For VA national health care recruitment consultant Kevin Buccola, the workday does not follow a traditional 9-5 schedule. “My job is a 24-hour adventure,” says Kevin. “People in health care work around the clock, so I do too. I’ve met a doctor at 3 a.m. with a tray of cookies to say ‘Thank you for what you do.’”
His dedicated, never-quit attitude is fueled by his personal investment in the VA Health Care System – as a Veteran himself, he knows that he works harder for his fellow Veterans because of his belief in the mission.
“We try to find the best candidates,” says Kevin, who is quick to point out that there is a certain type of applicant who fits best at VA. “We’re looking for people who want to make a difference.”
Be a doctor, not a businessperson
Kevin’s approach to recruiting physicians and other high-priority positions is simple—plan your work, work your plan. This often means that he is in the local community, meeting with candidates who may have concerns about leaving jobs in the private sector for a career at VA. To that, Kevin emphasizes what he believes to be one of the most important benefits of a career at VA—time off for your personal life, whether to pursue hobbies or spend time with family and friends.
“Physicians are often working their tail off, running their own business, dealing with the stress and expense of malpractice insurance on top of practicing medicine,” says Kevin. “At VA, those worries aren’t there. And that peace of mind is so valuable.”
Job seeker advice
Kevin encourages all health care candidates to take advantage of any educational opportunities and certificate programs available to them. Kevin personally has two associate’s degrees, a bachelor’s degree and an MBA he earned after retiring from the Air Force, but he readily admits that he wouldn’t have more than a high school diploma if not for his GI Bill benefits and his commitment to furthering his education. Kevin knows that education is a must at VA, where requirements and expectations for employees at all levels are high.
Another way to stay competitive as a job seeker is to expand your professional network and reach out to a VA contact, whether that is a national recruiter or the local hiring manager listed on the vacancy announcement. Such outreach will help you learn more about the position from an expert source, and may reduce the length of the hiring process.
Finding top talent to serve Veterans
In his role at VA, Kevin recruits mission-critical health care providers for an area that includes Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Mississippi and east Texas. Currently, VA has a need for family practice physicians and psychiatrists in these areas. To learn more about these opportunities, contact Kevin directly.
“You can make a difference in the life of someone who almost gave the ultimate price for your freedoms,” says Kevin. “And I will do whatever I can to get quality health care professionals in front of Veterans.”