Leaders For Today (LFT), a national healthcare interim and permanent staffing company, just released a report regarding the perceived state of physician staffing. More than 200 hospital leaders from facilities of various sizes and locations were enlisted to take part. Upon completion, the report was entitled “The Candidates Don’t Exist.”
You can’t get much more blunt than that.
While the healthcare industry continues to have a number of challenges when it comes to staffing, the survey’s synopsis highlights that “the absence of qualified candidates remains far and away their loudest concern—a far larger issue than originally anticipated.”
Another revelation is that shortages are not specific to hospital size or location. It’s no longer a matter of being a big fish in a small pond (rural) or a small fish in a big pond (urban). The problem is the pond is becoming stagnant.
One more troubling statistic: When asked how they would rate their organization's ability to find qualified candidates in a reasonable amount of time, 51.6 percent participants responded with "not very good."
It seems very doom and gloom, doesn’t it? Are these hospital leaders using everything at their disposal to connect with qualified candidates? If they’re not taking advantage of targeted email campaigns, that’s their first mistake. If they’re deploying email but not working with a high-quality physician email list, that’s an even bigger one.
Are you making those same mistakes?
Getting to Know Your Docs
Are hospital leaders using everything at their disposal to connect with qualified candidates?
“Knowledge is power.” There’s greater significance to that quote than the inspirational poster hanging on your co-worker’s cubicle wall. The more you know about potential physician candidates, the more power you wield to bring them into your circle.
The degree of knowledge depends on the caliber of your physician database. A comprehensive email list contains essential details such as full name, geographic location, hospital affiliation, area of specialty, and level of expertise/years of medical practice. Additional information that could be helpful would be alumni association(s) and where a candidate grew up—both beneficial for presenting opportunities to “come back home.”
Perhaps the most important data point to consider is being in possession of a physician’s preferred email address (typically, a personal account). Contemplating a job change is a highly private matter. Contacting a doc via an email address screened by admin or office staff not only creates an uncomfortable situation, but it also compromises his future receptiveness to your outreach attempts.
Having all this physician intelligence allows you to identify and refine candidates who represent the best fit for your health system’s needs and then connect with them in a manner that shows you also understand their needs.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
The Cleveland Clinic has a “Guide to Physician Recruitment,” which spells out 10 important steps to successful placement. One of the steps is “Follow-up completely and communicate, communicate, communicate at all times throughout the process.”
Once you’ve opened up conversations with physicians, it’s imperative to keep the dialogue going—whether a hire takes place or not. A candidate may not find one opening desirable but be welcoming of other possibilities. Regular communication, at an appropriate frequency, exhibits an investment in physician success and fosters relationships that endure long past the hiring stage.
You’re creating circumstances where qualified candidates not only exist, but they choose your system over any other.