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When OTs Wore White Shoes

My Issue with Recruiters

Published June 30, 2014 8:54 AM by Debra Karplus
I enjoyed reading the recent ADVANCE blog about recruiters.  I really don't even remember recruiters for therapy positions until about the late 1980s.  I did an online search to see if I could find out about the evolution of recruiting companies in therapy, but found nothing except for links to specific companies.  Curious, I looked at some of those links, expecting them to say when they were founded, but discovered nothing.  I have landed a few wonderful PRN jobs mainly in skilled care facilities via recruiters.

I was hoping to find out a number or percentage of occupational therapist who have found employment via a recruiting company, but again, I found nothing.  But, I have to assume that many OTs do find jobs, as the result of a phone call from a healthcare recruitment company; otherwise, there would not so many recruiters around making phone calls to therapists at often inopportune times.

Though I am now semi-retired as an occupational therapist, I keep my state license and NBCOT certification current, as I am open to the possibility of an occasional per diem PRN OT job close to home that fits my schedule.  It is being on that list of state licensed OTs that invites recruiters to find therapists including those not actively seeking employment such as me, and though their database apparently has much information about me and essentially all the therapist on their call list, they appear to have no mechanism in place for those who are seeking jobs and welcome those calls, and people like me who do not.

When the phone rings and I can hear the person greet me, I can tell instantly if it is a recruiter.  The caller is almost always female, with a very young-sounding voice; perhaps working for a recruiting company is a first job for many young women.  Typically they speak in "up-talk"; the inflections in their voice make every sentence sound like a question including a declarative sentence.  Like many ales cold calls, their "conversation" appears to follow a written script.

When they call, I immediately take charge of the conversation.

"Are you calling about a therapy position?" I ask.  "Yes", they say.

"Have we spoken before?" I inquire. Their response is always "no" even though I am certain I have spoken with someone from their company in the recent past.

Once they have responded, I speak in one long run-on reply, "I am essentially retired, and an not looking for a full or part time job, I am not looking to relocate or commute or travel, I do not live anywhere near Chicago; Illinois is a long state and I am three hours away, and I would only be interested in a PRN OT situation in my county that fits my fairly unpredictable schedule."

Nothing has ever materialized from any recent call to me from a recruiter.  But my life goes on and I let them do their job.


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