It’s human nature to look for positive outcomes in even the most challenging of situations, and in spite of our current reality, these times are no different. So, when a healthcare facility in Alabama came to us in the middle of COVID-19 after losing two Ear, Nose, and Throat physicians to retirement and relocation, Helen Falkner, a Senior Director of Recruiting at Jackson Physician Search, knew she had her work cut out for her.
Recruiting an ENT physician in Alabama can be a challenge under the best of circumstances for two reasons. First, Alabama falls in the top 10 states experiencing the worst physician shortages. Second, ENTs fall in the top 20 specialties in the highest demand.
Fortunately, the facility’s Director of Physician Relations/Recruitment & Service Line Development was undeterred by the less-than-ideal circumstances and well aware that delaying the search would only extend the costly vacancy. Working hand-in-hand with Helen, they immediately launched the search.
As with every new search, Helen wrote a compelling job overview and posted it on multiple job boards, launched a targeted email campaign to an extensive database of opted-in ENTs, and began contacting physicians directly within 48 hours. Excited about the opportunity, she knew the right physician would be open to a virtual interview process.
When One Door Closes, Another Opens
Dr. R was working on his fellowship and would complete his training at the end of June. He had already secured a position with a private practice and was scheduled to start at the end of the summer. Unfortunately, his contract with his soon-to-be employer was canceled as a result of financial hardships the practice faced due to COVID-19. Born, raised and educated in the South – specifically Louisiana – he was ready to return to his southern roots. So, when Helen contacted him about this new opportunity in Alabama, travel bans and virtual interviews were simply hurdles for both of them to overcome.
Helen and Hannah worked quickly to keep the momentum alive with Dr. R. They worked to quickly schedule a virtual interview that included several members of the physician and support staff, as well as a Facetime call where Dr. R. virtually “walked” around the facility so he could see the clinic with his own eyes.
Dr. R was then introduced to a local realtor who sent him information about the schools, neighborhoods and restaurants. She also sent him links to online videos with community information. Between Dr. R’s conversations with Helen, Hannah, and the Realtor he was able to gain a clear picture of the family oriented and vibrancy of the community. With a wife and two young children, finding a community where they felt comfortable and were close to other physicians was important.
In spite of the pandemic, recruitment was moving full speed ahead.
Recognizing that Dr. R was a great fit culturally, the facility didn’t want to lose him to another opportunity. Within a week of the virtual interview, they received a signed offer of employment from the candidate. And shortly afterwards, Dr. R even put in an offer on a new home!
With a typical ENT search taking six months or longer, this story is a testament to how effective a digital sourcing process combined with a virtual interview can be. Just imagine how long it would have taken to find suitable physician candidates if a direct mail piece had to be designed, printed and mailed.
While every successful recruitment story is unique, there is always a common thread between them. And, that’s the strong relationship a recruiter develops with a healthcare administrator. When it’s built on trust and everyone agrees on what it will take to fill the physician vacancy, there are few outside circumstances that can derail the search.
If your facility is looking to find a trusted recruitment partner, Jackson Physician Search has a team of experienced healthcare industry professionals who are ready to help you. Contact our team today.
Not much about life in the United States at the present moment resembles our usual definition of normal, but still life goes on and so does physician recruitment.
The Physician Recruitment Process Under Transformation: Will Video Interviews Become the Norm Post-COVID-19?
A slow return to a new normal means some of the 20+ million displaced Americans will begin returning to work, and financially hard-hit medical groups…