Category Archives: Recruitment

AHPRA registration: How to speed up your approval

Gaining medical registration to work in Australia isn’t easy.

If you’re a Radiographer, Sonographer, Radiologist, General Practitioner or international medical graduate (IMG), you must register with AHPRA (the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) before you can work in Australia.

Although necessary, the regulatory hurdles are complex and registration often takes a lot longer than the standard waiting times listed on the AHPRA website. It’s a well-known issue in the Australian media that has also attracted much comment from the Australian Medical Association.

As medical recruiters, every day we meet frustrated healthcare practitioners from overseas who are encountering delays in the registration process. With the right visa and plenty of medical jobs available, the process should be straightforward – but unfortunately, we see waiting times of many weeks and even months.

Tips for AHPRA registration

• Apply early. Start your application as soon as possible, before you leave your home country. The sooner your application is lodged, the sooner it will be processed.

• Provide complete documentation. The most common cause of delays is incorrect paperwork. Double-check your application to ensure you’ve applied for the right category, and provide correctly certified copies of original documents (such as passports or degrees/diplomas).

• Get expert advice. The application forms can be confusing. All too often, we see candidates who have applied in the wrong category, and have to start the entire process again. Before you submit your paperwork, check with a professional to ensure everything is in order.

For personal advice on AHPRA registration, call our team on +61 (02) 9506 7000.

Further resources:

AHPRA registration process for overseas healthcare practitioners
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
AMA website

Myer’s recruitment mistake – is a timely reminder to utilise specialist recruitment agencies

The last 48 hours I have read with disbelief the saga unfolding over at retailer Myer; sacking their (I use that term loosely) “star recruit” Andrew Flanagan on his first day, as a result for claims that he worked at Zara, when he never did.

I am even more shocked by the terms used in numerous articles I’ve read “Exhaustive and thorough background checks were completed” Hmm I mean really come on! Zara have come out saying he has never worked for them, and according to 3 other news articles the reporters have spoken to a number of other retailers on his CV who could not confirm employment details.

I’m even appalled at one reporter’s use of the phrase “reputable executive hire firm”, when a simple search on google & linkedin; brings up 2 current staff and a number of jobs including but not limited to a nanny, café supervisor and a kitchen hand! I don’t see any roles above $80k salary. Nothing about this firm screams to me reputable executive hire firm! In fact a report today on SMH has the MD of this recruitment company suggesting the business operates from a Geelong office and from her home… Hmmm sounds like a Tin Shed operation to me.

Don’t get me wrong, this firm has been established for a number of years (it seems), they must be doing something right in the field they work with; but I don’t see anything that confirms to me they are a specialist in Executive Management roles in Fashion or Retail. Unless you consider; your local fish and chip store on the same level as one of our publically listed national retailers.

I am baffled at why this firm would have been appointed to the recruitment of such a role. Someone at Myer obviously didn’t to their due diligence! Or the other possibility is this firm tried punching above their weight and put on the table the cheapest option in-regards to recruitment fees! If I was Myer I would look at the agencies they use, how this firm got appointed, and really be looking into the references conducted by this recruitment firm, in my opinion creative writing could be what they are good at!

While this plays out in the public domain, it’s a timely reminder to clients to do their research on the recruitment firms they work with! Especially in Life Science and Medical arena, where so many people think it’s an area they can make a quick buck in! But they don’t have the knowledge or the database to make it!

There are countless firms trying to break into Life Science and Medical recruitment and there are a number of one man bands operating in this space. If you look for Healthcare jobs on Seek, Indeed, Mycareer or even linkedin you will be guaranteed to find a number of generalist recruiters or one man bands trying to break into recruiting, medical management, medical imaging, pharmaceutical or medical device roles.

As a HR or Hiring Manager wouldn’t you, want to make sure the firm representing your business is equipped and capable to fulfil your recruitment needs? Companies need to do due diligence on who they partner with for recruitment! You want the best candidates, so partnering exclusively with reputable suppliers who have a track record in your sector is the best way to attract talent and ensure your candidates are properly screened, interviewed and reference checked.

If you are recruiting a medical imaging job, you want to know that the agency knows your business, knows the difference between; a General Radiographer, a CT Radiographer, a MRI Radiographer a Mammographer and a Sonographer. But most importantly you have the knowledge that the recruiter and the agency has the industry network to do exhaustive and thorough background checks.

Yes, I also appreciate that in today’s world we want value for money, and sometimes the cheapest option wins out. But if you want quality you have to pay a premium for it. The ramifications of fixing a mistake will cost you more than if you opted to do it right the first time.

Why is Pfizer after a mega-pharma merger with AstraZeneca?

As a Life Science Recruiter I see the push from Pfizer to acquire AstraZeneca as a stance of weakness, coming from various factors including; a number of block buster drugs coming of patent the last few years, i.e. Lipitor & Viagra. A string of drugs with patents due to expire, some disappointing drug launches and a shortage in its product research pipeline of impressive drugs.

Pfizer has faced a decade without any attractive new drugs, over the last couple years it has been pinning its hope to its treatments for Kidney Cancer (Inlyta) and Lung Cancer (Xalkori), however both drugs have has weak sales. Predicted blockbusters treatments for rheumatoid Arthritis (Xeljanz) and Eliquis to prevent blood clots, have failed to bring in the billion dollar sales predicted. While their experimental drug and most exciting in development, Palbociclib from Breast Cancer; will face hard competition from other pharmaceutical companies who have more effective and safer drugs being developed.

This AU$100 billion+ proposal helps detract shareholder concerns from the low returns in research and development, and refocussed them on the future potential cost savings, some analysts are saying somewhere in the region of $4 billion annually; and if Pfizer rebases itself in Britain it will knock down its tax rate, which will also include the tax advantages from the “patent box” which was recently put into place, which offers companies who hold IP in UK, breaks on the profits from the IP.

Most importantly it will add AstraZeneca’s lucrative early stage cancer drugs that work by stimulating the body’s immune system to recognise and attack cancer. AstraZeneca has several of its own immune based drugs to treat multiple cancers, in January it announced an agreement with Immunocore to develop new treatments that use immune cells. An acquisition would also see an expansion of its established therapeutic areas such as Cardiovascular drugs and significantly increase Pfizer’s presence in Diabetes and Vaccines, both areas Pfizer is relative weak in.

As they say past behaviours predict future behaviours; and with the many mergers Pfizer has undertaken over the past decade we have seen them implement “Their strong record on Synergies” and reduced thousands of jobs and billions in costs were saved. In 2009 with the acquisition of Wyeth which had revenues of US $22.4 billion in 2008, Pfizer said it would slash 20,0000 people from the workforce and $4 billion in costs. It achieved over $4 billion in cost cutting and by the end of 2009 the work force wall already culled from 129,226 to 116,500.

Over the years we have heard that mergers hinder Innovation in Life Science. Mergers see Research and Development shift from a science focus to integration focus; resulting in not only departments being merged and budgets cut but innovation is stalled. I wonder what effects a merger this size will have on not only have on innovation but also the workforce within R&D?

More so my thoughts turn to the local Australian work force and what the impact will hold for the total of over 2500 employed at Pfizer and AstraZeneca and the manufacturing facilities that are responsible for over $300 million in exports a year.

Your Healthcare Profession Resume

As a professional your resume is predominately a recruiter’s, or prospective employer’s first impression of you as a potential candidate. Your resume is your marketing brochure and it is crucial that your CV stands out from the rest.

You need to utilise your resume, in the same way as Sales Professionals utilise advertising and brochures to entice prospective buyers. You are selling yourself, your skills, your qualifications and your experience.

Keep your resume Simple – You are a healthcare professional your resume does not need to have a lot of graphics, fancy fonts, colours or fancy boarders. Keep your CV simple, it needs to be easily scanned by the hiring manager, in an outline form, using bullet points to organize the information in a concise way. Use the same font type and size throughout the document.

They have no time or interest in reading a long list of adjectives that you put together to describe yourself. Your CV should simply state the facts: who you are, what your education is, what you do and have done. It should give the reader the important facts that they need to know, and that is… “This is the reason you want me for this position!”

Photo – This is a professional document, this is selling your experience and why a future employer wants you. The reader doesn’t want to see your glamor shot photos, or a cropped photo of you partying with friends in Bali or you in your swimsuit at the beach or even you in your lyrca standing next to your bike! You are laughing right now, but people do use these photos! Photos are not necessary on a resume. However if you really feel compelled to put a photo on your resume, make sure it’s a professional looking photo where you are in corporate attire or in a work uniform like scrubs.

Personal Information – Start with your personal information, your name, suburb, country, contact numbers and email address. This isn’t eHarmony so the reader doesn’t need to know you are in good health, a non-smoker, divorced with 3 kids name Milo, Milko and Oatis. Make sure your email is a professional email address – “Lollypopnurse” or “mongoosedirtbikesalesgu” don’t really say “I’m a professional”.

Summary– Give the reader a short snap shot of who you are and what you want to do. “I am a radiographer with 3 years’ experience in General & CT within private practice, I am now looking to gain experience in a private practice”.

This is a great section to give the reader some further critical information. Are you relocating? What are your time frames? Are you on a Visa? If so what type of Visa? All this gives the reader an informed understanding of who you are, and doesn’t give the reader a reason to say no.

Education and qualifications – This is critical information the reader needs to know especially within the healthcare arena, your qualifications are relevant to your work. Are you a member of a professional Body like RANZCAR or RACGP or NSW Nurses Association or APHRA? Include any relevant current memberships you hold and ID numbers. Include all your tertiary and vocational qualifications, including the year you completed the course and the institution you studied at. Compile this information in reverse chronological order. ABC Hospital’s internal course in Hand Washing is not a qualification. So do not include internal employer courses, or non-relevant courses you have completed, or even list the subjects you studied during your degree.

This section should look like this…

Current Studying Masters in Marketing ABC University Completion in 2017

2010 NSW Radiation License No. 123456789. Exp 1/1/2015

2010 AHPRA registration ID No 123456789

2009 Bachelor of Medical imaging ABC University GPA 5/6

2008 Fellow of RANZCO Subspecialty in Retina

Employment history – Compile this information in reverse chronological order, stipulate the dates of employment (Month/Year), Employer, Location and Job Title.

Have a sub heading Role Specifications – We all know what a Nurse, Radiographer, Doctor, or a Medical Device Representative does, so in this section give the reader key specific information they would not know that is relevant to this specific role. Keep this information in bullet point form. For example:

  • I specialise in the following modalities Obstetrics, Gynae, vascular and MSK.

  • I am 1 of 10 nurses on shift in a 15 bed Neuro Intensive Care Unit.

  • I cover a territory of Ophthalmology practices from south of Parramatta road down to the NSW boarder.

  • As a GP I see on average 25 patients a day.

  • As the Practice Manager I managed a team of 20 auxiliary support staff who supported 20 GP doctors, 13 Allied Health professionals and 15 Specialist Surgeons.

Have another sub heading Achievements – In this section you want to give the reader quantifiable achievements, list as many as you can. Did you increase revenue by billing more patient encounters? Did you improve quality by changing protocols or reducing errors? You need to spell out how your actions provided results or impacted your employer’s bottom line. For example:

  • In 2002 I was awarded the Nurse of the year. This was out of 230 nurses and I achieved this because of work I did to educate new staff in regards to new Infection Control Measures.

  • In 2012 I was sales representative of the year out of 35 representatives. I achieved this by increasing territory sales to 125%.

  • In 2008 I was promoted to the position of Senior Radiographer, due to the work I was doing in educating junior radiographers.

There are no maximum or minimum requirements of how many points you should have. Generally 5 to 7 points is a good average. Remember your primary objective is to give the reader critical information that they wouldn’t know about this role.

2012 – Current ABC Medical Imaging, Sydney Australia

Senior Sonographer

Role Specifications




Personal Achievements – The reader doesn’t need to know you like reading, travelling, playing the piano, or drinking wine in your spare time. What you are better off doing is writing about personal achievements you have achieved that show who you are as a person. Have you competed at a high level in sport or in regular competitions? Have you run the City to Surf in Sydney every year for the last 10 years and continually improved your time?

Additional Information –If you are going to add other information make sure it’s relevant to your role. Do you speak a number of languages? Do you have a clean driver’s licence? If not how many points have you lost? If you have written a number of clinical papers, add a section titled Publications, and add your publications. Give the reader as much information that is relevant to your suitability for the position.

MOST IMPORTANTLY Before you send your resume proof read it, check spelling and grammar.