Interview with FloodGate CEO Josh Heuchan: Part 1


Q1.  FloodGate Medical has a different model than most recruiting firms out there.  What’s different about your firm, and why?

In our industry, there is a large divide between small “mom and pop” firms, and mega RPOs (Recruitment Process Outsourcing).  Historically, employers have been forced to choose between the two, understanding each has it’s benefits and drawbacks.  No matter which choice, they understood there would need to be some compromises on their part.  Our vision for FGM was to create a “best of both worlds” solution for any-sized organization, meeting their intrinsic needs of:  1) receiving tailored/personal service from industry experts, as well as 2) scalability offerings with forward thinking technology tools.  Additionally, we were becoming increasingly disillusioned with the med recruiting industry’s apathy (on the whole) in providing unbiased, neutral deliverables.  If “their” candidate wasn’t on the front burner… don’t expect them to dig in or go the extra mile.  While it often times comes at a cost, our firm has committed itself to filling all jobs with the very best candidate, every time, no matter who gets paid.  Period.  We see our clients scratching their heads, trying to figure out why we are working so hard for an “internal” candidate.  They don’t get it right away.  The victory for us, comes when we are the first ones they call next time.

Q2.  If I were to poll the last 50 people your team placed (a), what words would they use to describe their experience with FGM?  What about the people who didn’t get the job (b)?

  1. Great at communicating, honest, straightforward, knowledgeable, easy to work with, experts on their clients, authentic, approachable, encouraging, helpful,
  2. All of the above, plus: thoughtful, counter culture. high integrity, sincere, caring, vested in doing the right thing, focused on relationships, not revenue

Q3.  Your site boasts “candidate representation”, which isn’t something we see too often on talent vendor sites.  What kinds of services do you offer relevant to this?

Great question.  We are in early stages of rolling out some exciting new offerings for our candidates that’s been a long time coming. Candidates’ voices have fallen on deaf ears for far too long, and we are working diligently to reverse this reality.  At the present time, we have several programs in beta testing.  “Amplify” is probably our most popular.  This program aggregates our industry’s hottest leadership jobs from across the country and presents them “real time”, in a ridiculously user friendly experience.  This way, sales leaders can search/review/apply to job postings all on one simple interface.  This is entirely free, by the way.  Our executive career transitions program is also in beta testing and involves the educating and equipping of high profile medical sales executives with the information and tools necessary to properly position themselves for a career transition.  Many high level candidates are finding themselves on the market for the first time ever and need some guidance on how to proceed.

Q4.  Are all recruiters created equally?

Are all mechanics or doctors created equally?  NO!  Absolutely not.  If there was ever a free marketplace left in our culture, then recruiting, for better or worse, is it.  While I use the mechanic/physician analogy tongue-in-cheek, there is certainly some truth to it.  Candidates take their recruiter’s pitches, cues, directions, travel itineraries, and general career advice, all with the hopeful optimism that at least most of it is true/accurate.  Unfortunately, some recruiters have abused their positions of authority to manipulate outcomes in their favor.  Because of a few bad apples, the rest of the recruiters who work with integrity are treated with skepticism and, often times, disdain.

Q5.  What stereotypes about recruiters are true?  Which ones are false? OR What are the biggest misconceptions that medical sales folks’ have about recruiters?  Recruiters about candidates?

Over the years, recruiters have gotten a very bad rap and, much of it, for good reason. I’ve actually read reports stating that recruiters are only ranked above used car salespeople on the “sketchiest” professions list.  However, many stigmas associated with recruiters are simply not true.

  1. Recruiters jockey for “their” candidate, and it’s very difficult for them to be an objective consultant to a hiring manager (when other candidates are in play). – TRUE.
    It takes a lot of maturity and experience for a recruiter to truly place his clients’ needs above his own. This doesn’t happen very often.  Unfortunately, some recruiters miss the forest for the trees. The opportunity to become a value-added consultant to a hiring manager is at their fingertips, and they squander it, for fear they’ll lose a placement.
  2. Recruiters only care about candidates who are “walking invoices”. – FALSE.
    While this is a commonly held notion from the candidate community, there are many recruiters out there who are genuinely interested in forging long term relationships with a myriad of candidates, understanding “timing” is everything.  Those recruiters are always the ones who get great candidates coming to them, instead of the other way around.
  3. Recruiters are only driven by making a buck, and their “placements” are simply a means to an end. – FALSE.
    While recruiters are generally paid from a successful placement, many people who get into recruiting genuinely enjoy helping people to further their career.  There is a professional and personal satisfaction that comes from contributing to the improvement of someone else’s career and family.
  4. Recruiters don’t know anything about medical devices/sales or what med sales people do. – FALSE.
    Many recruiters, probably close to  ½, are former medical sales professionals themselves.  Of the remainder, those recruiters must know their “stuff” and be a true ambassador for their client.  Recruiting has become far too competitive these days for mediocre, unknowledgeable recruiters to stay in the game.
  5. Recruiters have no idea what we candidates actually “want”. Most of them just dial for dollars. – TRUE.
    Unfortunately, most don’t care enough (or have the resources) about investing into the candidate community to truly understand people’s professional goals and areas of interest.  As a result, they will continue casting wide nets to candidates, knowing that statistically some will get ‘hooked’.
  6. Good recruiters are like vaults. – FALSE.
    Candidates get a little too comfortable with their recruiters, sharing information that isn’t helpful to their job search, or appropriate for the relationship. Suffice to say, the recruiters’ loyalty is generally rooted in the client’s’ best interests – not the candidate’s.
  7. Recruiters are simply “resume pushers” and can’t really work hard/smart for candidates. – FALSE.
    Good recruiters have their client’s “ear” and can/will influence a hiring manager, whether it’s securing an interview for a under-qualified candidate, or assisting with salary negotiations.  For better or worse, recruiters have power.


==> A big thanks to Mark Bartz at Medical Sales Mentors for the interview!