It’s no secret that there’s a major labor shortage in the healthcare industry: a combination of severe stress, poor matriculation at medical schools, and the trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic has left the United States missing hundreds of thousands of medical personnel, making it harder than ever to find great workers.
Many healthcare organizations have turned to physician recruitment firms in order to fill vital positions, but not every hospital system or private practice knows how to leverage these resources for the best results. Working with a recruiting company requires open communication, collaboration, and clear expectations in order to find the best staff for your particular needs. Today, we’ll explore the major components of building a great relationship with your recruitment firm in order to find great candidates to serve your patients.
The maxim “physician, heal thyself” should come with an addendum: “physician, know thyself.” You need to have a good understanding of exactly what the perfect candidate looks like before starting a consultation with a recruitment firm, as otherwise, they will deliver you doctors and nurses who don’t meet the exact needs of your practice.
Take some time to consider your organizational culture. Is it a fast-paced healthcare system that sees a high volume of patients, or are you a private practice that places foremost importance on building long-term relationships? What metrics do you analyze when thinking about success?
An excellent recruitment firm will guide you during the consultation by asking probing questions, performing research, and applying their experience working with similar organizations in order to fill in any gaps from your own presentation.
Every healthcare organization has different needs, and this includes when it comes to staffing. How many positions you have available, and the level of work required in this position will make a big difference in what kinds of candidates your firm will provide to you.
Look at your staffing levels and identify how many employees you will need to function at optimum levels, as well as how long it will take to onboard each of them. You should also consider how many staff you have available to conduct interviews, run background checks, and conduct training. Provide this to your firm so they can get a good idea of how many candidates they need to present to you per quarter to satisfy your needs.
Your recruitment firm won’t know what to change about their process if you don’t provide quality feedback to guide them. If you find that a candidate doesn’t meet your needs, describe why this is to the firm so that they can refine their tactics.
Aim to meet with the firm at least quarterly to discuss staffing progress and provide any suggestions you may have about what can change. For example, if you find that individuals with certain skill sets are doing better in your organization, share this so that they can figure out how to best identify this in potential candidates and deliver you possible employees that better meet your expectations. Consider this a partnership, one where both sides need to keep an open dialogue for the best results.
Recruitment teams have particular skills when it comes to identifying good matches, and they can have a more objective perspective on what your organization might need. They may deliver a candidate you may not have expected but who performs well when hired, or they might have a suggestion for something you should add to job listings in order to avoid misunderstandings about employee expectations.
Just as you are an expert in your field, these professionals have years of experience in identifying and attracting good workers for their clients. Trust their process and keep an open mind, and you may find yourself pleasantly surprised by the selection of excellent physicians they have to offer.
Once the recruitment firm has delivered good candidates, know that you will have to put them through screening throughout the hiring process, as well as consider how to onboard and integrate them into your company. Your own HR team should work with the recruitment firm to make this process as seamless as possible for candidates, avoiding miscommunication and repeating steps.
You’ll also need to monitor the results of your recruitment efforts yourself; thankfully, many firms make this easy through their recruitment software, which will allow you to track your progress and see what might need to change.
Finding quality medical staff can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re already short-staffed, but it doesn’t have to be so challenging. Medical recruitment firms can help fill your open positions with surgical precision, developing a fruitful and long-term relationship that will provide you with the quality employees you need to succeed. Set clear expectations, assess your goals, and ensure that lines of communication remain open in order to get the very best results.