By Debbie Gleason, FASPR, ASPR President, Physician Development Administrator, The Nebraska Medical Center
For many years now, we have been hearing about service excellence and service recovery from a customer service perspective in other industries. More recently, patient experience has become a focus in the healthcare industry as we move from patient satisfaction to the next tier of excellence. Likewise, the profession of physician recruitment requires the same level of attention to world-class service.
As in-house physician recruitment professionals, we serve a variety of customers, both internal and external. From the internal perspective, we serve our board of directors, C-suite administrators, directors, and managers. We serve physicians within our organizations in a variety of specialties, locations, and departments. Consequently, we are often a resource to external administrators, staff physicians, program directors and coordinators, residents and fellows. Most importantly and within our direct line of sight are our physician and advance practice provider candidates, as well as our prospective candidates.
We benchmark with our colleagues to create, modify, and enhance our physician recruitment processes to identify best practices. We coordinate carefully with other organizational departments such as human resources and medical staff services to make sure that we work in concert with them. As in-house physician recruitment professionals, we often serve a consulting role with our “customers.” Yet, who among us hasn’t had our process side-stepped or go awry? If you routinely schedule onsite interview days that go perfectly as scripted, I must tell you that I’m envious. I’ve found myself often wishing that, just once, we’d have a position open smoothly…with all the components of the position description delineated; compensation model determined; mentoring ready to roll; and onboarding falling into place as beautifully as it is laid out on my flow chart. Perhaps this sounds like a fantasy to you, too! Then, I return to the reality of why I love what we do.
The truth is, our jobs are relationship-driven and revolve around providing a positive, memorable experience for our candidates and those for whom we work. Being knowledgeable about our industry and the dynamic forces at play is crucial to maximizing the resource capability you provide. I encourage you to be ready to flex with the needs of all your customers. Keep yourself sharp by continuously availing yourself of the educational opportunities that are presented through ASPR, as well as through reading, researching, and learning on your own. Know your business, the industry and your customers in order to prepare yourself to go above and beyond when the opportunity presents itself. Honestly, isn’t there satisfaction in having the skill and resources to anticipate customer needs, successfully troubleshoot, and orchestrate modifications on the fly? Keep your eyes on the service excellence target to set yourself apart and bring personal reward and satisfaction along the way. In closing, allow me to enhance the time-honored Boy Scout motto: “Be prepared…to serve!”