All posts by SpineSearch

Healthcare Cover Letters: Why They’re Important

A cover letter is just as important as your resume. As a candidate, you are introducing yourself to the employer and letting them know why you should be considered for the position. This week we are focusing on how to write a great cover letter that will impress any employer.

First, you must evaluate what you should write in your cover letter. A cover letter is not the same as your resume; it gives the employer the opportunity to understand how your previous work and education have made you the right fit for their job. A cover letter does not need to be lengthy, but it must be clear and concise. Here are some steps to remember when writing your cover letter:

1) Express your understanding of the field and how your previous schooling and employment have prepared you for this position.

2) Explain why you are interested in this employer and your reason for desiring work in the healthcare field.

3) Give relevant school work and experience as an example, but don’t reiterate your entire resume.

4) Proofread your cover letter. Proofreading a cover letter is just as important as proofreading a resume. Check for grammatical and spelling errors.

Remember, a great cover letter and resume will help you get the job of your dreams!

In-Demand Healthcare Occupations

Healthcare occupations are projected to grow exponentially over the next ten years. The healthcare field is expected to produce 3.2 million jobs from 2010-2020. That’s faster than the average growth for any other occupation. We wanted to give you a look at the top healthcare jobs that are projected to grow rapidly.  Here are some of jobs that are most in-demand:

Registered Nurse

Nurses are the most in demand when it comes to healthcare jobs. There will be a 48% growth by the year 2020 for nursing jobs, and over 580,000 new jobs created by 2020. Nurses take on more responsibility in the treatment of patients which is a cost saving measure; thus creating a demand. The median salary for a nurse is $64,690 with the opportunity for growth.

Medical Assistant

Medical Assistants are projected to grow 34% by 2020. Job opportunities should be abundant for MA’s with formal training.  Medical Assistants complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians and other healthcare professionals. The median salary is $28,860.

Home Health Aide

Home Health Aide jobs are projected to grow 50% by 2020. A Home Health Aide is responsible to provide basic care for people with disabilities, chronic illness, and cognitive impairments. They help elderly, disabled and ill persons living in their own homes. The average salary for a Home Health Aide is about $24,000.

Physical Therapists

Physical Therapist jobs are projected to grow 30% by 2020. PT’s provide services to help restore function improve mobility, relieve pain and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities. A Master’s degree and state license is required to become a Physical Therapist.  The median salary ranges from $65,000-$85,000.

Physician’s Assistant

Physician’s Assistants are projected to grow 39% through 2018. Physician’s Assistants work directly under a doctor’s supervision and experience working with a team while having autonomy. The starting salary ranges from $70,000-$90,000.

Tips for Working with a Recruiter

SpineSearch wants all of our candidates to have the best chance of finding a job they love. As a candidate, working with a recruiter can really improve your chances of getting the right job. Candidates want to look for a recruiter that specializes in their field; this ensures that you will only be getting calls about jobs that pertain to your line of work.

The candidate should also be aware that the recruiter’s work is to find the right fit for the employer. Even though you interview for the job, it does not mean that you will get the job. Still, you want to interview for any position that interests you. Just because one employer does not think you are the right fit for the job, does not mean that every employer will think that.

You should have goals for yourself but be flexible. Don’t apply to jobs that are asking for experience you don’t have. You may go on a lot of interviews, but this will be crucial towards you finding a job. Candidates should also be honest and accessible with their recruiter. You should put your best foot forward while looking for a new job.

The most important thing to remember is: don’t get lazy. The recruiter wants to help you find work, but it is not their responsibility to do all of the work for you. When you go on interviews the recruiter won’t be there to make sure you brought your resume or wore an appropriate outfit. You must use the recruiter as a middle man between you and the employer. At SpineSearch we pre-screen all of our candidates before sending them to the employer. Candidates are able to get a good sense of what the employer is looking for, and the recruiter can give feedback to the employer about the candidate.

Resume Writing:Do’s and Don’ts

Resume writing can be quite simple if you have established the basics well, but if you haven’t caught up on the newest ways to improve your resume then SpineSearch is here to help! As a healthcare professional, writing a resume means including all of your clinical experience as well as license and certification. To improve your resume writing skills, here are some Do’s and Don’ts to make your resume stand out among the other applicants:

Do’s

1) Make your resume simple

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put a lot of effort into your resume it means you should write short, concise sentences that have a clear purpose and direction for your resume. You want the employer to get the most positive idea of your work history.

2) Proofread your resume more than once

You can proofread your resume and have a colleague proofread it for you too. Resumes get overlooked when an employer finds spelling errors in them. Edit your resume after every proofread.

3) Use buzzwords

A lot of practices are now using technology to scan in resumes and check for certain buzzwords and resumes that don’t have them will not be submitted for the job. Describe work history/accomplishments using the proper phrasing to ensure your resume won’t be overlooked. An example of this would be using words like: caseload, computer tech/skills, research/publications, responsible for, participated in etc.

Don’ts

1)      Don’t use the word “I”

Avoid using “I” in your resume. Instead describe your actions by using some of the buzzwords listed above.

2)      Don’t make your resume over two pages

Resume length has been debated but various professionals, but it is safe to say that a resume over two pages will become too much for a potential employer to read and they may wind up tossing you out as a candidate.

3)      Don’t include personal information

An employer does not need to know your marital status, height, weight etc. because that is not pertinent to you getting the job. Use the space you have on your resume wisely.

4)      Don’t write: “references available upon request”

This will only take up space and since you are giving an employer your resume it’s implied that you would give references if he/she asked for them.

5)      Don’t change tenses

For your current job you should use the present tense when describing your job duties, and for previous jobs you should use the past tense, but you shouldn’t go back and forth between present and past tense for every action you are describing.

6)      Don’t change fonts

You should pick a font that is easy to read and stick with it throughout the whole resume. Changing fonts will become distracting to the employer’s eye.

These steps will help you write a resume that will impress any employer.

New York Society of Interventional Pain Physicians Conference

SpineSearch attended last week’s New York Society of Interventional Pain Physicians conference at the beautiful Hyatt on the Hudson in Jersey City. Thanks to all who stopped by our booth to learn about SpineSearch. We made several connections with physicians based in New York and New Jersey who are looking to add staff to their practices. New job openings will be coming soon for Physiatrists, Family Medicine, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants. Further, we met with several Anesthesiologist/Pain Fellows who will be seeking opportunities in the New Jersey/New York areas upon completion of fellowship this summer. We found the meeting to be very engaging and productive. Big thanks to Paul Ellis from Kimberly Clark Healthcare for making several great introductions, and the staff from Dr. Chapman’s office for all of their assistance. We look forward to attending next year’s meeting!

SpineSearch at NASS 2011

SpineSearch at NASS 2011
SpineSearch was on hand last week at the North American Spine Society’s 26th Annual Meeting in Chicago. Nicola Hawkinson, CEO, moderated two discussions: Allied Health Track Session—Healthcare Reform and Beyond, and PA/NP Track Breakout Session—Failed Back and cervical Spine. I was able to take in the Young Spine Surgeons forum for a short time while manning our booth. Thank you to the fellows and attending surgeons who stopped by to meet with me to discuss the job market and practice opportunities. We would also like to thank our clients, and industry colleagues for all of their feedback. We look forward to working with you in the future, and to the NASS meeting in Dallas next year.

Calling all Chief Orthopedic and Neurological Surgery Residents

Calling all Chief Orthopedic and Neurological Surgery Residents
SpineSearch is excited about a unique recruitment project, and thrilled to be partnering with a highly esteemed orthopedic teaching facility in the southern US to refer PGY5 orthopedic surgery residents, chief neurosurgery residents, general orthopedic surgery fellows and attending orthopedic surgeons to attend an ACMGE accredited spine fellowship program to commence August 2012.
The fellowship offers physicians the opportunity to train in an academic environment that functions as a private clinic. Over 10 faculty surgeons in the institute treat degenerative, spinal deformities and traumatic injuries to the spine. The setting and environment are also conducive to learning the business aspects of starting and running a practice.
This opportunity is also open to International Medical Graduates who have completed a minimum of 2 years of consecutive post-graduate training in the US at an ACGME accredited program (typically Fellowships) in an orthopedic surgery specialty. Valid ECFMG, completion and pass scores on all three USMLE exams also required.
The institute is offering a compensation package in the range of 80K, depending on the amount of shared ER call taken, in addition to 10 days paid vacation. Further, 8 paid days are offered for CME and to attend conferences.
The facility is located in a charming southern town, with warm weather and a low cost of living. It is an easy commute to major metropolitan areas, has excellent school systems and a variety of activities to pursue. A 6-month program is also being offered for attending orthopedic surgeons who are looking to add spine to their practice.
Interested parties should contact Tom.sullivan@spine-search for more information.

Have a Retention Plan in Place Before Recruitment Begins!

Have a Retention Plan in Place Before Recruitment Begins

You’ve spent thousands of dollars to recruit a physician for your practice, invited the doctor for site visits, paid advertising costs, legal and agency fees, and a slew of other expenses; but, after the honeymoon is over, and the contract is up, the physician decides to move on. Annually, about 10% of them do seek opportunities elsewhere. Not only have you lost the money you have invested to recruit, credential and on-board the physician, but now the loss of potential revenue looms—which can be in the high 6 to 7 figures respectively.

Among the physicians who leave a group, nearly half do so within the first 3 years. Why do they leave? There are common reasons. Often, job expectations are not made clear during the recruitment process. Typically these include: the amount of patients seen on a given day, call schedule, in-patient responsibilities, and the expectation to work on weekends and evenings. The most common reason, however, is that they may feel as though they are just not the right ‘fit’ with the other physicians in the group.

One way to insure that a recruit would be a good fit with the group, is to establish what the common values of the group are, and convey those to the candidate during the recruitment process. Also, involve other physicians in the practice in the interview process to determine if the candidate would be a good fit. Some may say that the best retention strategy is to hire the right physician in the first place.
Some issues are more challenging: feeling unappreciated, no involvement in the decision making process, no opportunity for partnership. And some things can’t be avoided, like the desire to be closer to family. But turnover is costly; therefore have a retention plan in place before recruitment begins. There are many success stories out there, but develop a plan that is unique for your practice; one size does not fit all. Have a plan that is at least a three year process. Start by providing enough startup resources, a mentor, and feedback which is crucial in the early stages.

The Signing Bonus in Physician Recruitment

The Signing Bonus in Physician Recruitment

What once was an incentive offered to a physician, on occasion, for hard-to-fill jobs – signing bonuses for new physician hires have become not only the norm, but are expected (AMMED News 6-9-11). Not having a signing bonus in place is often looked upon, by a candidate, as an extreme negative. How does an employer stand out from the crowd to land a recruit in this highly competitive environment?

In addition to the cash bonus, which averages about $23,000, other incentives include relocation costs, CME expenses, housing allowances, and student loan forgiveness.

Can a facility that has only a few, or no such incentives in place to land a recruit, actually compete with the ones who are stacked with benefits and bonuses to offer? Unequivocally, yes.

Although it is becoming increasingly more difficult in this market, we must keep in mind that not all candidates are motivated by monetary rewards. Work-life balance, community, and meaningful employment opportunities for spouses and family members are examples of other factors that ultimately lead to a successful hire, and retainable physician. If money is the principle motivator, beware! Who is to say that candidates will stay, when deeper pockets start calling on them?

As recruiters we must look at the total package that a facility and community can offer; compensation is only part of the landscape.

Tom Sullivan
Vice President of Recruitment
SpineSearch LLC
tom.sullivan@spine-search.com

Physician Employment Trends – 2011

Physician Employment Trends- 2011
More Physicians Seek Hospital Employed Model
According to a new survey from Accenture (NYSE:ACN), more physicians will continue to leave their private practices to seek hospital employed positions this year. Their survey shows the rate of independent physicians employed by health systems will increase 5% over the next three years, and by 2013 less than 1/3 of physicians will remain truly independent (NY Business Wire).
As a physician recruiter I speak with more and more physicians seeking hospital employed positions after their practices have suffered due to the economic downturn. Further, many do not want to deal with the administrative headaches that running a private practice can bring, any longer.
For some candidates, a hospital employed position can provide greater stability in a fragile economic environment, offer the latest in technology and equipment and provide a better work-life balance.
There are many innovative ways for hospitals to recruit and retain these candidates in this environment. One is to employ a specialist firm to network and source candidates from this expanding talent pool. As an education, consulting and recruitment company, SpineSearch has a unique place in the fields of Orthopedics, Neurosurgery , Neurology and Pain Management; offering industry leading expertise to hospital clients seeking new talent, and providing opportunities for those physicians seeking new challenges.

Tom Sullivan
Vice President of Recruitment
SpineSearch LLC
tom.sullivan@spine-search.com