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The Search for Effective Physician Leaders: New Strategies for New Challenges, Part VII

Posted by VISTA Staffing on Dec 2, 2010 3:24:00 PM

Note: This is the final installment in a seven-part series on best practices in physician executive recruiting. To download the entire document, click here, or call Kurt Scott at 800-366-1884 to request a printed copy.

Part VII:

Executive Search Timeline

How long does it take to recruit top executive leadership for your organization? Not as long as you might think. Our experience shows that many organizations make the mistake of equating the length of the process with the seniority of the position. We think just the opposite—that a very focused pool of candidates is qualified for the highest level of positions. Therefore, suitable candidates can be vetted relatively quickly. Our average time-to-fill physician executive positions is seven to eight months. Here is an outline of the process and timeline we employ with executive search clients:

  • Month 1
    • VISTA team and the organization’s Executive Search Committee meet to develop the criteria by which all candidates will be evaluated; a revised job description is developed if appropriate. VISTA assists with the development of an attractive offer package if necessary. VISTA advises the client on the composition and roles of this committee and helps set expectations (i.e., being available for interviews, completing assessment sheets on the day of the interview). Training is provided on legal and effective interviewing techniques if necessary. A spouse recruitment team is also assembled and trained.
    • VISTA develops and implements a marketing/sourcing plan that may include advertisements in targeted journals, job board postings, direct mail, calling campaigns, development of a position-specific website with integrated sourcing, executive networking, and more, depending on the position.
    • CVs may begin arriving by the end of Month 1; they are received, tracked, and prescreened by VISTA.
  • Month 2
    • The bulk of CVs should be expected in Month 2. VISTA receives, tracks, and prescreens.
    • VISTA conducts phone interviews with promising candidates and prepares a detailed Candidate Profile on those who should be considered. Profiles are presented to the Executive Search Committee for consideration.
    • VISTA facilitates a meeting of the Executive Search Committee to review candidates presented. Candidates who are recommended by the committee move to the next phase. VISTA schedules phone interviews for these candidates with a member of the Executive Search Committee.
    • Phone interviews occur between the candidates and committee members and top candidates are recommended for on-site interviews.
    • VISTA works closely with the client to create an effective on-site interview process, including spouse interviews and a community tour with a realtor. (It is possible to have one or more 1st round interviews occur in Month 2 but more probable for Month 3.)
  • Month 3
    • VISTA schedules and coordinates 1st round on-site interviews.
    • Newly sourced candidates are vetted and start through the evaluation process.
    • Some first round interviews will occur.
    • VISTA meets with the Executive Search Committee toward the end of the month to review interview evaluation summaries and make recommendations as to which candidates will move to 2nd round interviews.
  • Month 4
    • 2nd round interviews are scheduled; some are completed in Month 4.
    • Some additional 1st round interviews are scheduled and completed this month as well.
    • At this point in the process, any new candidates who surface will be measured against the candidates already being considered.Only those clearly capable of bringing something outstanding to the table will be put into the mix.
  • Month 5
    • The remaining 2nd round interviews are scheduled by VISTA and completed.
    • Any outstanding new candidates will be scheduled for 1st round interviews.
    • VISTA meets with the Executive Search Committee to review interview evaluation summaries and make recommendations as to who proceeds in the process. (1st and 2nd round interviewees)
  • Month 6
    • Any remaining candidates still going through the process are interviewed and evaluated and recommendations are made.
    • VISTA works with the committee to select the top 2 or 3 candidates, who are then recommended by the committee to the hiring leader.
    • These chosen candidates are asked to prepare Vision Statements for submission to the hiring leader.(VISTA helps the Executive Search Committee and the hiring leader develop criteria and a format for these statements. The Vision Statements may or may not be shared with the committee.)
  • Month 7
    • The Vision Statements are reviewed with the Executive Search Committee and a decision is made as to the top candidate for the position.
    • A verbal offer is made to the candidate of choice. VISTA coaches the hiring leader on how to approach this call to make the negotiations effective and decisive. The goal is for the hiring leader to get a verbal acceptance PRIOR to paperwork being prepared and mailed to the finalist.
    • The written offer is accepted by the candidate, or not, in which case the second candidate in line is contacted with a verbal offer.
    • The agreed-upon relocation process is implemented.
    • The selected realtor and members of the spouse recruitment team act as “feet on the street” to assist the family with relocation details as necessary.
    • VISTA helps the hiring manager structure an “on-boarding” process for the candidate.
    • System-wide, community, and national announcements are released.
    • VISTA requests a post-engagement evaluation from the hiring manager and the Executive Search Committee.

Don’t forget to check back with us. Bringing the candidate on successfully—also known as “on-boarding”—and physician retention will be the subjects of our next whitepapers. Please feel free to call Kurt Scott at 800-366-1884 to discuss your physician executive recruiting needs.

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About VISTA Staffing Solutions

Founded in 1990, VISTA Staffing Solutions helps hospitals, medical practices, and government agencies in the US optimize their physician staffing, ensure quality and continuity of care for patients, and maintain financial stability. A leading provider of US Locum Tenens and Permanent Physician Search Services, VISTA has over 28 years of experience providing award-winning service in the locum tenens industry.

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