I don’t often quote founders of Western philosophy, but I ran across a saying by the great Socrates that I believe is very pertinent to the physician recruitment landscape today. Socrates stated, “the way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” What does this have to do with recruiting physicians? Lots. Let me explain.
Anyone who is tasked with finding, attracting and hiring physician talent in today’s market knows it’s competitive. In fact, with 76 percent of residents receiving 50 or more job solicitations during medical training, and 55 percent receiving 100 or more, it’s quite literally a war. So, how can healthcare employers win this war for physician hires? There are lots of ways, but it begins with self-awareness.
What does your organization have to offer?
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 salaries in the top brackets of the MGMA salary survey 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.
Once you are aware of your potential shortcomings in the eyes of candidates, your next step is to identify what you DO have to offer. If your location is not highly competitive, are you able to offer a great salary? Or, do you offer candidates more flexible work schedules? Can you sell a better quality of life? If you can’t compete on salary, location or schedule, find other factors that make you stand out – maybe your facility is a leading adopter of innovative technologies or clinical trials, or maybe your benefits package is among the best in the region. Or, maybe your culture and teamwork make for a tremendous work environment. The point is, know what you can’t offer, identify what you can offer and then turn your attention to driving that home in candidate recruitment efforts. Build the message, hone the message, then share the message.
Endeavor to be what you desire to appear
Getting back to Socrates’ words of wisdom, once you know what you can hang your employer reputation hat on, endeavor to live and breathe it throughout every aspect of your candidate recruitment. If a flexible work schedule and work/life balance is what you can offer physicians, have the candidate meet with physician staff who can espouse on the benefits of the work culture. If your organization sits in one of the most desirable places to live in the U.S., be sure that every interviewer reinforces the many benefits of your location.
These are just a few examples of how you can walk the walk when it comes to promoting your value as an employer. In part two of this series, I will address the importance of market awareness when recruiting hard-to-find clinician talent.
Please contact us to learn more about how Cejka Search can help you design your winning strategy.