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While a recent HealtheCareers report showed that the majority of healthcare organizations are targeting experienced physicians when looking to recruit new team members,  graduating physician candidates still play a significant role in most physician recruiters’ overall physician recruitment strategy. Nearly half of organizations are targeting recent graduates for at least some positions in order to create the best team of providers possible. But when it comes to recruiting graduating physicians, some recruiters aren’t sure what to look for in a candidate other than good training.

 

Below are five things physician recruiters should look for when hiring graduating physician candidates in order to increase their chances of making the right hire.

 

 

1. Leadership Experience

Leadership skills are desirable in nearly every field and even more so in medicine. For graduating physician candidates, there are plenty of different ways to display leadership qualities to prospective organizations, but the most common is the  Chief Residency. In many specialties, the chief resident is selected by their peers due to their superior clinical skills, people skills, and (crucially) leadership skills. These Chief Residents are highly sought after by organizations, and the skills they acquire in their Chief year can be an asset to any organization.

 

 

2. Past Work Experience

The most in-demand physicians are ones with a few years of experience as they tend to be more productive and a safer hire for large hospitals and health systems. But while most of these organizations will only target physicians with experience post-training, many ambitious physicians will begin practicing during their training. These moonlighting residents can utilize this experience to acquire additional medical training and hone their clinical skills before graduating and beginning full-time work.

 

 

3. Attitude & Outlook

Two of the most important aspects of hiring for cultural fit are a candidate’s attitude and long term outlook. As a physician recruiter, you want to make sure you hire candidates with an attitude that fits your organization (desire to learn, strong work ethic, professionalism, etc), as well as ones that are looking to build a career in their first position after residency. These physicians will often be driven, eager to learn, and deeply interested in learning more about your organization.

 

 

4. Communication Skills

While this is something recruiters should look for when hiring any physician candidate, it’s particularly important when hiring a new graduate. The physician need to communicate effectively with patients in order to provide them with high quality care, as well as be able to communicate with their colleagues and administrators. Not only will it make the practice run smoothly, it will also mean that you’ll know if the physician is struggling or is unsure of how to proceed in a situation.

 

5. Emotional Intelligence

As patient satisfaction becomes increasingly important, it’s crucial that recruiters hire candidates with excellent people skills and great bedside manner. Screening candidates for emotional intelligence can let organizations know which candidates will be likely to connect with their patients, thereby providing them with better care. Additionally, candidates with high emotional intelligence are more likely to get along with their fellow providers and tend to be excellent team players.

Key Take Aways:

  • Although graduating candidates don’t have years of full-time practice experience, many have experience moonlighting that has helped them hone their skills while in training, as well as leadership experience through a Chief Residency position.
  • Soft skills, such as communication skills and the ability to work in a team, are crucial when hiring new graduates.
  • While you can help train a new graduate on best practices for care, you can’t train someone to have a good attitude, making it one of the most important traits to look for when hiring a recent graduate.