By Ann Barnaby, CPC, CRC, CASCC
With the growth of medical coding and the need for medical coders, recruiters have become an integral part of the hiring process for employers. Recruiters can alleviate anxiety for coders and act as a “go between” with employers and new coders who are unsure of what to expect in the job search process. Let’s take a look at how recruiters interact with, support, and help both employers and candidates.
For overworked managers, a coding recruiter can be a godsend in helping to build a successful coding team. Relationships between an employer and a recruiter or recruiting firm usually begin with a meeting to discuss the needs of the employer. The coding employer will explain not only their staffing needs, but often the basics of medical coding as well. For this reason, it is important to remember, when a recruiter reaches out regarding an opportunity, that some recruiters are new to medical coding. I’ve actually had a recruiter ask me if I had experience with “C?…P?…T? codes?” I had to laugh, but it was a good example of what recruiters are up against in terms of learning our field as well as finding the right coder for the job.
Recruiters are often limited in the information they are allowed to release regarding the job specifics, and even about the company offering the opportunity. If a recruiter contacts you, it is completely reasonable for you to ask for details about the position and the company that is hiring; you want to get as much information as possible. However, if the recruiter isn’t able to share information with you, don’t take that as a sign that something is “fishy” and remember that they need to work within their restrictions.
There are times that recruiters will contact you even if they don’t have an immediate position available. When this happens, spend the few minutes to talk to them about the experience you’ve gained since you last spoke, and to share the type of work that you would like to do in the future. The recruiter will update their files, which will make it easier for them to match you with future opportunities. If they call you at a bad time, schedule a time to speak with them later. Recruiters are understanding of work hours, family obligations, etc., and are very willing to call at a time that is convenient.
Recruiters utilize many resources to find coding candidates. Be sure to post your resume online on sources like Indeed and LinkedIn. Make your fellow coders aware that you are open to working with and speaking to recruiters so that they can refer you as they are able to.
Working with a recruiter can be a very rewarding experience, and every conversation or meeting can lead to a new job, a new contact, a new education pursuit, or a new relationship that will pay great dividends for both parties.
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