Why Doctors Seeking a Career Abroad Should Rely on the Services of a Consultancy Instead of Job Recruitment Agencies?
- Category: Career Development for Physicians
- Published on: Friday, 27 December 2013
It is true for all professions, including doctors’ profession, that specialists achieve much better results in their work and fulfill their potential when they feel satisfied with their working conditions. The globalization and fluidity of the labour market allows for more and more doctors to seek medical jobs abroad.
In some countries it is a common practice for medical specialists to rely on the services of a medical recruitment agency to help them find a job. In other countries like Germany, for example, doctors search for a consultancy to assist them in achieving their career goals abroad. There is a definite reason for this. Doctors in Germany are well aware of the clear distinction between consultancy services and the services offered by a job recruitment agency.
Job recruitment agencies see their business purely as striking a deal between employers and employees. Their profit comes from the payment they get from employers. This makes them financially dependent on employers and therefore it puts an obstacle in front of their ability to keep neutrality. Agencies for doctor recruitment give priority to employers’ interests and doctors may not receive objective information about the working conditions in hospitals. Starting a job in a new workplace abroad may bring a lot of disappointments and stress for these medical specialists whose expectations are very different from the real situation. In such cases some doctors get fired, leave the job and go back to their native country or simply waste their opportunity for a good professional development.
Job recruitment agencies are an appropriate option for low skilled employees not for university graduates since there are more factors that must be taken into consideration and the workplace integration is much more complex.
When a doctor seeks consultancy services they feel secure that the consultancy takes responsibility for finding the most suitable workplace according to their qualifications, personal qualities and career ambitions.
Consultants in companies like Forum der Medizin are competent specialists who are either doctors or people with an academic career. They have the ability to analyze precisely the professional and personal qualities of their clients and create a career model for each medical specialist. The preparation of such an analysis is the first stage of the consultation services. The next step is to find the perfect match between medical specialists and hospitals. Except the preparation of the application documents consultancy services also include:
1. Recognition of the professional experience of doctors
2. Preparation of the tax declaration documents
3. Preparation of the documents for receiving child benefits
4. Registration of doctors in the State Physician Register of Germany
5. Legal advice on doctors’ rights
6. Legal advice in conflict situations with employer or landlord and in other controversial moments
The services mentioned above are not offered by job recruitment agencies. An even more important advantage of consultancy services is that consultancy companies are responsible for making sure that employers observe their obligations. Trainees have to be provided with the necessary training by hospitals. The hierarchical level of the position of newly hired medical specialists has to correspond to their qualifications and skills. The contract has to include everything that a medical specialist is entitled to: their payment should comply with the wage rate; social benefits, annual leaves and sick leaves should be included. Hospitals should provide foreign medical specialists with an opportunity to go up the hierarchical ladder.
When doctors know that they can rely on the assistance of a consultancy for all these matters, they feel more confident in their decision to work abroad and practice shows that they feel satisfied with their new workplace.
In Germany a guarantee for observing job applicants’ interests is the fact that consultancy companies like Forum der Medizin (the company has offices in Bulgaria) do not get a payment from employers but they are subsidized by the government. This allows for consultancies to be objective regarding the pros and cons of employers when they inform doctors about different hospitals.
The government controls the consultancy services and requires from such companies to have a special license. The institute KFW, whose aim is to support initiatives beneficial for the society, maintains a database with suppliers of consultation services which have been approved by a special commission responsible for assessing the competency and the quality of services offered by such companies. There isn’t such a strict control over the activity of job recruitment agencies.
Doctors who want to develop professionally abroad should search for a company that has a license and the necessary competency to offer consultation services. It is vital for their career growth and job satisfaction.