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Career Story: Healthcare Headhunter

Healthcare Headhunter

Job Title: Healthcare Recruiter, My Own Business

Type of Company: I place medical personnel, including nursing directors, managers, nurse supervisors and clinical specialists in jobs in local hospitals.

Education: BA, History, Barnard College •• MAT, Harvard University Graduate School of Education

Previous Experience: I worked as a recruiter for a healthcare company.

Job Tasks: There are two components to this job: recruiting and marketing, and you must be comfortable talking on the telephone.

I work with local hospitals in the greater Boston area. I talk to the hiring manager or the nurse recruiter in some cases, and I check nursing employment needs on the internet. If I see that hospital A needs a nurse manager for its medical surgery unit, I call hospitals that are not my clients to find appropriate applicants. (A "client" is an institution you have made a placement with in the past year.) In this case, a Med Surg Nurse Manager, not an ER Nurse Manager would make the best candidate. I talk to the applicant and describe the position without mentioning the name of the hospital that's doing the hiring. Geography counts. I wouldn't try to recruit a nurse manager from northern New Hampshire for a position on the south shore of Massachusetts. If I can locate a good applicant, I will call hospitals to see if they have an open appropriate open position.(marketing)

I need to know the availability of the applicant to interview and the salary the applicant is earning. If the applicant is earning $100K, I would not talk to her/him about a position that's paying 65-75K. If the applicant is going off on a two week vacation, I need to know that for scheduling purposes.

In addition to finding job applicants I do reference checks for the hiring company. The references that an applicant supplies should be colleagues or people whom the applicant has worked for, not friends and family members. I prefer to have an offer go though me rather than to an applicant directly. In this way I can "close" an applicant. For an example, If the offer is for 95K, I will try to close the applicant at 85 or 90K. When I release the offer at 95K, the applicant is usually ecstatic and says "yes" on the spot. The applicant needs to accept the offer directly. The best way is for the applicant to accept with the hiring manager.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The worst part of the job is having to get back on the phone after a disappointing session of recruiting. It's hard to be upbeat and cheery when all you have heard is "No" on many calls.

The worst disappointment is when the applicant turns a job down. The best part of the job is when you make a placement. I usually take the successful applicant out to dinner or lunch.

You have to be persistent and self-motivated to do this job well. You also have to be upbeat on the phone.

Job Tips: I would say you should work for a company first before attempting to go out on your own. That way you will get the necessary recruiting and marketing experience. Establish a fee for your services before you start recruiting. You have to learn that "No" is not personal and that you have to keep on going.

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