Internal Recruiters vs. Contingency Recruiters

They say only two things in life are certain: death and taxes.  Another April has come and another tax season has ended.  Now it’s time for budgets to be created and money to be allocated for the 2017 tax season.  As your practice grows, one of those budget items will be for recruiting new talent - whether that means paying for ad space to recruit more office staff and administrative personnel or hiring an internal or contingency recruiter to find mid-level providers and physicians.

Internal Recruiters

Hiring an internal recruiter makes sense when you need to onboard a high number of providers on a regular basis.  According to, the median physician recruiter salary is $72,844 per year, with the national range being $63,978 - $84,443.  Now, let’s not forget about those taxes!  A recent article by CNN Money asks, “How much does an employee really cost?”  While that depends on benefits and several layers of taxes, it typically ends up being 18% to 26% more than an employee's base salary (and even higher for large companies).  This means that if you hire a recruiter at $70,000, that employee will actually cost you closer to $88,000 per year.

Contingency Recruiters

Alternatively, opting for a contingency recruitment firm like Creative Healthcare Solutions is much more cost-effective, especially if you are hiring at a lower volume or have intermittent needs.  Our rates are far lower than the typical contingency recruiter, who charges 15-20% of an employee’s first year salary.  With the average physician annual salary at $189,000, many contingency recruiters are charging $28,000-$38,000 per placement.  Being a small, streamlined firm, Creative Healthcare Solutions is able to charge a flat placement fee of $8,500 for a full-time physician.  Again, let’s not forget taxes … but, this time, you’re using a vendor and your recruiting expenses are a deduction.  At $8,500 per full-time physician hire, it only makes sense to hire an internal recruiter if you plan to bring on more than 10 full-time physicians per year.

In conclusion, we’d like to leave you with this handy image to illustrate the internal vs. contingency recruiter decision-making process:

Time Is Money

With February being the shortest month of the year, it has us thinking about time and how important that can be in the world of recruiting.

As a contingency recruiting firm, we get asked one question more than any other: how quickly can we present candidates?  We’re proud to say that we are able to present candidates in less than 30 days to 90% of our clients.  But, despite that quick turnaround, it’s how quickly the hiring manager responds to those presentations that makes the biggest difference in whether or not the candidate moves forward.

After we’ve presented a candidate, it’s up to the hiring manager to review their CV and decide whether they want to move forward or not.  We try to make the decision as easy as possible by including a summary of the candidate’s motivations and personality along with their CV, as well as concisely highlighting all of the most relevant information in an easy-to-read email.  It should take about 10 minutes to review a candidate’s summary and CV but, often times, we’re left sending follow-up emails days - sometimes even weeks - after the presentation has been sent.  

As healthcare providers receive upwards of 10 notifications about job openings every day (and for physicians that can be much higher), we recommend that presentations are reviewed and responded to within 24-48 hours.  Anything longer and there’s a good chance the candidate will have already moved forward with another opportunity or they will no longer be interested due to lack of communication dampening their enthusiasm for the role.  Delaying a response on a candidate presentation not only means the loss of the candidate, but will also reflect negatively on the practice and can impact future hiring options.

When trying to recruit a new nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or physician, time really is money.  Being responsive and keeping the candidate engaged is paramount to the success of the search.  A 24-48 hour turnaround on a candidate presentation will ensure that the candidate stays engaged and that your practice will have an opportunity to secure a great new employee.

Disrupting The Healthcare Recruiting Industry

2017 is here! Now that the dust has settled and holidays are firmly in the rearview mirror, we decided to take a look back at 2016 and reflect on how we were able to help healthcare practices like yours hire key talent at a fraction of the cost of other firms.

First, let’s take a look at the average physician recruitment placement fee. According to, “Contingency agreements are entirely performance based and you don't pay a recruiter until they successfully recruit an employee for your company. Typically, this is a percentage of the employee's first year compensation package and can range from 15% - 25% of that individual’s pay.” With the average full-time physician salary being $202,000 and the average full-time mid-level salary being $94,500, that puts most recruiters’ placement fees at $30,000+ for a physician and $14,175+ for a mid-level. Let’s compare that to our fees at $8,500 for a physician and $6,500 for a mid-level:

Placement Fees ($ in thousands)

How do we keep our fees so low? Well, we came into this industry realizing most small-to-mid size practices can’t afford typical recruitment fees. With that in mind, we decided to be disruptors and offer quality provider recruitment at affordable rates. We work smart and keep our business streamlined - and technology enables us to keep expenses much lower than a traditional recruiting firm. Why pay for landlines when we all have cell phones? Why buy an expensive printer/fax machine when we all use email and an e-fax number is $10/month? Why waste money on business cards and brochures when we have our contact information in our email signatures and can send PDF brochures? The status quo in the recruiting industry is expensive - and unnecessary. We trim that fat, keep expenses down, and pass on the savings to our clients.

Because of this, our lower fees never result in lower quality in service. Your search will always be directly handled by a Managing Partner and candidates will always be thoroughly vetted before being sent to you. We’re proud to report that in 2016, 85% of our clients had qualified candidates presented to them within 30 days. We want to emphasize the qualified, as many clients tell us other recruiters present more candidates and do so faster - but they’re not properly vetted and result in wasted time on all sides, due to issues that could have been easily discovered during a proper phone interview by the recruiter. While it may seem exciting to get 10 candidates within 48 hours, how valuable is that if none meet the requirements or are interested in the opportunity? We ensure that every presented candidate is qualified for and interested in the job at hand.

If you have a need for a provider this year, please consider using Creative Healthcare Solutions.  We are a contingency recruiting firm, so you have nothing to lose by working with us - you don’t pay anything unless you hire a candidate we presented and we will consult with you and provide feedback along the way. Don’t pay standard fees for standard recruiting. Partner with Creative Healthcare Solutions and get quality recruiting at affordable rates.

Four Tips To Get Your Online Presence Ready For The New Year

The new year is just a few days away and having a strong online presence will be more important than ever in 2017.  Having a well-designed, informative website is a necessity these days, not just a luxury.  According to a report by Yelp, 85% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses.  Not only do consumers visit businesses’ websites, but they also visit their social media profiles and, most importantly, any reviews that may be posted online.  The following tips will help you increase your online presence, as well as make sure the information already out there is accurate and informative.



Be aware of what reviewers are saying.

Make sure you know what people are saying about your practice.  There are many review sites where patients and employees alike can voice their opinions.  Try to publicly reply to any negative comments and offer a solution to any problems that may have been expressed.  You may not be able to make that specific patient happy, but you can show prospective patients that you’re making an effort to keep your patients satisfied.

Make sure you’re on Google business listings.

Google business listings allow patients to view the most relevant information about your practice at a glance.  Information like your address, phone number, hours, and even reviews will be available to users right in the search engine results.  

Be mobile-friendly.

A recent report by revealed that nearly 60% of all search engine queries were made on mobile devices.  That number is even higher - at 68% - for the healthcare industry.  Make sure your website is easy to navigate on mobile devices, as you’re more likely to get visits that way than on a desktop version.

Acquire a professional email domain.

We see a lot of small practices using unprofessional email domains and it’s a bad move on multiple levels.  Using an email address like not only gives off an unprofessional impression, but is also in violation of HIPAA.  For a very small fee, you can acquire an email domain for your practice that will give a much more professional impression and might even save you thousands of dollars in fines.

We hope these tips have made you think about how you can increase your web presence in 2017.  And don’t forget that we’re still here for any hiring needs you may have in the new year!

Happy new year from the team at CHS.

Don't Let the Holidays Slow Down Your Job Search!

At this time of year, recruiters hear a frequent refrain from prospective employees - “try me again after the new year”. People tend to be settling down into the busy holiday season and don’t want their celebrations interrupted with job interviews. While this is understandable, there’s a widespread misconception that employers have the same mentality.

While many industries all but shut down between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, the clinical side of healthcare has no choice but to keep moving. Interviews may be at a slightly slower pace and job openings not quite as plentiful but, contrary to popular belief, the process does not stop! Quite the opposite, we see a shocking amount of activity - particularly within small, private practices - during the weeks before and after Christmas Day.

Many healthcare organizations use the time around the holidays to get things in order for their next year of business. They’re evaluating their budgets, growth projections, and more, and using that to determine staffing needs. Then, rather than waiting for the new year to come around, they begin recruiting in December to get a jumpstart on the process. Even larger organizations can have a December hiring push if they need to close out their annual budget before January 1st.

What this means for the savvy job-seeker is that December becomes a key time to get ahead of the curve. You’ll make yourself stand out as a go-getter and could be signing a contract weeks before anyone else even considers applying! There’s less competition for jobs around the holidays and the decreased activity means that hiring managers have more time to devote to your application, making it much easier to move to an offer.

Filling out applications might not sound as fun as sitting by the fire with a glass of grandma’s eggnog - but it’s well worth the time to keep an eye on the job boards and get your application in when something catches your eye. We’ll still be working hard for you here at CHS, so keep our job board on your radar, too!

Happy holidays and happy job-hunting, from the CHS recruiting team - where candidates always come first.  :-)