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The Number One Killer of Successful Recruitment… TIME


Kurt Scott

I touch on this subject at most of the conferences I speak but I hear many Recruiters bring it up as a continual issue. It is such an important part of any successful recruitment program, I wanted to speak to it directly, but from a little different perspective.

First, it has been my experience that candidates will gravitate towards positions where they feel the most wanted and needed. (Especially physicians and physician executives) You may have thought it was money? No, that’s typically down the list in the number 4 or 5 spot.

If the above is true, imagine yourself in the position of candidate. Remember back to the last time you looked at a new position and let me ask you to think about a few questions…

If you were to apply online or email the Recruiter, and didn’t hear anything for several days to even weeks, what would you think?

If you were trying to schedule a phone interview with the Department Head and they told you they didn’t have time to talk for three or four weeks, how would you feel about the level of importance they placed on you as a candidate?

If you were trying to schedule an on-site interview and were told that their schedules were too busy and it may be another month or two before everyone was available, how would you interpret that?

If you verbally accepted the position offered and was told a contract was coming but after a few weeks still had nothing in hand, what would be going through your mind?

You see, how you react to these situations demonstrates to your candidates how you view them and their level of importance to your organization.

Here are a few recommendations and guidelines that, if implemented, will significantly increase your physician recruitment success.

  • Recruiters should respond back to inquiries the same day when possible
  • Phone interviews with department leadership should be scheduled within 1 week
  • On-site interviews should happen within two weeks after phone interview
    • It has to be made an organizational expectation that leaders will make their schedules available to interview on short notice
  • Make a decision on candidates post-interview within one week
  • Once a verbal offer is made and a verbal acceptance is received, contracts should go out within a week or less (contract templates help)

Over the last 32 years, I have focused my career solely on physician, physician executive and advanced practitioner recruitment. I have never seen the market as competitive as it is today. Believe me, time is not your friend.

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