More than ever, the demand for healthcare providers is increasing, causing a daunting challenge to healthcare organizations who are already preparing to replace retiring providers or expand their services to meet the needs of the community.
As you know, the composition of the US population is attributing to the unusual dynamics of healthcare today. The Millennials, those born between 1981 and 1997, have surpassed the Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) as the largest age demographic in the country. This younger generation is at the age that they will be looking to establish a healthcare provider for their personal and family needs. Similarly, the Boomers, who are still a significant portion of the population, are retiring (providers included – which decreases the number of practicing providers) and will need more medical attention as they age. This is a classical example of demand, exceeding supply. In today’s market, the providers can go wherever they desire; pressing healthcare organizations to become even more creative and think outside the box to attract new providers.
There are many factors to consider in developing an effective and successful recruitment strategy. It begins with the healthcare organization and medical staff working closely together in determining how they define who they are, why they are recruiting and what characteristics are being sought in their next recruit. In other words, staying true to your mission, vision, and values when deciding who will fit best in the organization will guarantee the right candidate is hired. The strategy then includes selecting and building an interview team who will plan, prepare and structure a thoughtful interview process. This process plays a significant role from the first telephone interview up to the time the candidate signs. Providers will be paying attention to how well the organization communicates and if they demonstrate who they say they are.
Stressing the importance of selling the intangibles: those things available in your area for families in terms of activities, education, cultural diversity – anything that would be appealing to a potential candidate and his or her family are things that should be highlighted. As the provider will seek a place to live that offers good schools for their children, recreational opportunities that suit their personalities, vacation time, CME and access to necessary technology and facilities.
Timing is Critical
The timing of beginning a search is critical. Once a healthcare organization knows a provider is planning to leave the practice or they are expanding their organization, even if it’s a year or two in the future, the search should begin immediately. Recruitment takes time and dedication to find the right fit. There is a process involved in matching the needs of the healthcare organization with the desires of the physician. It literally may take months to work through the sourcing process to capture the attention of a viable candidate who exhibits the qualities the entity may be seeking.
Internal resources may appear successful initially, but if too much time goes on and there has been no interest in the opportunity and contracts are not signed, the situation may require the consideration of utilizing an outside search firm. Many times, by the time a search firm is retained, the organizations are in panic mode and expect candidates right away, but that is not always possible. If an outside search firm is chosen, it’s imperative to understand the role of the recruiter. When a candidate is presented it’s up to healthcare organization to immediately call the candidate to let them know the organization is interested in considering their application. It is important to establish a rapport and provide the warm and fuzzy feeling of belonging to the right candidate to convince them the position is one they will be happy with. Organizations must go above and beyond to get the candidate employed.
Transparency, Communication, and Creativity
Keeping the candidate engaged will become extremely important throughout the entire search process. Even more so once the candidate has been on-site to interview. Remember to keep communications frequent, be transparent with expectations, past, current and future plans of the organization and be creative when it comes to salary expectations, sign-on bonuses, and student loan reimbursements. In other words, when a candidate expresses interest, and the client believes they are the right cultural fit the client must be willing to adjust and be flexible.
Recommendations to remember:
- Be patient – understand from the beginning of the process that it will take time. Finding, vetting, and preparing the perfect candidate for the position is a process that takes time.
- Communicate – be transparent and respond immediately when either the recruiter contacts you or when you have a candidate who is interested in the position you’re offering.
- Be creative – think outside the box instead of being rigid regarding salary and benefits. Be open and consider what the candidate is offering and asking.
- Stay Engaged – Keeping your candidate engaged is critical from the inception of the relationship up to when the candidate begins employment.