The Puppeteers of Healthcare IT Jobs

Welcome to my EMR Road Warrior (RW) Journal, read about experiences I have endured over these past six years as a successful traveling Certified Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Consultant. Today’s topic is Part Two of Knowing Your Worth and Being Prepared: Gain knowledge of who you are really dealing with, before you allow professional representation of yourself to a perspective employer. Let me begin by stating that 95% of the recruiting agencies and their representatives I have worked with over these past 6 years have been a positive and mutually beneficial experience. The timing of this topic is especially relevant for me to write about for a couple reasons; first of all, I need to address the other 5% of these recruiting agencies and their representatives I have been contacted by…for these I say to you “take your time before your sign!” Secondly, due to my recent “rolling off” a successful nine month EMR contract assignment, I’m in the midst of being “courted” by many healthcare IT job recruiters. A few I have dealt with previously, but it seems like there is a little explosion of many brand new firms in this in demand industry, that I have not heard of or worked with before.

OK, so the good news is about my favorite new little series of ‘Cable News Network’ commercials being aired. They feature that ‘banker guy’ and these adorable little kids, a new spot was aired this past week, therefore it’s my inspiration for this blog topic – The Puppeteers of Healthcare IT Jobs.
So it begins with a little girl standing in front of this “banker guy”, he is standing in front of a pile of assorted toys and balloons. The little girl asks the guy if she can play with his toys. The guy replies “Sure, but let me get a little more information first?” You notice the guy holding a little male doll dressed exactly like him (black suit, tie, and white shirt), he then holds this doll (his puppet?) straight armed directly out into the face of the little girl and now it’s like the guy mimic’s his puppet for the little girl to place her request differently. The puppet says “for broccoli say One,  for toys say Two”.
Of course the little girl shouts “Two!”. Then the guy continues to mimic the puppet saying “The system can’t process your request at this time, please call back tomorrow between the hours of 8am and 5pm Central Standard Time”. The camera pans over to the now confused little girl with the adorable little face and she sadly says “What?”.  The guy then refers to his puppet and says “sorry he’s in control now.”
The commercial ends with the tag line – Even kids know it’s wrong to give someone the run around!

The lesson I’m trying to convey from this scenario reminds me of how we need to know who we are really dealing with regarding all who claim to be Healthcare IT recruiters. Please, please become more aware of the individuals who may contact you during your job seeking and/or contract assignment quest. Before you answer the series of questions posed by recruiters, my advice includes you being prepared with your own set of questions that you require answers from the recruiter, first! Always remember, recruiters need you just as much as you need them.

Okay, so following includes some of my top ten questions I seek recruiters to answer. Feel free to utilize this RW Inquiry to Recruiter’s worksheet for screening calls from perspective recruiters:

Questions for you to ask the recruiter: Record the recruiter’s responses here:
  • What is your name, recruiting company name, and company website address?
  • How long have you been with this company?
  • How did you find me?
  • How long has your company been recruiting for the Healthcare IT (HCIT) Industry? Are you familiar with market rates and salaries?
  • What geographic location are you seeking to place me?
    Is this a permanent placement or contract assignment?
  • Can you provide me with names of other HCIT professionals you have placed for your company?
  • Are you working directly for the Hospital and/or Clinic client?
  • Are you working directly for your recruiting company?
  • Are you and/or your company on LinkedIn, Facebook, Monster, Dice, Ladders, etc?
  • How well do you know the HCIT Industry? What is your professional background?

As I stated at the beginning of this blog, the majority of my experience with recruiting agencies has been positive these past 6 years. But I have experienced a few challenging situations from which I have learned some valuable lessons, part of why I’m able to write about what I consider “lessons learned” and why I want to share this with you today. The Healthcare IT industry has been a very professionally rewarding (and lucrative) endeavor for me and the recruiting agencies I have worked with. I have worked very hard in being prepared for these opportunities by training for and earning my EMR vendor certifications, keeping them current, and acquiring additional work experience and completing assigned tasks upon the completion at each new hospital and clinic contract assignment. This is an exciting time to be a part of this evolution of paper chart conversion to computerized medical records.

I’ve noticed many new recruiting firms entering this in demand industry and many people are seeking to learn more about how they can get into this field or how to advance in this field.  Knowing who you allow to; represent you, provide your personal information to, share your education and professional background with, in hopes of receiving your hard earned salary, and/or your hourly rate and expenses reimbursement –  is such a crucial leg of your journey. Be sure to take the right first steps by dealing with the authentic entities!

Feel free to share your experiences with the various agencies (no need to call them out by name), by conveying your general advice for successful engagements and then the challenging engagements you have experienced.

Do you have additional questions you would suggest asking recruiters before one agrees to their representation?

What issues can you share that would be helpful to HCIT job seekers who are looking to work with the right recruiting firms?

About the author


Shirley Corsey

Shirley Corsey is a certified Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Consultant/Road Warrior, and owner of her own online training center for the Healthcare Information Technology industry. She is a seasoned Healthcare IT professional with over 25 years experience, with a recent career focus for the past 9 years in the EMR job market.


  • Great post Shirley! Let the buyer beware of “poser” recruiters who will become even more prevalent as Healthcare IT gets hotter and hotter! Your questions will be an outstanding tool for candidates!

  • Thanks, Joe

    I share with my readers what I’m experiencing or have experienced…I speak from my heart. I’m so glad we have this vehicle here at Healthcare IT Today blog site to hopefully outreach to those who can benefit for our advice.

    P.S. I just read your self interview blog and plan to do the same in one of my future blogs as well. Thanks for providing us with this information as well!

  • Shirley,

    What a fantastic post! I know firsthand the kind of time it takes to make blogging look so effortless – A LOT! I will link to your post in Friday’s newsletter so job seekers and employers alike will both get the benefit of your experience and guidance. Can’t wait to read your next entry!


  • Hi Shirley,
    I had the pleasure of meeting Morris today.
    I enjoy data processing, and have always been
    humbled by how much there is to know.


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