The process of finding, recruiting, offering, and ultimately hiring a physician to fill your vacancy is complex. Each step has to be planned, practiced, and executed flawlessly to ensure that your offer is the one that is accepted over that of a competing healthcare system. In days past, hospital systems were in a position to pick and choose candidates for their vacancies, and it may have been commonplace to take the recruitment process for granted. Today, the dynamics have changed, and physicians are a heavily recruited group with multiple opportunities available. Missteps at any stage of the recruitment process could be the difference between making a placement and having to start from scratch. We asked dozens of physician recruitment professionals to help us understand the difference between why physicians choose one offer over another, and not surprisingly, it isn’t always about the money!
Timing is Everything. Unanimously, recruiters list timing as one of the most important factors in the recruitment process. Timing is needed to keep the process moving, and unnecessary interruptions or delays can grind you to a halt. Timing encompasses everything from acting with a sense of urgency from the time a candidate is presented to scheduling an interview, a site visit, and ultimately an offer. Trust between the candidate and potential employer is built on a timely chain of events. If a candidate asks a question and weeks pass before an answer is provided, an interested candidate will probably move on to another offer. One recruiter summed up the importance of timing.
“Timeliness is making the first point of contact and acting with a sense of urgency throughout the entire recruitment process. Remember, if they are speaking with us, they are speaking with others – it is a very competitive market!”
Be Prepared With a Plan. The most effective way to keep the recruitment process moving and avoid unforced timing errors is to have a strategic recruitment plan. While each search is a separate occurrence with the potential for unique variables, effective recruiting means executing a well-designed plan every time. From the team members who are involved in an interview to having buy-in from key stakeholders who may be needed to answer questions that arise, successful recruitments require communication and collaboration. Another key to preparedness is understanding your market and having a solid, pre-approved compensation package that can be justified with the historical/anticipated patient or procedural volumes. Terms are still going to have to be flexible, but having an anticipated offer and contract template ready to go keeps the process moving.
Make Site Visits/On-site Interviews Count. When a physician agrees to an on-site interview, they are already interested. It is important to create a memorable site visit to set yourself apart from the competition. The way to make this happen is to understand as much as possible about a candidate’s work and family expectations. Always put forth the effort to create an atmosphere that is not only welcoming to the candidate but also demonstrates that they can be successful in your facility and community. Catering to the family unit is as important as meeting the professional needs of the physician and helps you earn the trust of the candidate and their partner. Another mistake that occurs in today’s competitive environment is expecting a candidate to be available for a second interview. Avoid losing a top candidate by making sure everyone that needs to be involved is committed to the timeframe. If you try to schedule a second interview, you have probably lost this candidate.
“The interview is the client’s time to win a candidate over. From a welcome basket in their hotel room to a detailed itinerary that includes social events catering to the interests of the candidate and their spouse. A red carpet experience should be arranged!”
The Recruiter is Your Partner. Aside from timeliness, one of the things most often mentioned by recruiters is how important it is to keep the lines of communication open throughout the process. After a candidate is presented, it is still critical to keep the recruiter in the loop. Their expertise can be very helpful in keeping things moving in the right direction. Recruiters are a valuable resource in planning the perfect site visit because they have undoubtedly gotten to know a lot about the candidate and their family situation. Recruiters can also provide valuable insight into why a candidate has chosen a competing offer over yours. They experience a lot on the front lines of this competitive environment, and tapping into that expertise can help you adjust your process for the better.
If you want to know more about how Jackson Physician Search can help you streamline your recruitment process, contact our team of industry professionals today.