8 Tips for an Optimal Healthcare Recruiting Process

Rebecca Parrino

But… Doctor Silva…” The stunned talent acquisition managers could not believe their ears.  “This is difficult for us to understand.  We are aware of your concerns and—while the hiring process at our facility is hardly perfect—we were close to an agreement!  What changed?

I’m sorry,” Dr. Silva replied, regretful.  “Your internal process was taking much too long and I had to make a decision.  The other offer is the best choice for me and my family.  I’m sure you see my perspective.  I wish your organization well, but I would recommend you refine your recruiting methods going forward to avoid the same type of situation with another provider.”

Can you imagine?  Losing a top-notch clinician at the 11th hour?  After countless time spent attracting, enticing and negotiating?  When you thought it was at the point of acceptance?

Talent acquisition departments in any healthcare organization, large or small, would shudder at this idea.  Healthcare recruiting – especially when it comes to specialized physicians and advance practice professionals (physician assistants and nurse practitioners) – is becoming an ever more competitive field as the shortage of qualified providers across the country worsens.

That’s why we’ve gathered these essential, time-tested strategies you can easily adopt if you want to optimize the results your recruiting efforts.

Check out our 8 tips for an optimal recruiting process!

  1. More recruiting options are better: If you’ve had success with one method of recruiting in the past, chances are your preference is to stick with what has worked.  Don’t fall into this trap.  While a single resource can dry up, a more diversified and balanced approach to recruiting will always net you more candidates over time.  A multifaceted approach that combines social media, online advertising, email marketing, job fairs, and outreach through online databases or profiles is the preferred method.  And don’t forget to include conventional avenues, such as traditional and print advertising.
  2. Keep your medical talent recruiting process short and sweet: Remember Dr. Silva?  The recruiters thought he was coming onboard, but they failed to recognize how a protracted hiring process can be detrimental to the endgame.  Recruiting a provider will take time on both ends.  However, it is essential not to draw the process out longer than necessary.  Delayed responses and unanswered questions will cause a prospective candidate to become disengaged and focus on other opportunities.  If a component of the process will take longer by design – a provider has to go before the board of your company to be privileged, for example – make sure that the candidate understands the timeline in advance so that there is no objection.
  3. Make your healthcare position appealingSpecialized providers are aggressively courted by facilities from all over the country vying for their attention and services.  Focus on what makes your opportunity stand out and use that as a selling point when you speak with the candidate.  Work to understand what is motivating them in their decision and tailor your pitch to concentrate on those specifics.  More often than not, this extends beyond salary.  Is the candidate looking for superior collaboration?  A flexible schedule with no call?  Do they need visa sponsorship or loan repayment options?  What matters most to them and their family?  Work to understand these motivating factors and draw the candidate’s attention to how your organization can fulfil those needs better than any other company out there.
  4. Easy and simple is better: Think about this…Have you ever personally gone through the steps of what you will ask a potential candidate to follow?  This can be revealing.  Make sure any applications the provider will need to complete are basic and straightforward.  If they need to fill out these documents online, make sure the forms are easy to use and free of glitches.  Also, avoid asking the candidate to enter the same information multiple times.  If they have already submitted their CV with work experience, an organization can offer to fill out this redundant material in the online application, saving precious time for the provider.  Believe us… the gesture will not go unnoticed.
  5. Mix active and passive approaches in your healthcare recruiting strategy: If your only hope for getting a lead is to post on job boards, chances are you will be waiting for a long time.  In this ultra-competitive industry, it is essential to complement your passive tactics with more active ones at all times.  Make sure that you have an updated database of candidates that you call and email to keep abreast of opportunities at your organization that fit what they are looking for.  You should never forget to reach out to qualified, local candidates to see if they are open to learning about how they can grow their careers by taking on new, exciting roles.
  6. Don’t forget to trust your gut: A candidate starts talking about a spouse having doubts about relocation.  Perhaps the provider’s current management got wind that they were talking to another organization and commenced discussions related to a counteroffer.  Is there something else – daily schedule or commuting distance – that the candidate can’t seem to forget?  Learn to trust your gut.  More often than not, a serious hurdle can be identified and fixed preemptively before it becomes a serious issue.  With vigilance and foresight, many of these problems can be resolved.
  7. Make your medical workplace culture attractive: Even after employing the above recruiting strategies, many organizations still struggle to recruit skilled staff.  Get back to the basics. Facilities with a heavily concentrated, competitive market should be doing a pay grade and benefits analysis to compare where they can stay competitive.  Get creative with incentive packages too.  In addition, make sure the person(s) conducting the interview will create a positive image for your organization.  Realize that you are selling yourselves as much as the candidates are trying to sell themselves.
  8. Bring in a third-party recruiting specialistWorking with a healthcare recruiting firm certainly has its advantages. Exploring opportunities to overcome a temporary or permanent staffing gap might be necessary.  Third-party resources may include temporary or full-time healthcare recruitment agencies, outsourcing companies and/or consulting firms.

No matter the level of success you have had in the past, the recruiting process can always be improved.  Using these strategies will enhance your ability to successfully hire top talent.  If you’re having difficulty with a search, or want to discuss more ways to streamline your method, give the medical staffing specialists at MedSource Consultants a call.  MedSource Consultants has twenty years of experience in healthcare recruiting and boasts one of the largest nationwide databases of active and passive candidates across all specialties.