- Not having the ability to find enough “qualified candidates”
- Turnaround not fast enough – costing healthcare organizations around $45K-$232K per month in lost revenue due to vacant positions
- Internal recruiters not having the vast professional networks 3rd party recruiting firms own
Who are physician recruiters?
Physician recruiters work to assist healthcare organizations with all aspects of medical staffing and recruiting. They either work directly for the organization or are part of a physician recruitment firm.
- A bachelor’s degree in human resources or related field
- 2+ years of recruiting experience
- Strong communications and interpersonal skills
- Knowledge of digital recruiting tools and tracking systems
- Good analytical and organizational skills
Remember, the more time spent in the physician recruiting industry, the more knowledge and experience you gain.
So, what makes a good physician recruiter?
Here are 3 traits to look for:
1. Knowledge – Having a degree and some experience doesn’t guarantee success. Good physician recruiters must:
- Be well-informed about the current market conditions
- Stay on top of healthcare news and trends
- Be well-versed in various specialties
- Have knowledge in resume/CV building
- Provide powerful interviewing tips
- Have experience filling out licensing/credentialing paperwork
2. Dependable – When seeking a physician recruiter, make sure to find one who has your best interest, is reliable, honest, trustworthy and holds him/herself accountable. Physician recruiters should make you their top priority and assist you in a way that works and is beneficial to you.
3. Connections – Physician recruiters are known for their “connections” including list of extensive networks in the industry. They constantly work to identify healthcare organizations (with or without job openings) to establish and cultivate relationships that can later be leveraged.
Other traits include desire, enthusiasm, great communication skills, impeccable work ethic, confidence, strong mindset (good enough to take rejections) and more.
Now that we understand the requirements and traits of a successful physician recruiter, let’s dig deeper into what physician recruiters do.
Physician recruiters primary role is to help fulfill vacant positions with qualified medical staff. This includes overseeing the screening, interviewing, hiring/onboarding and retention of physicians.
Other responsibilities include:
- Managing and understanding clinical requirements
- Developing staff development plans
- Managing budgets
- Preparing job descriptions
- Drafting and negotiating candidate contracts, compensation and benefits
- Credentialing, running background checks, licensing etc.
- Maintaining ongoing communication with candidates and hiring managers
- Developing and executing long-term recruiting strategies
- Participating in conferences, job fairs and other recruitment opportunity events
Being a physician recruiter is not easy.
The process to find a “qualified” physician can be long – especially due to the growing physician shortage.
However, there are pros to working with a physician recruiter. Physician recruiters are known for their:
All of these benefits and more make it easier for healthcare organizations to staff and recruit. If you’ve never worked with a physician recruiter, maybe it’s time to consider one.
At the same time, the physician recruitment industry is also evolving – and, as a result, the number of physician recruiters is increasing. As of 2020, the U.S. has approximately 104 active physician recruiter organizations with the National Association of Physician Recruiters.
If bridging the staffing gap is doable, how can organizations know when it’s time to hire a physician recruiter?
Here are 5 signs that it’s time to consider a physician recruiter:
1. No recruitment or retention strategy in place – Your organization just “hires”. As a result, they:
- Market to a broad vs. niche talent pool
- Hire “unqualified” candidates
- Miss the opportunity to attract top talent via referrals
- Don’t train interviewers to ask behavioral-based questions
- Lose “qualified” candidates to competitors
2. There aren’t enough “qualified” candidates – Your organization struggles to find qualified candidates. They develop static job descriptions which don’t properly describe the position or desired candidate. Additionally, they post job openings on broad vs. niche platforms.
3. Vacant positions aren’t being filled within a timely manner – The number of HR staff or internal recruiters your organization has is limited. Therefore, compensation and training is given priority over recruiting, and fulfilling staffing needs isn’t done within a timely manner.
4. Candidates are being lost to competitors – Your HR staff or internal recruiters struggle to “close the deal”. Team lacks understanding candidate wants and needs (job flexibility, having a positive work environment, competitive salary, benefits etc.), which are critical when recruiting.
5. Organization has a limited professional network – Your organization is overwhelmed and doesn’t commit to establishing valuable, new connections. Therefore, they:
- Lack access to healthcare experts and resources that can help achieve company goals
- Lose insight to healthcare news/trends and industry best practices
If you can apply any of these 5 scenarios to your healthcare environment, you’ve just identified the need for a physician recruiter.
The next question you’re probably asking yourself is how do you find a great physician recruiter?
Let’s image what an ideal physician recruiter looks like. An ideal physician recruiter is someone who:
- Prioritizes you or your organization
- Utilizes proven strategies to achieve your goals
- Has a great amount of experience and connections
- Efficiently streamlines your physician job search or physician staffing needs
The 3 most common ways to find a physician recruiter are:
1. Google – Run a search using key terms such as “top physician recruiters”, “physician recruiters”, “top physician recruiting firms”, “physician search firm” and “physician staffing services” to gain a list of websites to look into. For a more targeted list, add the state where you are located such as “top physician recruiters in South Florida”.
2. LinkedIn – Search the term “physician recruiter” on LinkedIn to identify and connect with physician recruiters and physician recruiting firms. You can also leverage the “similar job titles” and location filter to narrow down your search.
3. Healthcare Professional Associations and Coalitions – Check healthcare professional associations and coalitions such as the NAPR, NALTO, AAPPR and NCHCR. These associations and coalitions provide industry-leading information, and some even have connections with physician recruiters or physician staffing firms. Browse their online member directory and/or attend upcoming events to connect with a few of these companies.
After finding a few potential physician recruiters, the last step is to screen them to see if they are the “right” fit for your organization.
First, find out if they offer the services you need and schedule an in-person or phone meeting to get to know them better.
Remember, the overall goal of partnering with a physician recruiter is to have a “win-win” relationship.
- Is your company nationwide?
- Do you provide temporary or permanent placements?
- Are you knowledgeable in all areas of practice?
- How long does it take to fill open positions?
- Do you meet with clients in-person to understand their needs?
Finding the perfect physician recruiter is not an easy task.
But following these guidelines will put you on the right track.
Here are 3 trends set to impact the physician recruiting industry in 2020 and in the next decade.
1. Physician Shortage – The physician shortage has been an ongoing concern for hospital executives across the board, making it the number one trend impacting the healthcare recruitment industry. However, there are a few effective solutions to help organizations survive the physician shortage – some which can be implemented immediately while others are pending government approval.
2. Technology – Understanding the healthcare industry challenges is key but finding ways to overcome these obstacles is even more crucial. Technology is one way to fully automate your business, allowing you to manage your time more efficiently. Integrating specific software can help improve the way you manage your workforce as well as improve employee engagement.
3. Develop or Improve your Recruiting Strategy – As the competition for qualified candidates continues, healthcare organizations must replace outdated recruiting approaches with new ones. Prior to developing or improving your recruitment strategy, take a look at the 5 deadly sins of healthcare recruiting so you know what they are and how to avoid them. Understanding these “deadly sins” gives you the opportunity to come up with ways/tactics to overcome them – most which you can integrate in into your recruiting strategy.
To overcome this, it’s important for healthcare organizations to develop a recruiting strategy that is efficient and:
- Saves your organization time and money
- Allows your organization to grow
- Helps your organization optimize patient care
- Helps your organization reduce or eliminate turnover costs
We understand that for some organizations this can be a challenging task – especially if your organization has never developed a recruiting plan or simply because you have a limited recruiting team.
To help optimize your physician recruiting efforts and investments, here’s a snapshot of the 7 steps to create a successful physician recruiting plan:
Step 1: Understanding Healthcare Organizations Goals, Needs & Demands
Customize your recruiting strategy to include your organizations goals, needs and demands. Remember, when developing this section to be as specific as possible.
Step 2: Conducting a Physician Needs Analysis
Hire a third-party vendor to conduct a physician needs assessment. This will help your organization identify physician needs, justify recruitment plans and maintain/stay compliant with regulatory agencies and laws.
Recruiting physicians today is quite different than in the recent past. Thanks to evolving factors like the advancement of value-based payment and a seismic shift in the workforce, the healthcare landscape has likewise needed to evolve significantly in recent times, requiring organizations and physician recruiters to seek specific qualities when recruiting physicians. Physicians must exude both professionalism and passion for their work, demonstrating not just medical competence but social competence and emotional intelligence as well.
Its also important for organizations and recruiters to consider personality traits when recruiting physicians. This is primarily to understand how physicians with different personality traits adapt to a new working environment and how they engage and interact with patients. Today’s physicians are required to work more collaboratively with the whole healthcare team, exhibiting greater humility and a more collaborative mindset. Recruiters want to be sure that a candidate has the mental, emotional skills and resources to manage the high levels of stress associated with a physician’s job.
When recruiting physicians, keep in mind the:
- Qualities and personality traits that best fit your organizations culture
- Candidates interest (as well as their families) if you’re recruiting candidates outside of your market
- Interview process and team; make sure to customize every interview and that your interviewees are prepared with questions, concerns etc.
Step 5: Gathering Recruiting Strategy Approval
When gathering approval of your recruiting strategy, make sure to include everyone who has a say in physician recruiting. This may include board members, healthcare administrators, chief physicians etc. Keep in mind, the process to get your plan approved can take some time depending on the size and structure of your organization.
Developing a system that allows you to track detailed and real-time metrics is key. It helps your organization identify efforts that are best performing, hospital resources with the most ROI etc.
Step 7: Evaluating Your New Hire
Now that you have a strategic recruiting plan in place, you’ve made a few new hires. After a few weeks, it’s time to decide how much value these new hires are bringing in. Evaluate their overall performance and use these 5 indicators as a guide to see if you’ve made a good hire.
The proliferation of the modern internet and subsequent rise of social media has fundamentally and, likely, permanently altered the healthcare landscape, starting with the very process of recruiting and hiring physicians.
Fortunately, however, there are also many ways that physician recruiters and hiring facilities can capitalize on the benefits of these new ubiquitous technologies and habits to more effectively recruit the right physicians and get those retention numbers back up.
Nowadays, most physicians have smartphones. Moreover, most physicians even have Facebook accounts and use them regularly, including to network with colleagues and, even, when necessary, to find work.
In this new digital landscape, social media is both a requirement for and a boon to physicians looking to find employment and advance in their careers.
If you’re a physician recruiter, then, or a healthcare facility with openings for physicians, you need to go where the talent is currently located to scout it out. Today, that means social media.
As Trend Watch, American Hospital Association and Doximity report, passive job-seekers make up greater than three-quarters of all physicians in America.
A Social Media Presence:
Allows physicians to research recruiters and hiring facilities to determine whether they make a good match. Social media allows you to create awareness of your brand as a recruiter or facility. By employing tools and tactics like use of keywords, mixed media (e.g. photos and videos) and valuable content, you can attract the interest of physicians who may not otherwise have even been considering a change in employment.