Recruiting healthcare professionals in today’s market may feel like an uphill battle that is difficult to overcome. Beyond the obvious numbers challenge given today’s supply and demand for quality talent, this ultra-competitive landscape means candidates are clearly in the drivers’ seat – able to look for the right position that checks all their boxes. That’s why every health system and facility must find ways to stand out and appeal to candidates as an employer of choice.
Here are 5 strategies to follow to set your organization up for a successful hire:
- Know what makes you stand apart. In order to build a reputation as an employer of choice, you must first know what you truly can offer physician candidates. We know from our years of experience recruiting physicians, and from third-party research, that practicing physicians and those still in training rank income/financial rewards, geographic location and schedule/call/work hours as the top three deciding factors in choosing practice opportunities.
But what if your organization can’t compete when it comes to these factors? For example, for hospitals in rural settings the promise of an alluring location may be hard to sell. Or, for Academic hospitals, the ability to offer candidates top-notch salaries may not be in the cards. These situations aren’t necessarily deal breakers in your ability to lure candidates but knowing and accepting the situation is what’s vital.
- Study local market supply & demand. Beyond the national supply and demand challenges, where your organization is located can lead to specific challenges in both the recruitment and compensation package necessary to hire key talent. For example, in metro areas such as Boston or San Francisco, the demand for healthcare talent is high and competition is tight. However, the supply of talent is in your favor. If your facility is located in one of the more than 7,200 designated Health Professional Shortage areas, the supply of clinicians is significantly smaller compared to an urban setting. This means you need to consider either allocating more budget to base salaries or getting creative with sign-on or retention bonuses, equity ownership opportunities or production and quality-based incentives.
- Consider the alternatives and get creative. Using the primary care crisis in the United States today as an example, it often pays to get creative in solving problems that critical shortages create. In 2013, 53% of U.S. states were already experiencing primary care physician shortages. By 2025, the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) predicts the shortages will rise to include 72% of states. In fact, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) projects a shortage between 21,100 and 55,200 by 2032, It’s clear that organizations need to get creative with staffing.
Advanced practitioners such as, nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) are well equipped to address and solve much of the physician shortage in primary care. Given their degree of training and education, as well as a focus on disease prevention and health management, these professionals can address the core tenets of primary care. In fact, 78% of NPs practice primary care, a far cry from the 33% of physicians to specialize in primary care. And, a recent Cross Country Search survey found that advanced practitioners are three times more likely than physicians to be open to working in a rural community. The bottom line is this – the use of NPs could reduce the primary care physician shortage by nearly 70%.
Sometimes a shift in specialty won’t solve the problem and you simply “need what you need.” A flexible solutions provider can solve critical challenges here. Ask yourself (and your staffing partner) these questions:
Is there an opportunity to utilize a short-term to long-term solution?
We partner with our sister brand, Cross Country Locums to help facilities supplement with Locums support while we work on securing a long term support.
Is there a way to customize a solution to avoid paying for services you don’t need?
We offer our clients a broad range of services that can be tailored to budget, need and project scope. We believe every problem is unique, so solutions should be, too.
- Improve your recruitment of diverse candidates. Many healthcare entities overlook valuable candidates without even realizing they are doing so, falling prey to bias in their recruitment process. Meanwhile, there is a greater emphasis on the critical importance of health equity and a growing need to hire more diverse clinicians. According to a study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, patients report greater levels of satisfaction with their care when treated by physicians with similar racial backgrounds. As America grows more diverse, with people who identify as black, Hispanic or Native American making up nearly one-third of the population, it simply makes sense to improve the recruitment of diverse candidates to ensure workforces can reflect the communities around them.
To ensure you are as prepared as possible for successful hiring, consider six critical initiatives your facility can adopt to better diversify your recruitment process.
- Consider expert partners in recruitment. Many facilities and systems are turning to experienced and specialized recruitment partners to give them a leg up in hiring clinical talent. Expert recruitment partners can provide access to robust sourcing tools and extensive databases of clinical talent, as well as offer valuable recommendations on how to best position your facility for success in candidate recruitment. Leaning on these expert consultants can help you gain a clearer perspective on your market and future trends, offer creative ways to find and hire talent, and improve your acceptance and time-to-fill rates.
Better Prepared, Better Performance.
Facing so many challenges to overcome in this high stake and constantly shifting recruitment climate, organizations who consider key factors before they begin the hiring process will be better positioned for success. Cross Country Search has helped hundreds of organizations improve their approach to recruitment and ultimately, the number of quality hires. Check out our case studies, or for more information about how we can help, contact us today. We are ready to help.