Successful physician recruiters work with an efficient, consistent process to find and place the best candidates. They know that a recruiter must perform many roles: sourcing, marketing, client management, documentation, and retention, as well as specific recruiting activities. To manage this process effectively, they follow specific steps proven to achieve success, and closely monitor their activity.
The best recruiters perform well on both sides of the business: finding top-notch recruits and cultivating and managing clients. They excel at matching the right candidate to the right position, which leads to further business through referrals from happy clients and physicians, as well as a client base that is pleased to do business with the recruiter again.
Through cold calling, referrals, and industry specific websites, a recruiter finds candidates for placement. First the recruiter determines their level of interest: if the candidate is interested in someday making a career change, but is not open to it right now, the recruiter saves the prospect’s information and checks back periodically to see if the situation has changed.
If the candidate is ready to make a move now, the recruiter conducts a preliminary information-gathering interview and logs the data for later use. He or she obtains the curriculum vitae (CV) and references, and performs a background and credentials check. The information collected from the candidate is analyzed for any issues, such as insufficient credentials or negative feedback from references. In this case, the recruiter must decide whether the issues are significant enough to stop the process, or whether the issues are merely noted for future reference.
At the same time, the successful recruiter is also identifying clients and cultivating relationships with hospitals, organizations, and physician practices. The same techniques of cold calling, referrals, and web and media searches can provide many leads to practices and organizations with open positions. In addition, cultivating good relationships with organizations that don’t have a current opening will pay off when a position is available – the hiring manager will contact the professional recruiter first.
Good recruiters prepare several scripts that they use to make marketing presentations to potential clients. This ensures that they say all they mean to say, in the way they mean to say it. On a marketing call, the recruiter explains the benefit to the client in working with their company, and responds to any questions or objections. A good recruiter knows there is only one objection that can’t be countered: maybe!
Once the new client agrees to work with the recruiter, an agreement is signed. The recruiter obtains all details about the job, the practice and the location. A workable job order is one in which three criteria are present:
1. There is evidence of cooperation. The client is willing to respond to the recruiter in a timely manner.
2. There is a sense of urgency. The client “feels the pain” of not having this position filled.
3. It is a marketable position. The specialty is in the recruiter’s area of expertise.
Recruiters maintain a searchable database of the open positions and records the activity made on each job order.
Matching physicians with open positions is as much an art as it is a task to be done in the recruiting process. After working hard to recruit a qualified candidate, and establishing a good rapport with the individual, the recruiter matches their credentials with the job orders.
The way a recruiter presents an opportunity many times will determine whether or not the candidate will accept or decline an interview. By conveying excitement about the opportunity, and by sharing all the details about the job, the candidate becomes enthusiastic about an interview with the company.
At the end of the day, successful recruiters do one thing…get candidates in front of decision-makers. They do this by identifying the hiring manager during the marketing process, and by enthusiastically presenting the potential candidate. The hiring manager must learn why the recruiter feels a particular candidate is ideal for the job, and this goes beyond credentials and work experience. The manager also wants a person with the personality and culture to click with his or her new co-workers. They want to know what the physician’s references have said, and what the physician’s goals and strengths are.
The next step is key…the prep. The most successful recruiters prepares both the physician and the client for the interview. The day before the interview, the recruiter should spend some time with the candidate sharing any further information discovered about the hiring organization and the decision-maker. Role-playing with interview questions are a great way to prepare the physician; the recruiter can then give the candidate suggestions for improvement and teach any needed interview skills.
Likewise, the recruiter will spend time with the client to ensure a smooth interview process.
After the interview, the best recruiters will always follow up with both the candidate and interviewer. He or she must find out not only whether the candidate has any concerns, but also what went right. Next the recruiter talks with the client to address their concerns as well. The information is vital to complete the placement and start the process of making a job offer and negotiating terms. If it just will not work, the recruiter receives valuable information about what the manager and candidate are looking for, to fine-tune the search process.
Sometimes a second interview and usually a site visit is necessary. The recruiter builds good relationships by coordinating any travel and itinerary arrangements that are needed. If the physician will need to relocate to accept the position, it is helpful to put together a packet of information about the new area. The recruiter must also coordinate obtaining a state license and any credentialing needed for the job.
A good recruiter’s job doesn’t end when the candidate is placed. He or she should follow up with both the physician and hiring manager to be sure all is going well. During the first month, a weekly call can head off any potential problems and ease the transition not only with the candidate but also with their family. Then the recruiter should contact both parties on a month schedule for the first six months. At the one-year anniversary mark, the recruiter should check again to be sure the placement is satisfactory.
Successful recruiting is a rewarding challenge. Recruiters can change people’s lives, for the better or for the worse. If they do the right things at the right time, listen to wisdom, and perform the job properly, they build a satisfying career. In addition, they provide a vital resource to client companies and candidates.
Bob Eskridge (email@example.com) is the President of Eskridge & Associates (www.eskridge-associates.com) which specializes in the placement of physicians in both locum tenens and permanent opportunities nationwide. Bob has five industry certifications. He is a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC), Certified Temporary Staffing Specialist (CTS), a Certified Physician Recruiter (PRC) and a Certified Employee Retention Specialist through the National Association of Personnel Services (NAPS). He is also a Certified Staffing Professional (CSP) through the American Staffing Association.
Bob Eskridge is also President of Eskridge Worldwide Travel (www.eskridgewwtravel.com) providing travel services for physicians as well as Eskridge Consulting (www.eskridgeconsulting.com), a practice helping others to realize their childhood dreams of becoming physician recruiters.
© Eskridge & Associates, 2008