Physician Recruiter: Make your Work a “Happy” Place

By: Allison McCarthy, MBA

[box]“If you have two good friends at work, you’re almost guaranteed to like your job.” -Tom Rath, author, Vital Friends[/box]

This year’s Association of Staff Physician Recruiters conference in August confirmed the notion that physician recruiters are working in a “pressure cooker.” With more and more recruitment teams feeling overworked and overtired, it’s time to find ways to make work a happier place.  In a recent article titled, The New ABCs of Loving Your Job, leadership guru John Maxwell offered a few tips for turning the job you have, into a job you love.  The ABCs of his article are a good reminder for us all.


When you surround yourself by people whose company you enjoy, you take the drudgery out of the work.  I learned the value of a happy workplace at ASPR when I mentioned to a program leader that I had met her team in the exhibit hall.  She couldn’t say enough positive things about her team. Not only did they work hard and achieve a lot, but they also had fun together. They told jokes, got silly and kept each other laughing.  That kind of teamwork is a gift.

During my “in-house” days, we used to have “blitz nights” when I would order pizza for the team and, together, we would make a few hours of cold calls.  Blitz nights made cold calling a “team effort” and was much more fun than doing it alone.  As my responsibilities grew and I needed to better understand the internal politics, I created some new connections with others in marketing and among the service line leadership.  That way, I had people I could turn to and commiserate with when faced with a challenging scenario.  It’s important to have colleagues who will offer advice, uplift you when discouraged or leverage you when you need results.

When you love what you do, the people who are a part of that experience become more significant in your life.  You connect in a special way; they become part of your family and you part of theirs.


When you believe in what you do and honor that sense of calling to help others, you’re more likely to enjoy your work. While it would be nice to be recognized and appreciated for your work, the real sense of success comes when you find that passion and know you’re making a difference.  That doesn’t mean you’ll never get frustrated, feel defeated or question how things are being done, but when you step back and see your value, you can gain a better sense of fulfillment, purpose and gratitude for the talents you’ve been given.


You certainly face plenty of challenges – shortages, retirements, system consolidation, etc. – and it all can become overwhelming. When you work on overload, you run the risk of buckling and stagnating. Rather than focusing on all that you can’t do, tell yourself (and others) what you will do. Pick three tasks and get them done. Once those are accomplished, go after three more. By tackling challenges with intent, you’ll feel more in control of your day.

Every physician recruiter faces roadblocks, and dealing with those challenges takes work.  The more you can look at the “big picture” and recognize the contributions you‘re making, the more energy and enthusiasm you’ll have to face those hurdles.  And, if you have friends at work to help lighten the load, at the end of the day, you’ll feel a whole lot happier.

If you are looking for sourcing, onboarding or medical staff development help contact Allison McCarthy at