It’s Taking Longer to Hire Physicians: 9 Tips for Recruiting Right Now

Posted by Doximity TF Team

GettyImages-1151766401 850The time to hire for new clinical roles has long been impacted by the physician shortage. While a record number of healthcare workers were furloughed in the past three months, the good news is that 312,000 jobs were added in May, whereas hospitals lost 134,900 positions in April, per Becker’s Hospital Review.

The process of recruiting physicians can take as little as a few months or as long as a year or more, depending on different factors. It takes twice as long to recruit a physician today than it did just a decade ago. Why? It’s all due “to a growing shortage that is expected to worsen as demand for physicians grows and supply remains flat,” says Travis Singleton, vice president of marketing at Merritt Hawkins.

The Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment (AAPPR) also reports that physician recruitment and hiring is taking longer than ever before. The 2019 In-House Physician and Provider Recruitment Benchmarking Report found that the specialty with the longest medium time to recruit is Endocrinology, which can take nearly 11 months. They also found that the average number of days to recruit a physician last year was 8 months. 

While a longer time-to-hire rate can be frustrating for recruiters and physicians, a more intense hiring process helps recruiters ensure a strong match and better long-term retention, too. So, how do you attract the right candidates and therefore shorten the time to hire? Here are a few tips:

  1. Make your candidate experience stand out virtually. We created a list of ways that you can make the experience you deliver to candidates stand out here.
  2. Develop creative ways to showcase your organization’s culture and ensure your professional culture is positive and meaningful.
  3. Physician referrals have long been considered the holy grail of physician recruitment. Are you tapping into your organization (or other candidates) for referrals?
  4. Identify soft skills that might make your candidate stand out. Soft skills are often what separates a good physician from a great one.
  5. Keep your candidate pipeline warm. Communicating with candidates (via email, text, or phone/video call) is more important now than ever before. 
  6. Check state licenses. Some states are temporarily allowing doctors to practice across state lines during the COVID-19 crisis, which will help physicians and recruiters to fulfill the needs of hospitals and patients.
  7. Target physician candidates when they’re searching for jobs. Recent graduates, for instance, begin job searching up to two years prior to graduation. You can read more about recruiting new doctors here.
  8. Offer bonuses and other incentives like loan assistance or repayment programs to attract candidates.
  9. The healthcare system is changing and there are new roles for physicians. Consider how candidates might work in a new role.

Are you calculating your average time to hire? It can be tricky, but here’s what we recommend our Talent Finder clients do to help get an accurate account of this: 

  1. If you’re currently using an ATS program, the software should track this for you, but you likely have to input your specific information in order for it to track accurately.
  2. If you’re currently using an ATS, you can still track your time to hire - it will just take a little more time and effort. We recommend creating a spreadsheet with columns such as:

    Date of first communication
    Date of last communication (so you know if you need to follow up)
    • CV submitted (yes or no)
    • Date of phone screen
    • Date of interview
    • Date of offer letter
    • Date of offer acceptance/decline
    Expected start date
3. If you're using Doximity's recruitment tools, we suggest you close out the job and mark it as "filled by Doximity" to help keep track of your closed jobs. We've recorded a short video of how to do this here

4. If you don’t want to close out the job (because you have multiple openings for that position) you can still report the hire to your Client Success Manager so they can help track your success metrics.

5. If you already have a great hire story from using Doximity, we want to hear about it! You can submit a hire of the quarter story and you might win in our next competition.

Are you interested in learning more savvy recruiting tips like this? We invite you to join our free webinar on July 14: How to Make your Virtual Recruiting Stand out this Summer. Just click the button to reserve your seat.

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Topics: Tips for Recruiting Right Now

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