Recruitment firms offering up to €500 for medical staff referrals
Headhunters say demand is strong across all types of healthcare worker, on all levels
Medical staff coming in from other countries will have to self-quarantine for 14 days before they can take up a post. Photograph: Getty
Recruitment consultants are offering up to €500 to people who can refer medical staff to work in the health service during the Covid-19 outbreak.
While most parts of the recruitment business have ground to a halt along with the rest of the economy, medical recruitment is thriving thanks to the massive need in the health service for staff to plug gaps over the next three months.
Headhunters and recruitment consultants say demand is strong across all types of healthcare worker, and for both junior and senior staff. While much of the demand is driven by hospitals, nursing homes are also seeking to recruit, particularly those hit by cluster outbreaks.
Head Hunt International is offering €500 for each doctor recommended who is successfully placed, and €400 for nurse referrals. The company says it urgently needs consultants, registrars and senior house officers across all specialties to start “as soon as possible or within 30 days” in private hospitals or the HSE.
“Hospitals, nursing homes and care centres are all crying out for staff at all levels of all types,” said Sylvia Harrison, chief executive of Head Hunt International.
“We’re looking for people who can get here fairly quickly, ideally with no visa requirements. It’s obviously difficult getting in at the moment and can depend on flights,” she said.
Staff coming in from other countries will also have to self-quarantine for 14 days before they can take up a post.
Despite these difficulties, and the success of the HSE’s own emergency recruitment drive, Ms Harrison said her firm was finding “quite a number of staff” willing to take up positions.
“We have had retired people coming back, others who want to work part-time as well as people who have been laid off in other areas but want to make themselves available.”
Ken Cowley of Cowley Brown Recruitment said demand had been particularly high for doctors at all levels to work in emergency medicine, anaesthesia and general medicine.
Among those showing an interest in frontline work were people currently on sabbatical, returning from maternity leave or in academia, he said.
“We are finding some but it can be difficult because people can’t get back into the country,” he said.
And while medical recruitment was busy, even for “the normal stuff”, the rest of the sector had come to a halt, he said.