Why Should I Use a Healthcare Search Firm? FAQs

If you are 18 months away from the end of your residency or fellowship training, it is time to start thinking about the physician job you are hoping to land after you are finished. At Strelcheck Healthcare Search, we get a lot of questions from residents and fellows about the use of a healthcare search firm. Here are some of the questions we receive most often about using a healthcare search firm to find work.

Frequently Asked Questions About Working With a Healthcare Search Firm

Let us answer your questions about using a healthcare search firm to find work in the medical field.

What is a healthcare search firm?

A healthcare search firm is contracted by healthcare facilities across the country to assist them in their search.

How do I know if I should work with a healthcare search firm?

If you have narrowed down your search to work within a specific healthcare organization, then an internal healthcare recruiter that only recruits for that specific organization is your best option. 

However, if you are open to any healthcare organization and may want to relocate, working with a healthcare search firm, like Strelcheck Healthcare Search would be more beneficial. 

Are all healthcare search firms the same?

No, they are not. Here are the basic differences.

Retained Search Firms: In the retained search model, a client contracts with the search firm to assist them in sourcing ideal candidates. A fee is paid up front by the client. The retained firm then works very closely with the human resources department, executive management, and department chairs to define the profile, experience, and characteristics of the person they’d like to hire. 

A retained firm will usually be more knowledgeable about the precise details, such as salary, benefits, and company culture because they have done an on-site visit of the facility and community. Think of retained firms as an extension of the in-house staff, having a direct line to decision makers and working closely with them to fill the search. Strelcheck Healthcare Search is a retained search firm.

Contingency Search Firms: These firms earn a commission only if they are successful in filling the job opening. They use a more sales-oriented approach making a series of calls trying to “sell you” to different facilities as well as “sell opportunities” to you. Specifics on job details like salary and benefits are usually very limited.

Do I need to work with a healthcare search firm?

You do not need to work with a healthcare search firm, but since it is your first job out of residency or fellowship, it certainly can’t hurt. Search Consultants who specialize in healthcare, like Strelcheck Healthcare Search, often have inside information that is hard to find elsewhere, not to mention valuable connections throughout the industry.

Since every candidate has an in-depth phone screen with one of our Search Consultants, we get to know you, your family, and your exact desires. This enables us to handle a lot of the necessary job-search tasks that you just will not have time for as you’re finishing up your residency or fellowship.

Is there any cost to me to use a healthcare search firm?

No, as stated above, both retained and contingent search firms are compensated by the healthcare facilities they are contracted with. Best practice is to stay clear of any search firm that asks for a service fee, for you to sign a contract, or give them an exclusive.

Should I sign up with more than one healthcare search firm?

Working with more than one search firm can get confusing, so our advice is that you should work with only one. Employers who receive your CV from multiple recruiters may think you are having a difficult time getting noticed or have a hard time making decisions.

Is a healthcare search firm the same as an internal/in-house recruiter?

Yes and no. While both jobs have the same goal –– to place the best physician for the open opportunity –– an internal recruiter works for one specific hospital or healthcare organization. A healthcare search firm is contracted by several different healthcare facilities across the country to assist them in their search.

How do I know if I am signing on with a reputable healthcare search firm? 

Start by “interviewing” the search firm before making a final decision about using their services. After all, you will be working closely together until you find the right job. Ask if they are a retained or contingent firm and about their experience and knowledge of your specialty.

Once you choose a search firm, make sure you are ALWAYS honest with your Search Consultant. You are setting both of you up for failure if you do not give them specifics about the type of job you’re looking for, your salary expectations, whether you’re willing to relocate, and if there’s anything in your job history they should be aware of.

Strelcheck Healthcare Search is the Healthcare Search Firm for You

Strelcheck Healthcare Search is a retained firm with over 35 years of experience in placing mid-level to executive healthcare professionals in permanent positions. Our experienced, professional Search Consultants are ready to help you find whatever opportunity you are looking for. 

At Strelcheck, we are confident your search will begin and end with us. Contact us today.