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All Things HIT

Jun 23 2013   6:47PM GMT

Double submittals: bad news for job-seekers AND hospitals

Posted by: AllinHIT
double submittal, Health IT jobs, Health IT market

This is a great time to be working in the health IT industry! Trainers, builders, analysts and PMs are constantly being contacted – some would say harassed – by staffing firms. With the industry so hot,  there a few cold facts health IT professionals should know.

One of those facts is, the more staffing firms you work with, the more likely you have faced the double-trouble, double submittal.  The term “double submittal” defines the situation when two or more staffing firms submit a candidate’s credentials for the same project, with the same client.

This is double trouble, because hospitals many times toss out the job-seeker’s duplicate resume, and thus miss out on a potential quality resource.  If more than one firm felt the candidate was perfect for the job, then it attests to the quality of the individual.  I could also say that this can also prevent the staffing firm from placing a quality candidate, but they will sometimes just give the hospital client another candidate.  Being a little “green” last year, I experienced this fate and I was very disappointed to be eliminated like this!  Hence, I developed a different action plan with some rules when dealing with staffing firms.

First, I decided to take control of the situation and narrow down the firms I would send resumes to.  I short-listed them based upon the answers to certain questions:

  • Give me some name of the hospital clients your work with?
  • What is your candidate submittal process?
  • Do I have a choice from being W2, 1099, or corp to corp?
  • After submitting candidates, what is the time frame I can expect in the selection process?
  • How long have you been in business and what projects have you staffed recently?
  • Are you exclusive to the client for this project?

These are just some examples of my questions!  The answers, along with candidate referrals, have assisted me in narrowing these firms down.

Second, I will never submit my credentials when the staffing firm holds back the name of the client!  This is a big problem because the staffing firm could submit a candidate to a hospital he or she is already communicating with. Some staffing firms will give general descriptions (e.g. “It’s a client on the West Coast”).  They will also ask who you are talking to, expecting you to remember all the projects you are submitted for.

Third, and related to the previous statement, I keep a list of all the jobs I have been submitted my resume for, and by what firm.  Hence, when I am asked the question of who am I talking with, I can really answer and am not relying on my ability to recite them from memory.

Lastly, I believe that hospital clients, along with the staffing firms, should better address the problem of double submittals.  For example, hospitals, as the client, can tell all their staffing partners they will interview candidates despite being double submitted, and let the candidate pick which firm they want as representation.  At the very least, how about tracking all candidates and develop first-come-first-serve protocol, i.e. the firm that submitted the candidate first wins!  That way, double submittals will only be trouble for the guilty party, the staffing firms!  This will eliminate double trouble for the hospital and the candidate.

After all, the good candidates are just trying to find good projects and the hospital is trying to get the best candidates. It’s all for the best in the pursuit of excellent careers in health IT.

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