Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When talking to Recruiters, are you asking the right questions?

The Healthcare Technology industry is more competitive than it has ever been.  With an abundance of need for qualified HCIT experienced consultants and very few qualified resources, many Healthcare Technology consultants are over-whelmed with emails & phone calls from industry recruiters. 
Keep in mind that the interview process is a 2-way street.  You have a right to know more about the recruiter you are speaking to, what their intentions are and more about the company they represent.
Below are a series of questions and side notes to assist you during your job search or engagement search process.

Recruiter Screening Questions                                               (*see notes below)

1.        How long have you been recruiting for Healthcare Technology Professionals?

(answer should be at least 3 years: you want your recruiter to have a firm understanding of your qualifications and know how to represent you to their clients)

2.        If I chose to work with you, how often can I expect to hear from you?

            (you want to know that your recruiter is going to stay in touch with you, many recruiters will  submit your resume and if they don’t get a response from their client, you’ll never hear from them again)

      3.       What about my experience interests you?

(this is another way to determine their knowledge of your qualifications and also determine what positions they have open)

4.       Do you have any openings for my qualifications at this time?

       (one frustration that candidates frequently express is that they have been approached and interviewed by a recruiter only to find out after the call that there is no job opening.  It is ok to get to know a recruiter that you can work with in the future if they do not have any current openings that match your qualifications, but the recruiter should be expressing the fact up front.)

      5.       How long has your company been in the HCIT Industry?

       (obviously the longer the better. Due to the heightened attention EMR has been receiving, there are numerous start-ups that lack financial stability, knowledgeable representatives and solid clients)

6.       Does your company offer salaried/hourly/1099/W2/perm placement employment and what is the pay schedule?

       (decide what employment model you prefer prior to your job search)

7.       What, benefits does your company offer?

8.       What is your travel reimbursement plan?*  Is travel reimbursement paid weekly/bi-weekly?

9.       Who is the client?* (providing they do have a position they want to consider you for)

10.   Does your company have a signed contract with the client you want to present me to?*

Notes:  You will always want to specify that recruiters are NEVER to submit your resume without your permission.  Lately there have been numerous entities that will submit resumes without a candidate’s permission.  Hospitals are likely to throw out any resume they receive from more than one source, so if your resume is submitted without your knowledge from one company and with your knowledge from another, you may end up losing an opportunity.   

You have a right to know where your resume is going!  If a Recruiter refuses to tell you the name and exact location of the client, find another recruiter!

Many agencies will submit resumes to hospitals that are not a client in hopes of obtaining new business.  The best way to guarantee your resume is reviewed by the hospital is to make sure the agency representing you has a contract with that hospital/healthcare system.

Make sure you know about the financial aspects!  Always find out what the pay schedule is, what the travel reimbursement policies are and what (if any) benefits are available to you.  Many smaller agencies do not provide pay or travel reimbursement until their client has paid, and that may mean you will have to carry that financial burden for 4 weeks or more on your credit card.

ALWAYS use your gut.  Pick two or three Recruiters from different companies that you feel comfortable with and work exclusively with them.  Contrary to popular belief, the more recruiters you work with does not net more opportunities.  Working with 10 or more recruiters is really not a benefit to you and may cause more confusion than you want.  By limiting your alliance with 2 or 3 Recruiters from different companies you should be able to stay significantly busy.  If one company isn’t bringing you enough engagement options, drop that recruiter from the list and add another.  If you are seeking a permanent position, use the same rule of thumb, 2 or 3 Recruiters from different agencies that offer perm placement (either internally or via client hospitals).  The only exception to this rule would be Go-Live Support Analysts that move frequently from one engagement to another, in this case utilizing multiple recruiters may increase your opportunities for short term engagements.

Keep a folder or spreadsheet listing the names of the Recruiters you are working with, what company they represent, when they contact you or when you contact them, the title and location of each position offered, where your resume has been submitted, whether or not you interviewed with the client and each engagement you accept.  This will eliminate duplications.

Update your resume each time you complete a new engagement and provide the updated resume to each of the Recruiters you work with.

*Copyright - Expressed permission must be granted by the blog owner to recreate, copy or use this material*


  1. Via Linkedin:
    "Love, love your Recruiter Questions. Thanks for sharing and for reminding us to ask these all important questions. I've added several of them to my list. " _ Angie Golden

  2. Via Linkedin: This has been very informative and enlightening, as I am just entering the world of consulting. It is said “that in all of your getting, get understanding”. Thank you
    Briggette Derrico-Lawrence

  3. Via Linkedin: "I think I know a lot but I've only asked recruiters one or two of these questions. THANK YOU!!"
    By Betty Waddoups, MBA