Blog Post

7 Ways Organizations Defeat Themselves in Provider Recruitment

7 Ways Organizations Defeat Themselves In Provider Recruitment Web

The skyrocketing demand for providers and looming supply shortages have created a candidates’ market, but poor coordination of recruitment efforts at the organization level can have a detrimental impact on the candidate experience, ultimately decreasing recruitment success. The onus is on hiring organizations to optimize the recruitment process.

Below are seven common pitfalls that organizations need to avoid when recruiting providers.

1. Having Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

Failure to determine who should be involved in the recruitment process versus who simply wants to be involved often leads to delays and inefficient decision-making. Figure out who needs to be there, and define their roles and responsibilities.

  • For example, it would be unsustainable for the CEO and CMO to participate in first-round telephone screening interviews if there are numerous candidates to vet.
  • Similarly, a departmental preference that an interview visit include many individuals without influence or involve unnecessary meetings can decrease the effectiveness of the process.

Complicated or unclear approval processes at any stage of recruitment can increase the time from candidate identification to signed offer. Outline a clear process flow and identify exceptions to the structure (see figure 1). This may vary by organization or candidate type, but clear articulation of roles and decision processes will prevent costly missteps.

Figure 1: Sample Recruitment Accountability Matrix

2. Failing to Maintain Provider Relationships

Organizations often fail to maintain relationships with providers who have participated in training programs (e.g., graduate medical education, medical student/resident rotations) or have ties to the local community (e.g., alumni of local universities or secondary schools). Don’t rely on providers and service line managers to maintain those relationships; many are too busy to develop their own networks.

Instead, encourage training program leaders to remain connected with potential candidates as they complete their education. Establish a formal organizational process for tracking individuals with past or present local ties, and develop a mechanism for staying in touch (e.g., an alumni newsletter, or a relationship stewardship program in which leaders are assigned to periodically touch base with potential candidates).

Likewise, establish and maintain linkages with biomed programs in secondary and undergraduate programs in your community. A strong recruitment program has its finger on the pulse of such programs and can draw on these relationships during candidate searches.

3. Advancing Unqualified Candidates

Your time is valuable, and so is your candidates’. So don’t waste it by moving candidates through the recruitment process when they don’t meet baseline requirements. Organizations often keep inappropriate candidates in the process far longer than necessary while waiting on better prospects. This frustrates department teams, who feel that recruitment efforts are ineffective or yielding unqualified prospects, and can also harm an organization’s reputation if word gets around that candidates are being strung along unnecessarily.

Clearly define must-have requirements and criteria, and articulate them throughout the recruitment process—beginning with the job posting. This should give candidates a clear sense of whether they are qualified before initial contact. Releasing unqualified candidates politely, with a clear explanation, can maintain positive impressions of the organization.

4. Getting the On-Site Interview Wrong

The on-site interview is an opportunity to sell your organization and your community to a candidate. It is an important time for candidates and their families to envision their future role. It’s not the time for tough grilling and detailed vetting; that should happen before a candidate advances to an on-site interview. Keep the focus on whether the opportunity will be a good fit for everyone involved.

  • Tailor interview schedules to each candidate.
  • While meet-and-greets with critical decision-makers can be a high priority, facilitate introductions to providers with similar backgrounds and interests as well.
  • Give candidates ample time to tour potential neighborhoods, gain an understanding of community amenities (e.g., schools, cultural and outdoor activities), and enjoy time away from the facility.

The interview visit should provide a sense of what life could look like, and whether a candidate garners that can make the difference between a yes and a no.

5. Presenting the Offer Too Late

Moving slowly on good talent is a tried-and-true way to miss out on the right candidate. Be prepared to make an offer during the candidate’s on-site visit. This means completing reference checks and having compensation internally reviewed and approved long before their plane touches down.

While preapprovals do not guarantee an offer will be made, having the option to present one immediately and in person makes a strong impression. If there are several on-site interviewees to accommodate, work as quickly as possible to schedule visits, and set a follow-up deadline with all candidates for a final decision.

6. Not Providing Enough Onboarding Support

Recruiting does not end when the offer is signed. Several months typically pass between that day and a provider’s start date, and it is important to stay in touch. A warm and timely handoff to the onboarding specialist and hiring manager, with regular checkpoints prior to the start date, keeps lines of communication open and creates opportunities to provide reassurance and support.

Onboarding isn’t just about getting credentialed and providing a first-day orientation. At its core, it should be about setting up new providers for success and may continue for months following a candidate’s arrival. Business cards should be printed, lab coats stitched, and office signage updated before a provider’s first day. Their schedule should be opened to new patients in the weeks leading up to their arrival, and they should receive a provider mentor. Invite new providers to key networking events, introduce them to potential referral sources, and periodically check in to identify retention risks. Show them that your organization is fully invested in their long-term success.

Full onboarding includes not just professional connections, but also personal touches to ensure new providers quickly feel at home.

  • Consider sending newly signed providers a subscription to a local magazine.
  • Provide information about local events that will occur after their arrival.
  • Offer meaningful connections to local resources that the candidate or their family can use to immerse themselves in the local community.

7. Allocating Inadequate Resources to the Recruitment Process

Sourcing the right talent and providing a quality recruitment experience requires resources. Ensure the recruitment team is sufficiently staffed and given sufficient budgets to:

  • Obtain access to clinician databases and provider recruitment software for candidate tracking.
  • Attend critical conferences for candidate prospecting.
  • Invest in professional development.
  • Advertise open positions.

When appropriate, outsource difficult searches to third-party firms that can provide laser-focused efforts to quickly narrow candidate pools.

It is also important that recruitment not occur in a silo. Give recruiters access to internal assessments and strategic planning initiatives that inform recruitment priorities, along with critical information that can help “sell” an opportunity to a candidate. Maintaining a robust recruitment infrastructure facilitates more rapid search completion and shorter vacancy times for unfilled positions.

Provider recruitment can be tedious and time-consuming, but a thoughtful approach can make your organization an employer of choice. Successful organizations solicit participation from a variety of stakeholders beyond the recruitment office—at the right time and in the appropriate capacity. Making the process painless for candidates will improve the likelihood of attracting and retaining top-talent providers.

Successful organizations solicit participation from a variety of stakeholders beyond the recruitment office.

Provider recruitment can be tedious and time-consuming, but a thoughtful approach can make your organization an employer of choice.

Contact Us

Edited by: Matt Maslin