When Chris Kratochvil, Regional Vice President of Jackson Physician Search, first reached out to the administrator at a radiology group to offer physician recruitment assistance, he was told the services were not required. The group, located in a small Minnesota metro, hired one or two radiologists annually and had always been successful in filling the roles without assistance.
Chris congratulated the administrator on her success and asked if they could keep in touch. Fast forward to 2021, and the group — like so many others — was struggling to hire a physician. When Chris reconnected with the administrator, it was clear the situation had changed, and yet, she was skeptical that a recruitment firm could make a difference. Chris learned that the group was affiliated with a hospital that had been working with JPS for years, and he encouraged the administrator to talk to someone there for a reference. Chris knew the long-time client would speak highly of JPS.
A Reluctant Start to the Recruitment Partnership
Sure enough, the administrator spoke to her contact and was encouraged to move forward with JPS. She let Chris know they were ready, but she pushed back on some of the standard start-up processes. Specifically, she didn’t think it was necessary to pay for the physician recruiter, Tonya Hamlin, to visit the location for a “profile visit.” Chris assured her the costs would be minimal and the value the visit would bring would be immeasurable. The administrator reluctantly agreed.
Director of Recruiting Tonya Hamlin knew the client was skeptical, so she wanted to demonstrate her value right away. In that first meeting, she shared the research she had done on the competitive market for MSK radiologists. The demand was much greater than the supply, so a competitive compensation package was imperative. Tonya’s research in this area was extensive, and both the administrator and lead physician could see that she was invested in their success and would be a valuable partner in their search.
The All-Important Recruiter Site Visit
After seeing the facility firsthand and getting to interact with the stakeholders, Tonya could attest to the appeal of the group and its location. The facility itself was modern, and the diverse group of physicians ensured a healthy blend of traditional ideas and progressive thought. As Tonya crafted the physician job ad, she highlighted the longevity and stability of the group. Without private equity investment, physicians had more autonomy and the earning potential was significant. She was confident that the ad would catch the attention of any MSK radiologist in the market, and once he or she inquired, Tonya could speak authentically to the appeal of the job, the group, and the location.
When Dr. S received a JPS email featuring the job, he reached out for more information right away. Currently practicing in Iowa, Dr. S was early in his career but felt he was surrounded by late career physicians who were resistant to change. He felt isolated in his current job and was actively seeking a better fit. Tonya shared with him what she knew about the group — from seeing it firsthand. The physicians comprised a range of ages and backgrounds, the facility was new and beautiful, and the direction of the group was steered by the physicians. Dr. S was intrigued.
Winning Over the Candidate
The client had assured Tonya from the beginning, that once she provided a qualified candidate, the group would know how to win him or her over during the interview and offer stages. Tonya presented Dr. S to the client in early March, and they were quick to schedule a call. When that went well, they invited Dr. S for an on-site physician interview as soon as his schedule would allow, which was early April. Their ability to act quickly was critical as Dr. S was interviewing with other groups as well.
The administrator was true to her word — the process was seamless. Dr. S was impressed by the beautiful, modern facility and the collegiality among the diverse group of physicians. The client was prepared to make an offer to Dr. S, but he was upfront about the fact that he would not make a decision until he had fulfilled his interview commitments with other employers and thought through his options.
Ultimately, Dr. S accepted the offer from Tonya’s client. The culture of the group was exactly what he wanted, and with some encouragement from Tonya, the group was able to offer him not just the compensation he sought but the flexibility too. The group would allow him to practice remotely in a limited capacity.
Secrets to Physician Recruitment Success
The search kicked off in December of 2021 and Dr. S accepted the offer in April for a time-to-fill of less than 4 months. Of course, the search didn’t fully get underway until after Tonya’s profile visit in January, when she was able to fully understand how to position the job with candidates.
“I knew from my visit that the group had the diversity and progressive leadership that Dr. S was looking for,” Tonya explains. “That’s not something I could have spoken to without seeing it for myself.”
The client also recognized, after the fact, how critical Tonya’s visit was to their success.
“Initially, I didn’t understand the need for the profile visit,” she says, “But in hindsight, I can see how important it was to the success of the search.”
Tonya also credits the success to the client’s ability to move quickly, seamless interview process, and willingness to meet the candidate’s needs.
“The client knew what to do to win the right candidate, but they didn’t have the marketing reach that we have at JPS,” Tonya explains. “After my profile visit, I was able to help them position the job to reach the right candidate, and once we found him, the client was able to move quickly and be flexible in terms of the offer.”
If your organization is seeking a partner to extend your reach and strengthen the effectiveness of your physician recruitment process, the team at Jackson Physician Search is ready to help. Contact us today.
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