Smart Strategies to Help You Close the Deal During the Physician Shortage

The physician shortage is likely to play out differently in different regions and markets. Understanding those trends can help make you as a recruiter—and your institution—better informed and more responsive in finding and hiring top physician talent in an increasingly competitive market.

 

In this post, we'll talk about some of the nuts-and-bolts realities of what it takes to get your valuable physician recruits to sign on and stay on. Like practically everyone else in the healthcare system, recruiters are challenged to achieve excellent results with the available resources.

 

As one strategist points out in a recent TED Talk, the keys to "doing more with less" in healthcare include looking for alternatives, keeping it simple, and looking for the opportunities that are right under our noses. Attention to detail and a realistic grasp of what it takes to land and keep top medical talent will help you succeed as a recruiter—while also contributing to your institution's performance.

 

Bring Your Best Recruiting Game

It's a “seller’s market” for doctors evaluating open positions, so it’s critical to be thoughtful and consistent in your dealings with valuable prospects. Top internal and external recruiters know how important it is to be on point with things like initial contact and phone interviews. This Cleveland Clinic 'Guide to Physician Recruitment' provides an inside look at how a world-class institution manages important steps like site visits and itineraries. That document offers some "surprisingly simple steps" to keep things running smoothly, from defining the initial opportunity to keeping doctors on board.

 

Everyone in the institution, from the front desk to the C-suite, has an important role in making prospective new hires feel welcome and valued. One strategist outlines some key steps for successful physician recruiting at hospitals—highlighting the need to build a personal and sustained relationship with candidates at every step along the way. Your institution's patient-centered care mission and brand also are important tools in getting doctors to see that your opportunity as one that meets their personal and professional goals.

 

That doesn’t mean treating every candidate like a medical rock star—except of course when they are! But it does mean planning and implementing a smooth-running process that gives the department and institution a chance to shine.

 

Be Strategic About Resources

Obviously, we all have budgets to follow, and resources for recruiting are limited. That means it's more critical than ever to be smart and strategic about deploying your available resources for physician recruiting.

 

The recent ASPR benchmarking report highlights the increased demands on in-house physician recruiters. The number of active searches per year more than doubled from 2012 to 2015, with an even greater increase in the number of searches per recruiter. Over the past five years, the number of searches per recruiter increased by more than 68%.

 

Most recruiters won't be surprised to hear that these increased demands haven't led to increased budgets. Only one-third of healthcare hiring managers saw an increase in their recruiting budget this year, according to the 2017 Health eCareers Healthcare Recruiting Trends report. Employers are adding more healthcare positions, with about half of employers and recruiters saying they expect to hire more professionals this year.

 

At the same time, the healthcare recruiters in the survey reported increased employee turnover and longer times to hire, and with increased time to fill open positions. That highlights the imperative to keep your best-performing staff members in their positions.

 

Pay Attention to Retention

The need to be smart about resources applies to retention as well. “Employers have had to increase salaries and expand benefits to attract candidates and retain current employees,” according to the Health eCareers survey report. Most recruiters say they have had to pay more than last year. A majority says candidates are asking for higher salaries than they were just six months ago.

 

Key perks and benefits to attract and keep professionals include sign-on bonuses and relocation pay. In a recent strategic benefits survey, human resources professionals cited career development benefits as increasingly important for retaining top employees—an option that might be especially relevant to younger candidates.

 

Amidst all these challenges, it's important for recruiters to stay positive and stay motivated! We may not be able to control what's going on in politics, the economy, or local and regional markets. But being smart and strategic can help you succeed in a tough and competitive recruiting environment. succeed in a tough job. Reaching out to find good matches for open healthcare positions and helping to get them and keep them on board helps hard-working doctors meet their professional goals, contributes to your institution's success, and helps keep your community healthy and thriving.
 

We reach and engage physicians seeking jobs through the Lippincott content network. Contact us to learn about our recruiting solutions.

Contact us to develop your multichannel campaign to recruit qualified physicians.

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