How to wow your boss and advance your career
Planning for your annual evaluation
By Colleen M. Munkel, MA, DASPR, Physician Recruiter, Hattiesburg Clinic, Hattiesburg, MS
For many physician recruitment professionals, the annual performance review is a time to demonstrate their commitment to the job, workplace accomplishments, and goals for the year ahead. This important meeting may be the only opportunity during the entire year that some recruiters get to engage in a candid discussion about their career and personal aspirations. It can be difficult to maximize this discussion in order to demonstrate an interest in added responsibilities, especially if there is concern about how to approach this sensitive topic.
Fortunately, ASPR members can draw from the wisdom of experienced professionals within the organization who have had years of personal and managerial experience with annual performance reviews. Some of these valued ASPR members include Scott Manning, FASPR, SPHR, ASPR president, and director of human resources and provider recruitment for District Medical Group, Phoenix, AZ; Brett Walker, FASPR, past president of ASPR, and director of physician recruitment for Indiana University Health Physicians, Indianapolis, IN; and Michael Griffin, FASPR, manager of physician and provider recruitment for HealthEast Care System, St. Paul, MN. These experts shared their insights about how physician recruiters can make the most out of their evaluations.
Share your data
A key tip mentioned by these professionals is sharing data with supervisors. Scott Manning said, “The higher you go, the more you need data.” He suggested that recruiters should collect concrete examples of accomplishments that spell out what they did during the course of the year. Manning also suggested that recruiters list the number of physicians they hired this year compared to last year. If that number demonstrates an increase or decrease, explain the reasons. He advised recruiters to “be prepared to talk about production in these terms.”
According to Brett Walker, “Having measurable goals is great to denote what you accomplished on the scale.” He suggested metrics such as average time-to-fill figures this year compared to last year, interview-to-hire ratios, and cost-per-search numbers as helpful information to include in a presentation, as well. Walker also advised recruiters to go on the offense while describing these accomplishments, but ultimately, “It’s important to educate your boss about your work.”
Michael Griffin noted that before recruiters begin discussing data during the review, they should make sure it is of interest to their boss. “Metrics are great, but the caveat is that they should be approved ahead of time as being meaningful to your organization and your boss,” Griffin said.
Other information recruiters could bring with them to their annual review include positive testimonials. These may include notes of gratitude from newly hired physicians, or letters from co-workers describing a job well-done. “I encourage my recruiters to keep a kudos file,” Griffin said.
Aside from positive messages, Walker recommended that recruiters bring success stories to the table. Manning agreed, and added, “The annual review is a time for physician recruiters to ‘toot their own horn’.” He explained that there is nothing wrong with doing so. Echoing the importance of touting one’s abilities, Walker cautioned recruiters to behave modestly while doing so, “Don’t say you are a ‘10’ on everything.” In addition, Walker assured recruiters that it’s not taboo to address possible shortcomings during a review, but recommends that they discuss how they have worked to overcome them.
Run it by a mentor
When preparing for the annual review and deciding whether remarks will make a positive impression, Griffin suggested running those ideas by a trusted mentor first, “You need to synthesize your information, so it’s digestible.” A mentor may be a valuable asset when it comes time to condense accomplishments to the most essential.
If recruiters are at a point in their career where they would like to take on added responsibilities, be in a position for advancement, or would like to expand their professional knowledge base, the experts had some suggestions for approaching those topics during the evaluation. Manning discussed the importance of demonstrating a willingness to shift priorities to be in line with those of the boss. He suggested a statement like, “What more can I do to help you accomplish the goals of the organization?” This is one way recruiters can present themselves as team players, worthy of recognition from their supervisors.
When asking for a promotion, Manning suggested raising the topic by saying, “What can I do to improve the organization, because someday I would like to be a manager.” This is one way to tactfully let your boss know you would like to advance professionally. Griffin said this part of the performance review at HealthEast Care System is called the “aspiration discussion.” He added, “We also have a list of core behaviors that we expect from each employee. One of the core behaviors is life-long learning. We encourage employees to take some time during their work week to learn and we also provide tuition reimbursement.” Griffin explained that his organization has a continuous succession plan that is built within the organization’s talent acquisition department. “The idea is that if someone left today, we would not want them to be the only person who knew the information. So, most organizations are open to broadening the knowledge and skills of their employees.”
Walker advised physician recruiters to stay on top of industry trends and demonstrate what they have done to stay current. Others suggested recruiters keep up with industry trends, which could include attending the ASPR Annual Conference and participating in the ASPR Fellowship Certification program. Another option might be to participate in leadership programs in your organization, in ASPR, or within your community. Griffin encouraged recruiters to volunteer for fundraisers at their organizations, and familiarize themselves with contacts in departments such as credentialing, marketing, and compliance. This can be especially important for recruiters who do not meet frequently with their boss to discuss their progress. Walker advised recruiters to seek out other champions within the organization, as well.
Another piece of advice includes discussions based on team work and functioning successfully with co-workers. Recruiters are judged based on how well they get along with others, Griffin explained. Likewise, Walker said that within his department, they are moving toward a team-oriented model. Ultimately, Manning added that supervisors should always be rating recruiters based on the job requirements.