May 28, 2015

Professional Recruiters: What Are the Benefits?

Often human resources directors and medical practice executives question the value of using a recruitment firm. After all, isn’t the process of hiring a new candidate fairly cut and dried? Post the position, select a few candidates to interview, and pick the best one.

Except it is not that simple. In fact, finding, recruiting, and vetting a candidate for a position can be quite complicated, not to mention time consuming and expensive.

“Unfortunately—and this happens quite often—by the time Adkisson is called to assist with recruitment, Human Resources (HR) and the medical practice executive have become highly frustrated and desperate because they have been seeking a candidate for quite some time with no success,” explains Michelle Houchin, President of Adkisson Search Consultants. “Sometimes when a search firm is not used, the practice searches for and hires a candidate, but months later everyone realizes the candidate is not the right fit for their practice. Unfortunately, time and money have been exhausted without the results they had hoped for.”

Houchin has plenty of real-life examples. “We had a client who let a candidate go after only three months. The practice hired the physician, who happened to be a ‘friend of a friend,’ therefore, the vetting and background investigation which is typically completed was not verified. Once the candidate was on board, they began to uncover some issues—problems with licensure, past malpractice cases, family situations unraveled, personal skills were lacking—the candidate was definitely not a good fit. When Adkisson was called to assist with replacing the candidate, the question we were asked was, ‘Why should we consider working with a physician recruitment firm when I could post the position myself?’ I gently reminded them that’s what led to the problem in the first place.”

When the team at Adkisson is hired to recruit, they have several resources at their disposal that give them an advantage for finding the right candidate. Their experience provides a huge database of potential candidates, not to mention each recruiter has an ever-growing list of contacts. “We are not dependent on candidates seeing a job posting—we actively recruit through networking.”

Adkisson works with both clients and candidates to make sure the right person is going to the right position. “We have a dedicated team of recruiters who genuinely want to find the best candidate for the client, as well as ensure the candidate is going to be happy and fit into the culture of the position,” says Vice-President Shannon McKay.

Not only does Adkisson have access to potential candidates that will fit the needs and culture of their client, they also work very diligently to fully vet the candidate before presenting the person to the client for consideration. “We verify schooling, training, licensure, board certification and complete background investigations. References are contacted for verbal and written evaluations, and we speak to the candidate’s significant other in order to ensure we present the best candidate to the client,” says Houchin.

When Adkisson clients receive a candidate, they know the candidate is in good standing with all the appropriate licensure, education, and experience they desire, plus they will fit the practice’s culture.

Properly vetting a candidate takes time, which is sometimes a source of frustration to a client. “Although it may take longer, we know our process works. We know that shortchanging the vetting process may be detrimental in the end,” adds McKay.

“We explain and prepare our clients about what to expect during the process,” says Houchin. “We know from experience how they will feel throughout the entire process: For the first 90 days of a search, the client is patient. Then, once the search goes beyond a three month window, they become impatient and begin to wonder what’s going on. However, we are confident in our process and frequently remind them the process takes time and that we are better off waiting for the right candidate as opposed to sending the wrong candidate. The client learns to trust that we know what we’re talking about.”

The recruiters at Adkisson specialize in the “art of recruiting”—finding not only the candidate that is best qualified for the position, but through an enriched dialog discover whether the position is, indeed, the right fit personally and professionally. Sometimes nuances such as recreational activities for the children in the community, or the types of patients typically seen in the practice make a difference—there is always something that nudges the last piece of the puzzle into place.

Finding exactly what that “something” is takes time to discover and is typically found by developing a trusted relationship. “We typically have anywhere from 5-10 conversations with the candidate and their significant other. During each conversation, we always learn something new which helps us understand if the candidate is truly the right fit for our client,” says McKay.

The ultimate goal of all the questions and conversations is to place the right candidate in the right position. “We want everyone to be satisfied with the end result,” Houchin explains. “We believe our expertise in recruiting has a bigger impact than just the client and candidate because we look at the overall picture. We improve lives—for the group or practice, the physician, and the community—because when the right person gets the right placement, everything is better for everyone.”

The advantages a recruitment firm provides for clients can be summed up quite easily: They specialize in getting the right candidate for the right position and save time and money in the process.

That’s value—cut and dried.

Wiese, B, (2015) Professional Recruiters: What Are the Benefits? Bloomington, IL.

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