
Contingency: The placement fee is not paid until the provider signs an agreement with the company. Some firms require ½ of the fee at signing and the remainder of the fee at start. Others require ½ of the fee at start and the remainder after 30 days of employment. The guarantee is usually 60-90 days for a replacement.
Temporary or Temp to Perm: Providers are contracted through the recruitment firm for your company for an hourly fee/wage. The firm handles the scheduling, credentialing, etc.

Personal opinion by: Debbie Kennedy
Healthcare Provider Recruiting Specialist
Open Door Unlimited


Open Door Unlimited is a Contingency Firm. 


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