Although many hospitals post their vacancies online, if you are applying for a position in a foreign country, there are many obvious advantages to working with a recruiter.
• First of all, not all vacancies are advertised. Recruiters are often told about confidential searches or upcoming vacancies that are not posted on the employer's website.
• Recruitment companies are a one-stop shop for positions, i.e., they will have vacancies in several different hospitals, and even in several different countries. Rather than looking at several hospitals' websites individually, with a recruitment company, you can learn about openings at hospitals in one or more countries in one convenient place.
• We have direct access to recruitment and professional staff at our client hospitals, which someone without such a relationship cannot match. We can get answers much faster than you can.
• There is an overwhelming amount of information online about working in the Middle East. Some accurate, some not ("Did you hear that you can make $100,000 in one month in …?" or "But I was told staff nurses can bring their husbands and children with them …"). Because we recruit a high number of staff and have nearly daily contact with the hospitals, our information tends to be the most current (unlike your brother's friend's cousin who worked in Saudi Arabia 25 years ago in a different city in a different profession …).
• At any given time, the hospital's recruitment department will be dealing with hundreds of applicants from around the world, while a recruiter will have a few dozen active applicants. Therefore, we give you a more personal touch.
• Since agencies such as HZA have staff members who have lived in, worked in, and visited the countries for which we recruit staff, we can provide more detailed and practical information. In our case, Donna Radey worked as a PACU nurse at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre, and I lived in Saudi Arabia. Additionally, HZA staff members regularly visit our client hospitals, most recently in spring 2012.
• We are familiar with the work environment in the United States and Canada, as well as with the environment in the Middle East, so we can prepare you for the differences you will encounter in working with colleagues who have not worked in a North American or a Western environment.
• The cost of long distance calls to the hospital are borne by the recruitment company, not by you.
• As we all know, emails go missing. We are in regular phone and email contact with the hospitals, and will follow-up for you.
• "Timing is everything" — for example, if you live in the Pacific time zone of North America, you are 10 to 11 hours behind Saudi Arabia, and will have trouble arranging a time to talk with hospital representatives. (And did you know that the weekend in Saudi Arabia is Thursday and Friday?)
• Getting a work visa is a very complicated process. A recruiter not only guides you, but does much of the work for you.
• While not all recruiters do this, we reimburse the major part of your visa/medical expenses.
• If after you have relocated, you should run into unexpected difficulties (depending on what those difficulties are), we act as an advocate for you.
So when assessing a recruiter, don't be afraid to ask questions: How long have you been in business? With which hospitals do you work? Have any of your staff members visited the hospital? How many people have you recruited?
And just as important: Does the recruiter answer your questions? If they don't have an answer now, do they offer to find the information for you? Do they promise you things that are too good to be true? Can they put you in contact with people who are currently working at the hospital? Do they return your telephone calls?
To end on a personal note, all of us in our office love our jobs. Although our job is unusual and even difficult, we believe we are offering an experience of a lifetime.
Copyright (C) 2013 Helen Ziegler and Associates. All rights reserved.