Healthcare organization administrators are all too familiar with the challenges associated with filling a physician vacancy in today’s ultra-competitive hiring environment. Each month a physician position remains vacant, a hospital can lose as much as $150,000 in revenue. These staggering costs drive home the importance of having an organizational recruitment plan that is both efficient and effective. Here are several ways administrators can ensure they are getting the most out of their in-house recruitment teams.
- Have A Medical Staff Development Plan – Treating each physician vacancy as a one-off occurrence is the surest path to ineffective recruitment. Instead, create a strategic recruitment plan that incorporates best practices, is aligned with your organization’s vision and values and facilitates finding doctors who will fit, succeed, and stay. Effective recruiting is as much about retention as it is filling vacancies.
- Track and Monitor Your Recruitment Process Data – One of the biggest mistakes a healthcare organization can make regarding their recruitment process is not measuring or worse, not acting on their recruitment metrics. Data is your friend, and when you benchmark your recruitment processes, you can create incremental improvement and remove inefficiencies that drive up costs and increase time to fill rates.
- Invest In Your Recruiters – Only 11% of physicians are actively looking for a new job, while 76% are casually interested in hearing about potential opportunities. Giving your recruiters the tools and training they need to connect with these passive candidates is the foundation of a successful recruitment strategy. Encourage your recruiters to join the The Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment (AAPPR) by offering to pay their membership dues and annual education conference registration fees. Since digital recruiting has become the “go-to” method for connecting with physicians, the recruitment team needs to develop the skills and proficiency to effectively reach potential candidates.
- Engage an Industry Expert – If your recruitment process is not improving or your organization is struggling to find/hire quality candidates, it is time to bring in a fresh set of eyes. A trusted consultant who objectively assesses your recruitment practices and recommends areas of improvement can be the jump start your team needs to get back on track. Working with a recruitment firm that employees former in-house recruiters means they already are familiar with the process and know about common pitfalls. Whether using the industry expert to simply identify gaps or to completely overhaul your recruitment process, having an outsider’s perspective is a valuable tool that should not be overlooked.
- Utilize a Recruitment Partner – During times of high volume recruitment or as part of an overall strategic recruitment plan, establishing a partnership with a successful physician recruitment firm can help you access a broader candidate pool. A reputable physician search firm also provides you with access to information, technology, and systems that you may not otherwise be able to access. Another overlooked aspect of using a search partner is that they can free up your recruitment team to focus more on other important duties like onboarding, preparing site visits, and more.
Keys to a Successful Relationship With a Search Partner
Once the decision is reached to establish a relationship with an external physician search firm to help shore up your recruitment needs, there are a few keys to making it as successful as possible.
- Engage your recruitment team. It is important to ensure that your in-house recruitment team knows that the external search partner is just that, a partner. It is human nature for individuals to feel threatened if an outside entity is brought in as a resource. Clear and open communication will go a long way toward easing any initial challenges and creating essential buy-in from your in-house team.
- Establish clearly defined roles and timelines. Your search partner is an extension of your recruitment team and will bring with them a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise. To capitalize on that, it is important for administrators to establish standards for when candidates are presented for a vacancy. Things like fast turnarounds on establishing contact and setting up interviews, to timely offers will ensure that the candidates that are presented are not lost to competing opportunities.
- Maintain communication with your search partner. As important as it is to clearly communicate with your team about this new relationship, keeping the lines of communication open with your search partner is equally important. Establishing trust through open and honest dialog about things that are working or things that can be improved is key to any successful partnership.
If your organization is looking for an experienced partner to perform an objective assessment of your recruitment operations or you want to tap into a resource with decades of successful industry experience, visit our clinical recruitment assessment page.