FAQ: What Does a Physician Recruiter Do? (Plus Key Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 23, 2021

A physician recruiter is a health care professional who helps medical practices by hiring new staff members. Many professionals who are interested in health care pursue careers as physician recruiters so they can enter the health care industry while working on the administrative side of care. You might also enjoy working as a physician recruiter if you enjoy communicating with people and have excellent networking skills. In this article, we explore a list of frequently asked questions about being a physician recruiter, such as what they do and how to become one.

Related: How To Become a Hospital Recruiter (With Skills and Salary)

What is a physician recruiter?

A physician recruiter is a professional in the medical industry who hires doctors for health care facilities. These professionals most often work at hospitals or private medical practices, but they can also work for staffing agencies and other companies that connect job candidates with facilities in the industry that are hiring. Much of a physician recruiter's job involves completing human resources tasks, such as writing job descriptions for open positions and hosting interviews with job candidates. Physician recruiters also sometimes travel to visit the facilities they staff and to attend events where they can network with potential candidates and employers.

What does a physician recruiter do?

Here are some of the most common job duties for a physician recruiter:

  • Identifying qualified candidates for open positions at hospitals and medical facilities

  • Conducting interviews with candidates

  • Building an extensive professional network

  • Retaining doctors who currently work at health care facilities

  • Finding opportunities for health care professionals who are looking for work

  • Facilitating communication between candidates and potential employers

  • Traveling to different facilities and interview sites

How can you become a physician recruiter?

Here are some steps you can follow to become a physician recruiter:

1. Earn a bachelor's degree

The first step in becoming a physician recruiter is to earn a bachelor's degree, as most employers list this as the minimum education requirement. Because physician recruiters typically have responsibilities that align with human resources, many candidates major in human resources or human resource management during undergraduate study. This can ensure that they receive education in the specific skills they need to succeed, such as methods for recruiting and interviewing. While earning a bachelor's degree in HR, it can also be helpful to take courses in subjects like employment law and compensation policy.

Another option is to major in business, as physician recruiters also often need skills in administration and similar areas. For example, majoring in business might allow you to take courses in public speaking, which can be a valuable skill for physician recruiters, as they frequently attend meetings and conduct interviews.

Related: What Can I Do With a Human Resource Management Degree?

2. Build professional experience

Once you earn a bachelor's degree, start building experience in the health care industry. Most employers ask for candidates to have at least a full year of experience before applying for work as a physician recruiter. Because of this, it can be ideal to search for entry-level administrative positions in medical facilities, such as a receptionist or an HR assistant.

You can also pursue an internship with a physician recruiter who currently works in the field to learn about the specific duties they have. To find physician recruiter internships, you can contact hospitals in your area to ask about internship opportunities or search online.

Related: How To Get an Entry-Level Human Resources Job (And 5 Job Options)

3. Get certified

While some physician recruiters can find work without certification, having one can increase your chances of securing a job. This is because certification can show potential employers that you're qualified for specific job duties and prepared for work in the field.

Two certifications that can be beneficial for physician recruiters are the Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC) and the Certified Employee Retention Specialist (CERS) credentials from the National Association of Personnel Services. To earn these credentials, you can visit the National Association of Personnel Services' website and apply for membership and certification. You can also apply for more general HR certifications from other organizations to gain credentials in specific HR skills.

Please note that none of the certifications or organizations in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Related: 13 HR Certifications to Further Your Career

4. Apply for jobs as a physician recruiter

After earning a certification, you can begin searching for open positions for physician recruiters. As physician recruiters often work at hospitals, it can sometimes be effective to contact hospitals in your area to ask about openings in the recruiting department. Another method for finding work as a physician recruiter is to apply to staffing agencies that hire recruiters to fill positions at other facilities and companies. You can also conduct an independent search online using job search websites or general search engines.

What are the advantages of being a physician recruiter?

A career as a physician recruiter can have many advantages, such as:

  • Short preparation period. Physician recruiters only typically need a bachelor's degree and one year of experience to find work. This can help candidates enter the field quickly and start their careers without an extensive amount of preparation time.

  • Social opportunities. Working as a physician recruiter usually involves frequently meeting with and talking to other people. These responsibilities can be ideal for people who enjoy socializing.

  • Ability to make a change. Physician recruiters focus on finding the best candidates possible for medical facilities, which can make a difference in the quality of care that facilities can offer. Because of this, physician recruiters can contribute to positive change in health care by filling open positions with qualified and caring doctors.

What are the disadvantages of being a physician recruiter?

Working as a physician recruiter can also have certain disadvantages, such as:

  • Commission-based pay: Some physician recruiters receive most of their pay through commissions, which can sometimes be a challenge if there's a lack of candidates or open positions. Most also earn a small salary to ensure they receive compensation.

  • Duration of candidate searches: Occasionally, finding qualified physicians can take extended periods of time. Physician recruiters can mitigate this by using online resources like job boards.

  • Lack of specialists: Physician recruiters sometimes need to find physicians who are specialists, which can be challenging when they need to fill a specialist position that doesn't have many qualified candidates. They typically solve this by searching online and contacting their professional networks.

What skills does a physician recruiter need?

Here are a few key skills for a physician recruiter:

  • HR skills

  • Knowledge of employment law

  • Familiarity with recruiting processes

  • Communication skills

  • Interpersonal skills

  • Organizational skills

  • Legal knowledge

How much do physician recruiters earn?

The national average salary for a physician recruiter in the United States is currently $58,635 per year. Most physician recruiters also receive employee benefits outside of their salaries, such as paid time off, food provided at the office and access to wellness programs. Indeed also notes that physician recruiters can sometimes earn more money depending on where they live. For example, physician recruiters who work in Chicago, Illinois, can earn an average of $90,663 per year .

Browse more articles