How to Become a Physician Recruiter: Career Roadmap

Oct 20, 2021

Learn how to become a physician recruiter. Research the job description and the education requirements, and find out how to start a career in physician recruiting.

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Physician Recruiter Overview

Physician recruiters hire doctors for health care organizations, such as hospitals or private medical practices. They might work directly for the health care organization or for a staffing agency, overseeing the identification, screening, interviewing, and processing of candidates. They also might work with other hospital managers to develop strategies for attracting and retaining physicians.

Physician recruiters are human resources specialists and, as such, they work in office settings on a full-time basis. Travel may be required in order to recruit doctors. A few recruiters work on a contractual basis. Those who are employed by a hospital or other medical facility typically enjoy more job security than contracted recruiters.

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Field Human resource management, business, public relations or related field
Experience 2+ years of experience in the field
Key Skills Communication and interpersonal skills
Computer Skills Knowledge of internet recruiting tools and applicant tracking systems
Salary (2020) $59,765 yearly (median annual salary for physician recruiters)

Source: PayScale.com

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Physician recruiters can learn the fundamentals of human resources management by pursuing a bachelor's degree in human resources. Students might take courses in employment law, occupational health and safety, compensation policies, and organization and public policy. Business degree programs, which can also be useful in this field, focus on business administration and economics along with communication, ethics, and social awareness. Some programs offer the opportunity to specialize.

Many employers prefer that candidates for physician recruitment positions have at least one year of experience, even for entry-level work. Thus, while still an undergraduate student, it may be beneficial to seek an internship at a medical facility or under a current physician recruiter.

Step 2: Gain Experience

Graduates can find entry-level positions as recruiters for staffing agencies or in-house human resources departments. In an entry-level position, a recruiter might screen candidates and guide them through the interview process, place ads, and conduct background checks. After gaining two or more years of recruiting experience, recruiters might become viable candidates for physician recruiter positions.

The majority of jobs in this field are found through personal contacts and by networking with others in the field. Contacts can range from close friends and acquaintances to professionals in physician recruiting. Asking people if they know of job openings and conducting informational interviews with people who work in recruiting are two ways of networking.

Step 3: Become Certified

Although not a requirement, obtaining certification can lead to more job opportunities. The Society for Human Resource Management offers various HR certifications to individuals who have completed a bachelor's degree in human resources and who pass a certification exam. These exams cover principles related to human resources, including employment law, workforce planning, and compensation.

The National Association of Personnel Services offers certification specifically for physician recruiters. Candidates must pass an exam for the Physician Recruiter Consultant designation and are strongly advised to take advantage of the organization's study materials, which cover the laws and regulations affecting physician recruiting. Certifications for the Society for Human Resource Management and the National Association of Personnel Services both carry continuing education requirements.

In summary, becoming a physician recruiter requires a bachelor's degree in human resource management or a related field, as well as two or more years' experience in recruiting. Voluntary professional certification could lead to more job opportunities.

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