How to Talk About Locum Tenens | Q&A with Greg Kurmadas, President of Locums
One of the questions we hear from our agents is how to talk to candidates about locum opportunities. We sat down with Greg, the president of our locum division, to get the inside scoop on what agents need to know about locums.
What is the biggest hesitation physicians have when it comes to accepting a locum opportunity?
The two biggest hesitations physicians cite when considering locum positions is that they already have a full-time position, and that they prefer the security of a stable job.
What the first group probably doesn’t know is that only about a third of locum physicians pursue locum work full time. Most doctors pick up extra locum shifts in their free time, since many locum opportunities last only a few days or a few weeks and can be a good way to earn extra income on the side.
For those doctors who prefer the stability of a permanent job, you can mention that locum positions are guaranteed income, whereas many permanent physician contracts can be terminated without notice. This means there can be just as much stability with locum positions as there are with permanent roles. Additionally, working closely with a healthcare recruiting company (like Relode for example), you can likely stay continuously employed, if that’s your desire. Many of the contract positions also have the ability to turn into full time work, so if a physician really likes a locum placement, there’s always the possibility it can turn into something more (which can be especially good for new docs and residents).
What should an agent know about locums prior to speaking with candidates?
Locum, or locum tenens, are short-term physician assignments that last anywhere from a few days to a few months. Typically in these positions, the physician will work with a healthcare recruiting company to coordinate with the hospital or clinic. The facility will cover travel, housing (if needed), and malpractice insurance so that when the physician arrives, he or she can immediately start practicing.
Additionally, locum positions offer a freedom not often found in other physician positions, and many hospitals are willing to be flexible with hours.
How do you typically pitch locums to a physician who’s never worked a contract position before?
When I’m talking about locums, I have the mindset that every doctor is a locum doctor, regardless of whether they’ve actually worked locums before. What you talk to a doctor about will ultimately depend on what they’re looking for. If they’re looking for a way to earn extra income, there’s a locum opportunity for that. If they’re looking for more freedom in their current job, or a better work/life balance, working locums can help with that as well.
Is there anything else agents should know about locums when working on a job?
Make sure you have a clear understanding of the requirements of each position when talking to your candidates, as every locum position is a little different. If you really understand the job and the description, you’ll be able to match interested candidates with great opportunities.