Physician recruiting looks drastically different than it did last January. While there's no denying that 2020 was a challenging year for everyone, we’ve also seen remarkable resilience across the healthcare industry. (We wrote more about how physician recruiters can be resilient both at home and on the job in a previous article.)
Recruiters have been adapting throughout this challenging time, and 2021 will be no exception. Virtual interviews and events are now routine, but if 2020 taught us anything, it's that things can change at the drop of a hat – and recruiters must be ready to step up to the plate. For instance, demand for specialists is forecast to accelerate this year because many patients delayed their care (even urgent care) during the pandemic.
Although there’s not exactly a playbook for recruiting physicians during a pandemic, here are four essential things to try right now.
- Build and nurture better candidate relationships. Recruiting has always been about relationships, and nurturing them is more critical now than ever. Pick up the phone, try a quick video chat, and keep texting and emailing.
- Shift your recruiting efforts into high gear. Your recruiting may have slowed down in 2020, but it may be time to shift your momentum. The healthcare system is changing, and there are new roles for physicians. Think about how candidates might work in another role. Many physicians are interested in new areas they may not have considered before the pandemic. They may even be open to a significant change like moving to a rural community or an area closer to family. It’s an excellent reason to reach out and start a conversation.
- Boost your interactive communications like never before. Physical distancing is a massive part of what has changed, especially how we connect, but it doesn’t mean the candidate experience has to suffer. Connecting virtually makes it easier to reach candidates who can’t travel, and it can cost far less than an in-person interview or on-site visit. There are often fewer logistical issues associated with virtual meetings, which means you can extend your candidate reach. Even when in-person interviews and events are safe again, you should consider adopting a hybrid model of in-person and virtual interviews. Plus, there are endless tools at your disposal to support virtual interviews remote meetings, and other interactions in 2021. Virtual recruiting is here to stay.
- Try some new approaches or reconsider who might be a good fit for your opportunities. Clinicians have made advances in the ways they work in teams that complement physician care, and the role of NPs and PAs has evolved throughout the pandemic. Using locum tenens is another way to extend your staff, and healthcare facility managers say the primary benefit of using locum tenens is to prevent existing staff burnout. Telemedicine was supercharged by the pandemic, too, and there may be a way to leverage it to achieve your goals.
Remember the standing ovations the healthcare workers in New York City received each night in the early days of the pandemic? Or the way they lined hospital walls to salute COVID-19 patients who were finally going home? Healthcare is about people and compassion. Your recruiting efforts will help physicians improve their lives and their patients’ lives, and isn’t the human connection what recruiting is all about?
Understanding physician compensation is another key to physician recruiting in 2021. Doximity recently released our 2020 Physician Compensation Report, and we invite you to download the report for free.