Is it Better to Apply for Jobs Through a Recruiter or Go Directly to the Hiring Hospital?

Most job ads you’ll see on have been posted by either a recruitment firm or a hospital’s in-house recruiter. Which one is better to work with—the recruitment firm or the hospital?

The answer is: whichever one posted the job!

Why is that?

Some job seekers who see an ad posted by an outside recruiter might think that they can gain an advantage by “going around” the recruiter directly to the hiring hospital.

But more than likely that hospital has purposefully chosen to work with an outside recruitment firm. Hospitals do this for a number of reasons. These include:

  • The hospital’s in-house recruiter may need help with a particular position to fill.
  • They may be looking at a subspecialty in which there are few graduates.
  • They may have so many openings that the recruiter feels swamped and is in need of assistance.

When Working Directly with a Hospital Recruiter…

If the ad was placed by a hospital, you will work directly with the hospital recruiter. There are several benefits to this, including:

  • In-house recruiters generally have useful inside knowledge about the hospital’s workings.
  • They’ll be able to answer virtually any questions.
  • Their interests are 100% focused on hiring and building a team.

When Working with a Recruitment Firm…

If the poster of a job on is a recruitment firm, there are advantages there, too. These include:

  • A recruiter’s deep knowledge of the job market can yield helpful advice and guidance.
  • You will be establishing a new relationship. If you don’t land the job, the recruiter could help you in the future.
  • Often, outside recruiters are easier to contact than in-house hospital recruiters who have multiple responsibilities (other than the initial contact with physicians)

Respect the Contact Method that is Requested

The bottom line is that when you see a job ad on, understand that it was most likely posted by either a recruitment firm or a hospital for a reason. Respond directly to the ad, rather than trying to determine ways to game the system.

It’s in your best interest to respect the method chosen by the hiring organization.

Good luck in your search!

Search for jobs now

Get the most out of working with a recruiter

Physician salary data by specialty and state

Career Beat blog articles