Five Ways to Make Physician Recruiting as Effective as Possible

Five Ways to Make Physician Recruiting as Effective as Possible

According to study cited by the American Medical Association (AMA), experts “estimate that by 2020 the nation will need from 85,000 to 200,000 more physicians than the existing pipeline can produce.” With physician demand at an all-time high, it is imperative that your organization’s recruitment process become as effective and efficient as possible. Achieving this goal requires more than hiring a great, healthcare-focused recruitment partners; it requires significant internal time and effort as well.


Below are the top five action items to ensure a smooth and successful process:

  • Alignment: Every stakeholder in the process—from administrators to the other physicians in the group for which a doctor is being recruited to the immediate community must be in alignment on the need for this hire. A white paper produced by The Camden Group titled Determining Strategic Physician Recruitment Needs Under Population Health Management notes that “It is essential that physician recruiting efforts support the fundamental strategic goals identified at the organization related to clinical integration, care models, and the alignment of new hospitals and medical groups.” If everyone isn’t on the same page to start with, it could significantly elongate the recruitment process.
  • Defined Compensation Plan: Know what you are willing to offer before engaging a recruitment firm. This includes any signing bonuses, incentive packages, and a clear outline of how the physician will be compensated. The author of The Physician Shortage states that “Good recruiting cannot overcome a bad offer.” A comprehensive and competitive offer signifies that your organization values the worth of this prospective hire, and can greatly reduce negotiation back-and-forth.
  • Comprehensive Understanding of Organizational Culture: Not only must your organization’s culture be well-defined before entering into a recruitment partnership, but you must also be able to identify the characteristics that make physicians successful within your organization’s culture. This knowledge will help you to convey these characteristics to your recruitment firm so that they may pre-screen candidates for these attributes. This will not only reduce time-to-fill, but will also impact physician retention rates.
  • Knowledge of the Surrounding Healthcare Landscape: Organizations well-versed in patient volume, access, and support and referral systems currently in place will be better positioned to explain this to a potential hire. We recommend strategically looking at the communities your organization serves to see where referrals, access, and physician gaps exist. This will not only inform strategic recruitment decisions, but can also serve as a valuable business exercise.
  • Turnkey Internal Recruitment Process: Established and efficient internal recruitment procedures are essential to a smooth hiring process. Organizations must know which staff members and administrators need to meet with and interview the candidate. They need to be in agreement on what the candidate needs to see and who will be the one to show them. Perhaps most importantly, your organization must have a candidate review process in place that allows for objective feedback on each candidate. This will streamline the path to group consensus so that an offer can be made.


With unparalleled competition for physicians across the U.S., it is imperative that organizations have a comprehensive, streamlined recruitment process in place. This includes committing to key internal tasks as well as hiring a reputable recruitment partner. By focusing on the above five areas before engaging a recruitment firm, you’ll be sure to eliminate wasted efforts and to fill your position with your first-choice candidate in less time. And this translates directly to cost savings and competitive advantages for your healthcare facility.


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