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Recruiter’s Network & Hospital’s Flexibility Results in 51-Day CRNA Placement


Senior Search Consultant Addyson Wilgus leveraged her network to present a strong CRNA candidate for a rural Iowa critical access hospital, but their willingness to offer competitive compensation and meet the candidate’s career development needs secured the 51-day placement. 

Recruiter’s Network & Hospital’s Flexibility Results in 51-Day CRNA Placement

The healthcare industry is facing a number of staffing challenges, and when it comes to shortages, CRNAs are at the top of the list. Current demand for CRNAs far outpaces supply, leaving many organizations needing more coverage in this critical area. So, when the leader of a rural critical access hospital in Iowa realized he needed to hire a CRNA, he immediately reached out to Senior Business Development Manager Tori Schuessler to request Jackson Physician Search’s assistance. Senior Search Consultant Addyson Wilgus had already successfully recruited an FM-OB for him, and he wanted her to lead the search for a CRNA as well.

Tori assured the administrator that we could help. In fact, Jackson Physician Search is the preferred recruitment partner of the American Association of Nurse Anesthesiology, which gives our recruiters access to their database of members and potential candidates. The administrator was encouraged by this and had full confidence that Addyson would deliver. 

Anything for the Right Candidate

The hospital was looking for someone early in his or her career who was willing to put down roots in the community. The right candidate would be comfortable working with minimal physician oversight. Addyson counseled the CEO on strategies for successful rural physician recruitment, including the need to be flexible in terms of scheduling and generous with compensation to fill this high-demand position. He agreed to tailor the job and the package as needed for the ideal candidate. 

Addyson immediately thought of one promising lead, a CRNA practicing in Nebraska whose CV had circulated among her colleagues in the Midwest office. He had been in consideration for several CRNA jobs but had yet to find one that was exactly the right fit for him. He was looking to relocate so that he and his wife could be closer to family in a metro not far from the critical access hospital. They also needed to be in a reasonable driving range of another Iowa city for his wife to commute. The hospital satisfied both requirements. The opportunity also seemed to check all the boxes regarding the CRNA’s clinical preferences, so she called to find out if he might be interested.

An Offer He Couldn’t Refuse

The candidate was eager to hear about the opportunity. However, he was now considering a fellowship in pain management, an area of great interest to him. Addyson encouraged him to explore the opportunity and visit the hospital before making any decisions. He agreed to set up a phone interview and eventually accepted an invitation to visit the hospital and tour the area with a realtor. 

The CRNA was impressed with what he found, but the pain management fellowship was still in consideration. The CEO didn’t want to lose him, so he proposed setting up a turnkey pain management clinic for him to run under the retiring physician’s tutelage. The opportunity for professional development was extremely appealing to the candidate and, in turn, made the position one he is likely to stay in long-term. Accompanied by a competitive compensation package, it was an offer he couldn’t refuse. 

Secrets of CRNA Recruitment Success

The search took Addyson just 51 days — unprecedented for a CRNA search! Her broad network and relationships with individual providers were critical to her quick success. Of course, the critical access hospital’s ability to be flexible with compensation and the scope of practice was also key. The current demand for CRNAs is driving compensation and recruitment incentives upwards, and those who are able to comply will certainly attract more candidates. However, it often takes more than high compensation to close the deal.

This search demonstrates the importance of getting to know a candidate and tailoring the offer to meet his or her specific needs. In this case, Addyson advised the critical access hospital of the CRNA’s interest in a fellowship in order to thoughtfully create a way for him to develop his interest in pain management while working for the hospital. This addition created a job that was ideal for the candidate in every way – compensation, location, and career development. Not only was Addyson able to quickly meet the CEO’s urgent need, but she was also able to help a CRNA find a job where he would fit, succeed, and stay. 

Does your organization have a challenging position to fill? The recruitment team at Jackson Physician Search has the market expertise to advise on what it will take to hire someone and the network and sourcing tools to identify candidates who meet your needs. Reach out today to learn more.

Key Takeaways

  1. Addyson established a relationship of trust during her first search with the client, a challenging but ultimately successful FM-OB placement.
  2. The CEO trusted Addyson’s recommendations about what they would need to do if they hoped to secure a CRNA quickly.
  3. Addyson leveraged her network and relationships with individual providers to source an ideal candidate.
  4. The client was willing to offer competitive compensation and tailor the position to the candidate’s needs in order to win him over.

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