5 Biggest Reasons Physician Recruitment Efforts Fail

5 Biggest Reasons Physician Recruitment Efforts Fail

15Sep, 2015

5 Biggest Reasons Physician Recruitment Efforts Fail


Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more Americans are gaining access to health care and nearly every practice and hospital is finding themselves in need of recruiting more physicians and allied health providers. But while these practices and health systems find themselves actively taking on physician recruitment efforts, many find themselves with recruitment searches that go beyond six months with no end in sight. Why are these recruitment efforts failing, and what can physician recruiters do to salvage them?


Some recruiters and organizations are quick to blame failed recruitment efforts on the looming physician shortage, but the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of physician recruitment efforts fail not because of the physician shortage, but because of internal issues that cripple a recruitment effort. So what are the issues that will derail a recruitment effort and doom it to failure? Below are the five main problems that can ruin a recruitment effort’s chances for success.



1. Poor Communication

One of the earliest – and easiest to rectify – issues in a recruitment process is the lack of communication among management regarding the specifics of the position. In many cases the full scope of the opportunity and candidate specifics are not covered. It is important than when beginning a new physician recruitment effort that the decision makers complete a New Search Questionnaire in order to clearly delineate the specific of the position and what their ideal candidate looks like. 


Even worse is a breakdown of communication between the recruiter and candidates. Delayed follow-up and failure to keep a candidate engaged during the process can result in a candidate losing interest and going to a competitor.


2. Lack of a Clear Decision-maker

In any recruitment effort, it is crucial to be sure who the true decision maker is, and who the influencers are. While it’s important to be aware of the influencer’s preferences, recruiters should never lose sight of the fact that who will ultimately be hired lies with the decision maker. 


But what if the decision maker isn’t so easy to spot? It’s is important for recruiters to be able to delineate which individuals will take the lead on communicating with the candidate and ensure that they are the ones making the final decision. Losing sight of who really has final say can often increase the amount of time it takes to source and hire the right candidate.


3. Inadequate Sourcing Strategy

Are you guilty of using the post and pray method of sourcing? Or maybe you go back to the same well every time you need candidates? While these methods of sourcing candidates may have once been enough to find and hire an excellent physician, the changing landscape of health care now demands a more tailored approach. It is crucial for recruiters to create a comprehensive sourcing strategy for each search, using multiple channels and methods to source candidates. Failing to do so can result in an inadequate candidate pipeline and ultimately an inability to recruit a qualified physician.


4. Failure to Track & Measure Efforts

Tracking the effectiveness of your candidate sourcing and physician recruitment efforts is essential in order to ensure that a recruiter spends  their time and resources on what works – and stops using what doesn’t. Recruiters who fail to track and measure which tools and channels will have a high percentage of qualified respondents and a high percentage of offers will often find themselves spending their recruitment budget on sourcing tools that just don’t work, keeping them from utilizing those funds on effective tools and methods. As this happens, a recruiter will often find their search extending past six months and even a year, with little hope of expanding their candidate pool.



5. Lack of Agility

When taking on a new search, the early days are often ones of some confusion. As decision makers and influencers hone in on what they really want in a candidate and the full scope of practice, recruiters need to be able to react quickly to these changes in order to continue generating qualified candidates. Additionally, changes can also occur later in the recruitment process (losing another physician, new leadership needs, etc.) which recruiters also need to be able to respond to quickly. Recruitment teams that have to deal with too much red tape and don’t have enough autonomy are often not agile an incapable of responding quickly to changes. This can lead to them missing out on favorable windows in the recruitment cycle – and the right candidate.



Key Take Aways:

  • Recruitment efforts need to have open lines of communication between all parties and a clear decision maker.
  • A successful sourcing strategy offers a multi-pronged approach and allows recruiters to track success rates.
  • Giving recruiters more autonomy can increase their ability to respond quickly to changes in an organization’s recruitment needs.