Clinical Coders question our Recruiters!
Clinical Coders Vs The Recruiters
More often than not in the world of recruitment, it is recruiters firing questions at candidates to find out information about them, their roles and experience, and their interests. So we thought let’s turn the tables. Tom and Sophie have opened up this idea to our GSA coder community and below are a handful of questions which were fired their way...
What made you decide you wanted to work in the recruitment industry?
Tom: I had previous sales experience and always thought I was quite a personable person. A few of my friends had gone into the industry so I thought was worth a look. Nearly 10 years later and I haven’t looked back.
Sophie: To be honest, I fell into it by complete chance. I had just graduated from my Business degree and had no idea what steps to take next. I had applied for a few graduate schemes and my CV was picked up by an agency based in Birmingham. They approached me about working directly for them mainly focusing on the IT market. I was there for just over 3 years before moving to GSA – the rest they say is history!
How did you find out about Clinical Coding?
Tom: I had just started at GSA, around 2009 and we were approached by a trust to help them find a permanent Clinical Coding Manager. I had no idea what the job entailed so did some research around it and tried to learn as much as I could about Clinical Coding. I soon found out how hard it was to find permanent candidates, which led to the idea of focusing on developing a contract market to help NHS trusts. It has gone from strength to strength over the last 8 years and now we supply to the majority of trusts up and down the country.
Sophie: I had decided to make the jump from my previous agency for a new challenge and was contacted by Tom. He gave me a little insight into the world of Clinical Coding, I was intrigued and felt like it was a really interesting market to work in, so decided to go for it and joined GSA in March 2014.
How do you feel about competition from other agencies working in the same market as you?
Tom: It can be tricky, but I guess anyone that works in recruitment will tell you that. We have focused purely on NHS Clinical Coding for the last 8 years and I feel like that is a big advantage to us as an agency – we know the market and how it works inside out which is what I think sets us apart from other agencies.
Sophie: Competition is part and parcel of recruitment - especially when working in a market where candidates are so in demand. I like to think that we can offer something different to our competitors and that there is a reason we have such a loyal contractor base who continue to use our services.
What makes a great candidate for Clinical Coding contract work?
Tom: I think the great candidates are those who have an open mind. Every NHS trust is so different, they have different policies and procedures and different ways of doing things. If we can find coders with lots of experience, but also who are willing to look at the different ways trusts do things and can learn and develop from that, then that makes them into great candidates.
Sophie: For me, it is someone that genuinely has a passion for what they do. If they can take this passion to multiple trusts and inject it into other trainee or junior coders it gives great results. Obviously, knowledge is key in this market, but also candidates who want to carry on learning is always great as well. A candidate that can roll with the punches and has a thick skin is as there can be so many ups and downs in the contract world.
What do you think the benefit of contractors is to a trust?
Tom: I guess the saying time is money is pretty true here. The majority of trusts we know have used or do use contractors because they physically can’t get the permanent staff and they need coders in, coding so the trust doesn’t lose money. Alongside this, I think it is knowledge and experience, especially when you come down to the really tricky complex notes. A contractor can offer knowledge and insight as well as getting the job done.
Sophie: Like Tom said, I think really it is knowledge and experience. We have a lot of really experienced coders who work for us that have worked in trusts up and down the country. It is very difficult to get that exposure as a permanent employee. Contractors can pick up different knowledge and tips and adapt quickly to environments. I think that gives priceless knowledge to the trusts and departments they work in.
Do you have a favourite contractor and/or manager?
Tom: I could never say I have a favourite! Some of our contractors really make me laugh, you get to know people on a personal level and that is really nice. The same with managers, some managers in the past have really not wanted to talk to me or haven’t needed our help and that is totally fine but it is great to follow that relationship through over months/years and develop it into something so if they do ever need our help they know where we are.
Sophie: Every contractor and manager is so different! Some of our contractors we don’t hear from for months at a time, just only really get in touch if there is an issue or if their contract is ending. Others we speak to on a weekly basis but they are all so individual. I couldn’t say if I had a favourite, but I get huge satisfaction from meeting a new candidate or manager and building up relationships with them and seeing that transition from stranger to working partner – it really is great.
What do you do in your spare time?
Tom: I have a new baby girl at home – Summer – who was born in June so my spare time at the moment is mostly nappy changes and swimming classes!
Sophie: Think about work? No, I’m joking! My spare time is mostly spent with my friends and family. I love to cook so I am often making up some sort of new recipe or testing out some baked treats on my boyfriend Phil, who always seems more than willing to oblige.
If you have any other questions you would like to send to our Clinical Coder Recruiters please feel free to get in touch!