Hospitals are facing challenges to fill more of their physician recruitment needs. Why are some facilities having more success than others? The answer is simple the process is difficult. Thinking outside of the box is the reason. Being creative and getting the job done is not.
Shake up the process. Hospitals are process and procedural oriented so it feels natural to assign procedures to physician recruitment. This is not a good strategy. A process for vetting out problem physicians and questionable credentials is a good procedure. It is not effective though to have rules for recruitment and presenting your opportunity to physicians in high demand. Flexibility is the answer.
In a shortage situation physicians have many options. If your timing and procedures are inflexible and do not fit their schedules and timelines, they lose interest quickly. With 50 years in the Staffing Industry we cannot stress enough that completing the review of the physician’s CV and reaching out to them within 48 hours is critical. It will drastically increase the impression of your facility. If you can’t respond to them now it raises doubt about how they will be treated when they are on staff. Send them a quick email or text indicating that you received the CV and will let you know the next step within a few days. Then do it! Be sure you do whatever you say.
Facilities tend to have recruitment procedures that get bogged down. Examples: CV sits on a physician’s desk for review; physician recruiter is pulled in many directions and doesn’t follow-up on CV or delays first contact; phone tag; trying to coordinate your physician to call the candidate; after initial contact physician needs more information-long delay to get it; try to force candidate to interview according to your schedule instead of respecting their schedule. All of these examples ruin your odds of signing the physician.
Make it happen according to the candidate needs. If you have a physician recruitment process that includes 10 steps. No reason it has to be followed in order of 1-10. Try to follow what fits the needs of your interested physician. Engage the candidate by knowing what is important to them and where they are in their job search. Example: If the physician has two offers and deciding in 30 days you better not delay the details of your potential offer and contract too long. They will be signed elsewhere by the time to get to that step.
Bonding, relationship building. People bond and feel more comfortable by putting a name with a face. Send a video with a facility tour. Use facetime or skype for your first conversation.
Answer their questions. Ask them what they need and want rather than pushing your procedures. Makes them feel wanted. Customize the process and interview to fit their interests.
Working interviews. If the candidates schedule allows ask if they want to “try before they buy”. A way to be creative with the use of Locum Tenens. Don’t look at Locums as purely a way to cover vacations. It is a way to show a pool of physicians what you have to offer. They may fall in love!
Get your team on board. Your physician staff wants additional help for a better work/life balance. Explain the need to respond quickly and commit to a timely process. Instill urgency into your process.
Good luck with your creative thinking. If you want to discuss what well-staffed hospitals do to get their physicians signed give Concorde a call. After fifty years in recruitment we have seen it all- the Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.