7 Keys to Success in Physician Recruitment

When recruiting physicians to y our organization, there are several things that need to be done in order to increase your chances of success. Especially as competition for qualified candidates begins to grow, it is more important than ever for recruiters to recognize these factors and begin to implement them in their physician recruitment strategies.

From creating partnerships with individuals both inside and outside your organization, to being able to react to changes in the recruitment landscape, here are the seven keys to success in physician recruitment that can mean the difference between effectively filling positions or going without needed physicians.

1. Planning Ahead

Experienced recruiters understand that while many of their recruitment needs are immediate, they know they will likely have additional needs in the future and will want to start laying the groundwork for future physician recruitment searches.Planning ahead is also crucial for an organization that is hoping to hire physicians fresh out of training. Graduating physicians are beginning their job searches and committing to positions earlier ever year, meaning recruiters hoping to bring them into their organizations are starting to recruit for positions further out – often over a year.

2. Strategic Partnerships

While the majority of successful recruiters are well-versed in full-cycle recruitment, the most efficient know that they don’t need to do it all alone. These recruiters know how to strategically utilize physician recruitment firms to help with sourcing, screening, and scheduling candidates, helping them maintain a steady supply of candidates and a quality candidate experience.

3. Leadership Buy-In

An organization’s decision makers can make or break a physician recruitment effort. When the leadership doesn’t understand how the recruitment landscape has changed or doesn’t move forward with candidates with a sense of urgency, recruiters can find themselves losing out on high-quality candidates. When an organization’s leadership is involved in and supportive of the physician recruiters, recruiters will encounter fewer roadblocks, happier candidates, and faster placements.

4. Understanding Individual Practice Culture

In recruitment, understanding an organization’s culture and utilizing it to attract and screen out candidates can both increase the stream of candidates and the likelihood that hired physicians will stay on long term. But with large health systems and medical groups, recruiters need to recruit not only for the organization’s culture, but the individual practice’s culture as well. While the organization may have a mission and set of values that a physician needs to align with, each individual practice has it’s own culture (training, demographics, etc) that prospective candidates need to fit as well.

5. Assessing the Landscape

Some of the most successful recruiters are uniquely attuned to changes in the healthcare recruitment landscape. By gathering data internally as well as assessing projections regarding shortages in the future, organizations can adjust compensation models, incentives, and recruitment marketing plans in such a way as to lessen the effects of a tighter market for physician talent. Being able to do this in a timely manner – especially being able to beat your competition to the punch – can mean the difference between losing out on dozens of prospective hires or meeting recruitment goals.

6. Adjusting Expectations

Physician recruiters who are successful at meeting their organization’s recruitment needs are also using their assessments to adjust candidate expectations and time-to-hire expectations accordingly. As the recruitment landscape becomes more competitive, these recruiters know that they will not only need to begin recruiting further out, but they may need to adjust their candidate wish lists when recruiting for hard to fill specialties.

7. Thinking Outside the Box

At the end of the day, the ultimate key to physician recruitment success is a recruiter’s ability to get creative and think outside the box. Recruiters who rely on the old standbys of job board postings and print ads are quickly realizing that they won’t be enough to fill their ever growing list of recruitment needs. Many successful recruiters have already created robust social media presences to attract candidates, while others have revamped referral programs to attract more passive physician job seekers. As the competition increases, recruiters who wish to be successful will continue finding new ways to reach prospective candidates in areas that aren’t crowded with recruiters, re-imagining how and where to source the best candidates.

Key Take Aways:

  • Successful recruiters are constantly researching their market and the recruitment landscape to address any changes and quickly pivot in a way that will enable them to fill their open positions.
  • Creating partnerships with decision-makers within the organization as well as with third-party firms can improve the overall recruitment process, enabling physician recruiters to source more and higher quality candidates that are more likely to accept a position.
  • Planning is key – creating an accurate manpower plan can mean the difference between being able to comfortably fill a position or having to scramble to find someone to plug the gap.
  • A successful recruiter can assess and address nuances in practice culture, expectations, and shifting sourcing strategies to find the best candidate for the position.
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