We’ve all been there. The recruiter who sits next to you got a great placement for that hard-to-fill job they’ve been working on for months. Another recruiting company beat you to the punch with that same candidate you were hoping to reach. What are they doing that you’re not? Even better question: what makes a highly effective physician recruiter? We’ve identified 7 common traits.
1. They enjoy the search
Searching for the right candidate is like searching for a piece that fits a puzzle – it’s challenging but rewarding once you find it. Thinking of the search as a game or even a scavenger hunt can make the prize that much more rewarding when you spot a candidate with an impressive CV.
2. They appreciate that recruiting is a team sport
Recruiting a doctor to join an organization is rarely a one-person job. It can be much more efficient (not to mention more fun) when you rely on others within your organization. The candidate you’re working with and other physicians you’ve worked with in the past also help make a successful hire. Working together can mean you fill your job, the candidate gets a great job, and you both make a community better by providing patient care where it’s needed.
3. They know what attracts certain candidates (it’s not just salary!)
You may be recruiting for an opportunity with a competitive salary – or not. Compensation isn’t everything; benefits and perks can really help you seal the deal.
A lot of healthcare employers have amped up their benefits packages and are now offering sign-on bonuses, CME allowances, or free medical/dental insurance. Many are also adding benefits like loan forgiveness and referral bonuses. A 2018 Healthcare Recruiting Trends survey reports that the following tactics are being offered more frequently than they were last year:
- Sign-on bonuses: 67.3%
- Relocation assistance: 55.1%
- CME allowance: 42.9%
- Free medical/dental insurance: 24.5%
- Company paid mobile or car plan: 18.4%
- Employee perks (free lunch, snacks, gym): 18.4%
- Pay for attendance at association conference: 14.3%
- Unlimited vacation: 2.0%
Know precisely what you’re offering with each opportunity (compensation, hours, team structure, etc.) before you source potential candidates. Beyond the basics, you also know what the market you’re recruiting for values – and what the community really needs.
Physicians may be able to earn a higher salary in another position, but working in a positive environment or making a difference may be more important to them. What does the community you’re recruiting for offer a candidate and his or her family? Are you recruiting for an underserved area? Doctors may be eligible for programs like the National Health Service Corps’ loan repayment program. International doctors who are serving in the U.S. may be eligible for the Conrad 30 waiver program. It helps to dig deep and get creative in this age of physician shortages.
5. They communicate well and build relationships with their candidates
If location is the key to selling real estate, communication is the key to effective physician recruiting. Make it a goal to never go dark on a candidate, nor let candidates go dark on you. Keep them up-to-date through every step of the process.
In addition, the most effective recruiters build strong relationships with their candidates by learning all about what motivates them, getting to know about their families, and staying in contact (even if the opportunity doesn’t work out) because it’s all part of building a long-term candidate pipeline.
6. They're available and easy to reach
Recruiting isn’t always an 8-to-5-job. Housing, travel, and scheduling issues are bound to come up. A candidate might have last-minute questions before he takes the position and needs some answers now. It’s important to let your candidates know how to reach you when the need arises (especially emergencies), but it’s also important to maintain boundaries. Find out what works for you and communicate that to the clinicians you reach out to.
7. They respect their candidates' privacy
Physicians are in short supply and they are bombarded with recruitment (and other) messages. When you connect with a candidate, be sure to ask about their communication preferences. Do they prefer phone calls, texts, or emails? How much communication from you is enough (or not enough, for that matter)? Put the candidate first, and you’ll have a more effective working relationship.
Whether you’re recruiting in-house for your organization or recruiting for other healthcare facilities, you know time spent without a physician equals lost revenue. In fact, it can exceed $1 million per physician per year. So, consider how effective you are at these tactics, make adjustments, and you’re bound to see your success grow exponentially. We also recommend you avoid these 6 costly recruiting mistakes.
Do you know the ROI of your recruiting? You can watch our Doximity Talent Finder webinar recording to get best practices for calculating and reporting on your organization's ROI.