New-Wave Physician Recruitment and Retention
[About Physician Recruiters and Executive Search Firms]
By Susan C. L. Theuns
People try to use pay as a scalpel. But, because it means different things to different people, it’s a broad sword at best – Baron & Kreps
Improving financial performance in medical organizations today — be they group practices large and small — is a skillful balance between cinching the belt and investing in the right growth strategies. Whether that strategy calls for expanding a practice, moving into a key market, improving overall market share, or adding a new clinical program, recruiting the right physicians becomes all-important in achieving the organization’s strategic goals. Without physicians, there are no patients. Indeed, doctors are key drivers in any medical organization’s growth strategy. Simply put; finding and hiring the right physician is a surefire prescription for success.
An effective recruiting strategy is a process-driven, long-term approach that takes:
- planning and preparation,
- organizational (team-building) commitment,
- persuasive sales and marketing skills, and
- good retention practices.
Recruitment has become a refined art in recent years as practices and physicians themselves grow increasingly savvy about the finer points of marketing positions and securing employment. It’s more competitive than ever, too. Many organizations are going after the same physicians. Add to that a shortage of doctors in key specialties and certain geographical areas and the pressure becomes that much more intense. Moreover, the aging of the physician workforce, their increased dissatisfaction with managed care, and changes in doctors’ work expectations (they want more free time) have affected the demand and supply.
Additionally, both practicing physicians and residents fresh out of training have become more discerning and skillful in managing the search process. Candidates have learned to be selective based on how they’re treated on the phone, how they’re treated in person during site visits, or how smoothly the negotiations go. One small bump in the road and they could choose to go elsewhere. In truth, they look to rule organizations out, not in.
Even the smallest of practices must have an effective recruitment plan because they compete directly with the big guys — larger practices and hospitals that have polished their efforts and perfected their processes.
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Dictionary of Health Insurance and Managed Care: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=49944