When physicians are seeking new employment, there's a lot of consider, including how to navigate a new relationship with a recruiter. What does a physician recruiter look for in a candidate when filling a position? And what should a job seeker know when they are just beginning their search?
"In the beginning of a job search, it helps if the physician is clear on what they want their practice to look like," said Jill Clark, senior physician recruiter at UCHealth Medical Group. "Do they want to be employed by a hospital or health system? Would they prefer to be in private practice? In what type of community do they want to live? Do they want a completely patient-focused practice, or do they want to have a component of research included in their practice? The more focused the candidate is in their professional and personal goals, the more likely they are to find a job that is a good, long-term fit."
Recruiters say one of the most overlooked elements often comes down to incomplete information on physician CVs. "There are times where they will list a hospital unit phone number rather than a personal phone number, or omit an email address," said Clark. "That makes direct communication challenging." Starting with a fully fleshed-out, complete resume will put a physician's best foot forward from the get-go.
What Recruiters Look For Varies
Clark says good physicians are easy to work with, as they speak a similar healthcare language. "They care about patients and providing high-quality care," she explained. "We see many candidates interested in innovation and appreciate UCHealth having EPIC as our electronic medical record with an app that allows for direct communication with patients and online scheduling. In Colorado, we tend to draw candidates interested in creating work-life balance."
Recruiters also look for candidates who will take their calls, and physicians should seek out working with recruiters who will interview them first. Having a 10- to 15-minute call can help doctors assess what the hiring organization is looking for and how to best showcase their specialty knowledge and accomplishments.
Autumn Radabaugh, a physician recruiter at Optum, says the most important thing she looks for in a provider is whether or not they meet the required skills for the position and if they perform the procedures needed. Then she looks to see if they are a fit culturally. "I am not looking for a provider who just wants to make a paycheck and move on. I want a provider who wants to take care of their patients and do that in the best way possible," she said. Another important quality she vets is how candidates treat her. She says, "If they can be civil and have a good solid conversation with me, then they most likely treat patients and staff in their office the same."
Clark, who notes her company does not take on physicians as clients but employs them through UCHealth Medical Group, says, "The basics have to be there—do they meet the training qualifications, and can they provide the type and level of care expected in our clinics and hospitals? Do they have an understanding of how to create a positive patient experience? Do they treat their future team members with dignity and respect?"
Preparation Will Help Candidates Go the Distance
Physicians should think about what they desire for a work-life balance and how to appropriately answer this in an interview. What order are their top desires like location, lifestyle, and family matters? If the candidate has a spouse, will he/she also need to find a job that aligns in that type of community? Recruiters will want to know about work ethic, what a typical day looks like, leadership skills, and how much time and energy someone is putting forth into their career.
Traversing a Growing Industry
More people are recruiting than ever, and the industry is constantly evolving. As COVID-19 struck, video calls became more of the norm. Clark says even historically hosted in-person events like career fairs have gone virtual.
In terms of proper matchmaking, money is only one ingredient in the mix. Radabaugh says, "If you are not in the best location or don't offer a decent salary, there are many other places for providers to choose from. You really have to sell your brand and your company [to a provider]. I think that can actually be the hardest part. If you don't believe in the company that you work for, you can't sell it."
Communication is Key
Communication is the only way to ensure both physicians and recruiters are on the same page. Clarks says, "We must communicate with our employed physicians and the operations team to ensure we understand what they are looking for in a candidate and that the job descriptions we create accurately reflect their needs, so we attract the right candidates." She adds that recruiters must communicate with the candidates to ensure they understand the position requirements and the advantages of working for the company. "We must communicate with every candidate to ensure an effective and efficient recruitment process."
Of course, it goes both ways. If there's a physician who isn't communicative of what they're looking for in a position and why they want a new role, it will be tough to provide a proper match.
Article Originally Published on ACOG Career Connection