Kurt Scott Director, Physician Search and Consulting at VISTA Staffing Solutions
Tip # 1 – SPEED
In my 27+ years in the physician recruitment industry, I’ve never seen the recruitment environment so fiercely competitive. If your healthcare organization is not recruiting the number of physicians needed to grow and accomplish your strategic goals, it very well could be what I consistently experience around the country: delays. Delays in conducting phone interviews with potential candidates, delays in getting candidates in for interviews and delays in getting contracts out to candidates that have said, “I will accept an offer if presented.”This process is very emotional. Everyone wants to go to a position where they feel needed and wanted. When delays occur, the first emotion the candidate has is, “Am I their second choice?” If you think back to the last time you looked for a new position, if your potential new employer said, “We can’t get everyone together to interview you until sometime in October, (it’s the last week in August),” how would you feel about their level of interest in you as a candidate? Contrast this scenario with, “We think you are an outstanding candidate for the position! Can you arrange your schedule to come interview next week?”
One of the most common bottlenecks I see is the contracting process. We have seen it take as much as five to six months to get a contract prepared. Seriously, this is one of the most common parts of the recruitment process that kills success – and it is so unnecessary and completely fixable. What do I normally hear from organizations that take an unusually long time to get contracts out? “This is just how it works here.” Remember, no matter where the bottleneck occurs, the clock is ticking. Your candidates are receiving dozens of email blasts about other positions. They are receiving bundles of direct mail pieces about open positions every week. Physician recruiters are calling them every single day.
So what can you do to speed things up?
Create a new recruitment culture through establishing expectations and accountability.
- IDEA: What if physician leaders responsible for their department’s recruitment had part of their potential bonuses “at-risk” based on their success in hiring new physicians?
- Communicate with the lead physicians conducting the phone interviews the expectation they will get the phone interview scheduled within 1 week of receiving the candidate’s C.V.
- Express to those involved in the on-site interviews they need to make their schedules available to interview with short notice (1 to 2 weeks).
Create a Physician Recruitment Advisory Board (Not too big!)
- Review and analyze the current recruitment process to expose bottlenecks and create a set of recommendations for improvements.
- Members should include physician leaders, system leadership and your in-house physician recruitment leader.
- Three or four meetings should produce the results you are looking for. Consider engaging an outside, unbiased third party to facilitate the review and recommendation process to navigate through and around any internal political roadblocks.
Create Contract Templates
- Establish the expectation that contracts go out within two days of getting a verbal acceptance from the candidate.
- I always recommend a verbal offer be made to a candidate first and no paperwork should go out to a candidate until you receive a verbal acceptance.
- Consider having the formal offers go out through your in-house physician recruitment leader. They understand the need to expedite the process and it will take the burden off your physician leaders.
My experience has been, the longer it takes, the less likely it will happen.
In the physician recruitment world… time is NOT our friend.