Not so many years ago candidates in the Healthcare IT Industry called Recruiters to find new positions. Now candidates are receiving calls from multiple recruiters with a variety of opportunities. With national unemployment high, this industry is a great place to be. One of the major issues for qualified HCIT Consultants is how to choose the right position or engagement that will not only enhance their resume but offer conveniences like; short commute times, high pay, perks such as benefits, bonuses, company credit card etc and provide a good working environment.
Since we've discussed how to find and work with the right Recruiters and Agencies in a previous blog I won't touch on that now. What we want to focus on is how to go about accepting the right position and navigating the process with grace and professionalism.
From a recruiter's standpoint, waiting for the client to make a final hiring decision is just as frustrating as it is for the candidate, particularly in the current climate. When candidates are entertaining a multitude of opportunities, putting them on hold until a client makes their decision is not a good practice, because they can easily accept another role. However, as a Consultant... if you have been interviewing for a variety of positions that interest you, PLEASE be honest with each recruiter you are working with. Providing the following information to each recruiter is considered a professional courtesy:
1. Number of other positions you are interviewing for
2. How far along in the interview process you are with those positions
3. What those opportunities do or don't have in comparison to their opportunity
4. How close you are to offer stage with those other companies.
5. When you have accepted another offer.
Keeping everyone informed can actually increase your chances at landing the positions you are most interested in. If your recruiter knows that you are in the final stages of the interview process for another position, they can contact their client and encourage them to move things along more quickly, they can also potentially obtain a pay rate increase or other perks of interest.
A MAJOR faux pas is accepting a position and then accepted another position only to decline the initial position shortly before or after the engagement has started. Every recruiter I know has at one point or another had to tell their client that the consultant they expected to start on Monday has decided to take another position. This action will normally get the consultant black listed from the agency / consulting firm and from the hospital / healthcare system.
As a consultant, if you have been interviewing for a variety of engagements and are aware that more than one of them will be calling with offers, it is best to alert all the recruiters and put each on hold until a final decision is reached. For instance: You are actively in the interview process for 3 positions with 3 different recruiters. Each position has reached the final interview stage and you are feeling confident about 2 of the 3. You have called each recruiter and made them aware that you are in the final stages of interview for a number of roles. On Monday of the following week recruiter #1 calls you with an offer, you are open to accepting but would prefer recruiter #2's position. You should let recruiter #1 know that you anticipate another offer and would like 48 hrs to make a final decision. Normally that should not be an issue and recruiter #1 will call their client and let them know. You should then call recruiter #2 and #3 and let them know you have an offer on the table and must provide an answer by Weds. Both recruiters can then call their clients and let them know, giving their clients a chance to extend an offer before your deadline. It is poor business to accept the offer from recruiter #1 and then 2 days later when another offer comes in that provides a higher rate, or is a shorter commute etc, you then accept that offer and call recruiter #1 to let them know you have decided to take something else. This leaves recruiter #1, their company and their client in a lurch. By accepting a position, you are making a commitment to both the recruiting company and healthcare system for the duration of that engagement and should follow that commitment through. (When considering permanent positions the rule of thumb is the same, put the first offer on hold until you can consider the other potential offers)
Everyone benefits from an open and honest relationship, especially now when so many employment options are available.
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