6 Things You Need to Do Before You Begin a Physician Recruitment Effort

When a group is looking to hire a new physician, they often find that they needed to hire them yesterday. Whether it’s because an existing physician gave notice, has decided to retire, or has suddenly left the organization for personal issues, many groups find themselves scrambling to fill the hole left by the departing physician. But in this rush to fill the position, many organizations and recruiters fail to lay the groundwork necessary for a successful physician recruitment effort before they even draft the job description.

This rush can lead to a litany of issues that can derail a physician recruitment later on if not dealt with before there are already candidates in the pipeline. To keep this from happening to you, make sure to do these six things before undertaking a new physician recruitment effort.

1. Do your research

So you need to hire a new physician, but do you know what the market looks like for candidates? What are your competitors offering? Is there a shortage? Where do these physicians find their next opportunity? Knowing what to offer, how to market your opportunity, and how attractive your position is in comparison to the competition can help you manage expectations and find the right candidates where they congregate.

2. Get buy-in from existing physicians

Sometimes a physician will agree to bringing in another physician to their group, but not really want that to happen. In these cases, the physician’s who haven’t fully bought into the idea of hiring another physician can often derail the process by taking too long to provide feedback or being difficult during the interview process.

3. Establish a clear vision for the position

Occasionally, you’ll see that due to patient load, a practice needs to bring on another physician. But while the volume might warrant another physician, their role in the group might not be well defined. This also can happen when developing a new service line. Not having a clear vision of what role each new physician hire will play or what a day in the practice will look like can cause confusion when screening a candidate – both on the recruiter’s side and the candidates.

4. Identifying your ideal candidate

Before you begin even drafting a job description, you need to know who you’re writing it for. To do this, you need to establish a candidate profile, outlining the skills, qualifications, experience, and character traits a candidate would need to be successful in this position. This will inform how you describe the position, where you advertise it, how you market it, and how you screen physician candidates.

5. Establish a clear cut process

Before beginning a new recruitment search, it is crucial to establish a plan for each phase. When a candidate submits a CV, who will review it? Which physicians will be present for phone interviews and site visits? How soon after a site visit will an offer be made – and which approvals will you need beforehand? After how long will you review the effectiveness of your sourcing strategy? Having this all laid out before you begin the physician recruitment process can save recruiters a lot of frustration once the process gets underway and decrease the chances that you’ll lose out on a promising candidate.

6. Identifying the decision-maker(s)

In physician recruitment, there is definitely such a thing as having too many cooks in the kitchen. When too many people are involved in making the final decision, the process can become stalled and you can find yourself losing out on a fantastic candidate. Make sure to identify the key decision-maker(s) before you begin your physician recruitment efforts so you know who has the final say in the hiring process – and what it is they’re looking for in a candidate.

Key Take Aways:

  • Laying the groundwork before even drafting the job description can help you avoid issues later in the recruitment process
  • Having a well defined position, process, and candidate profile can help the recruitment process progress more smoothly
  • Knowing who will be involved in the decision making can help you decide who’s preferences to prioritize and who your allies will be in a process
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