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What your CEO needs to know about physician recruitment – Spring 2014
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By Ken Allman, MBA, CMSR, FMSD, CEO and Founder of PracticeLink

In light of increasing physician shortages, the need for effective recruitment is greater than ever. After all, without physicians, your organization has neither a way to serve its patients nor a way to generate sufficient income. This means that, as an in-house recruiter, your work plays a huge role in the success of your entire organization. Does your CEO—or do other executives and administration members within your organization—understand the urgency and difficulty of recruitment?

We’ve compiled five points that you can share with CEOs to help them understand recruiting challenges, realize their opportunities to strengthen your department and, ultimately, facilitate better recruitment results—while saving time and money.

1. Recruitment is an ongoing process.
According to the 2013 ASPR Benchmarking Report, it took an average of 194 days to fill a physician vacancy across all specialties. Quite frankly, this means that organizations that do not begin recruiting until they have open physician opportunities will find themselves starting several months behind schedule.

CEOs must encourage and empower their teams to recruit year-round and to proactively market the opportunities they expect may arise in the future.

They can facilitate proactive recruitment by setting a regular strategic review of their medical staffing plans and sharing that plan with their recruitment teams so all are aware of upcoming needs.

2. A CEO’s active role in recruiting sets the tone for the whole organization.
The recruitment team needs their CEO’s active involvement to help illustrate the organization’s culture. Physicians who are in the site visit stage often weigh personal preferences about hospital culture and environment as heavily as professional concerns. They want to know whether current physicians are thriving or leaving and whether the atmosphere is congenial or competitive.

CEOs must get to know the top candidates and take the time to host them and answer their questions. Interacting with candidates at this level, and providing them an accurate understanding of the hospital’s culture up front, will lead to greater long-term retention overall. Retention, after all, is just as important as recruitment itself.

3. It’s costly for physician positions to go unfilled.
The consequence of an unfilled physician position is that patients are left untreated and uncared for. But empty positions also threaten a hospital’s bottom line.

As the primary revenue drivers for hospitals, physicians—more so than any other health care practitioners—are needed so organizations may keep their doors open. According to Merritt Hawkins’ 2013 Survey of Physician Inpatient/ Outpatient Revenue, a physician’s average net revenue is
$3,849 per day—or $1.4 million every year. Every day a physician opening remains unfilled, the organization is losing money.

This is one of many reasons that physician recruitment is best approached proactively. When budgets are tight, physician recruitment efforts are often threatened, thereby worsening a cyclical problem.

4. The most expensive solution isn’t always best.
When faced with a physician need, some facilities are tempted to immediately call upon a search firm. But because a firm can command $20,000 to $30,000 or more in fees, those are tools best used when you’re faced with an especially tough or time-sensitive search.

Instead, well-prepared CEOs arm their in-house recruiters with tools that allow them to proactively identify prospective candidates that match the organization’s needs and culture and result in happy, long-term employment.

Online job boards and database sourcing are considered the most cost-effective, proactive tools available because they make it easy for in-house recruiters to post openings and scan candidate databases at a relatively low cost. They offer a targeted audience and a steady candidate flow.

An organization’s in-house recruiters are also uniquely qualified to convey the culture of the organization and community. They’re motivated to find physicians and advanced practitioners—their future colleagues—who are good long-term fits for the organization.

5. Tracking efforts will improve results.
Like many other aspects of business, recruitment efforts cannot be accurately evaluated and improved unless they are diligently tracked. Unfortunately, however, recruitment efforts often go untracked altogether.

CEOs can improve the efficiency and success of their recruitment efforts by empowering their recruiters to track the components of their recruiting process. Tracking—and improving on—past efforts should increase recruitment success, maximize candidate interaction and shorten the recruitment cycle.

The need for physicians won’t abate any time soon; however, by starting now, taking an active role in physician recruitment needs and empowering staff recruiters, CEOs will prepare their organizations to meet their provider needs.

Resource: What Staff Physician Recruiting Departments Want CEOs to Know Guide by PracticeLink

© 2016 Association of Staff Physician Recruiters. All rights reserved.
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