It’s monday morning and a physician search request has come across your desk. A highly productive Obstetrician within your organization has given their notice. In order to minimize the impact on revenue their departure will create, it is essential to find a replacement as quickly as possible. While all involved can agree that a new physician must be sourced and on boarded quickly and at little cost, the ideal candidate’s qualifications and what will need to be done to get that candidate are often areas of contention. In order to ensure the success of the recruitment effort, it is essential to follow certain steps to get all interested parties on the same page. 



Complete a detailed search questionnaire 


This is possibly the most important tool a recruiter has in their arsenal when it comes to managing expectations and navigating conflicting desires. This questionnaire should cover things such as practice specifics, schedules, compensation, and special skills or languages needed. By having this completed by those requesting the physician, a physician recruiter can create a detailed and engaging job description and decide on a sourcing strategy to find the ideal candidate. This can also help with a major issue in searches – incompatibility between what an employer wants and what they are offering.


Address incompatibilities


After completing the search questionnaire, a seasoned recruiter should be able to denote three things:

  1. How attractive the opportunity is (location, compensation, schedule, etc.)
  2. The caliber of (and difficulty in finding)  the candidate desired
  3. The ability to fill the opening in the desired time frame


It is imperative that you as the recruiter address any incompatibilities between what is desired of a candidate and the likelihood of finding that candidate for the specific opportunity, especially in the required time frame. If the opportunity is less desirable and the qualifications expected of the candidate are of a high caliber, it is unlikely that the position will be filled quickly. By addressing these incompatibilities with those requesting the search, the true needs of the position can be prioritized. You will likely have to spend more to acquire a candidate, sacrifice the quality of the candidate, or accept that the position will take longer to fill.


Develop a sourcing strategy


Based on the difficulty of the search (qualities of the candidate compared to how appealing the opportunity is), you will have to adjust the strategies used to source candidates. This can involve anything from postings to job board and in journals, to direct mail, to working with a contingency or retained search firm. The sourcing strategy should be tailored to each individual search and take into account difficulties posed by specific specialties, locations, or special skills.


Revisit the opportunity details and ideal candidate qualifications regularly


Over the course of the search, new information can often come to light that will alter what qualifications are needed of a candidate and/or the specifics of the opportunity. In such instances, it is important to reassess the sourcing strategy and identify if anything additional needs to be done to meet these specifications. As the requirements and needs of the position evolve, so must the recruitment strategy. 



In the end, the most important aspect in successfully navigating conflicting opinions and desires during the course of a physician staffing assignment is communication. All parties need to take part in the conversation about what is really needed, how best to go about getting it, and if at any point the parameters need to be changed. By setting clear expectations, streamlining processes, and utilizing all the tools that are necessary and available, a new candidate can be identified and hired for nearly any opening.