Redefining Recruitment to Retention

AAPPR Board Corner: September

Carey Goryl, MSW, CAE, CPRP

Have you ever seen the show, Undercover Boss? I remember how fascinating the first few episodes were (until it got cheesy!), and how interesting it was to look behind the curtain of different professions.  I always enjoy hearing about the experiences of AAPPR members, so I was very excited when, this summer, I had the opportunity to shadow Patti Crabtree, CPRP, a Sr. Physician and Advanced Provider Recruiter at Indiana University Health for the day.  It wasn’t quite Undercover Boss, but it was just as interesting to see how a #typicalday played out for one recruitment team.

I received my itinerary the week before and ubered to their offices early on a Monday morning in August.  The team is hybrid, but I was there on a staff meeting day, so most who were local were there.  After making the rounds of introductions, we headed back to the desk to check email, #typicalday.  Next was a series of meetings, both zoom and in person, #typicalday.  We were supposed to do a phone screen, but at the last minute the candidate had to reschedule, #typicalday. Having lunch with the onsite team was great to learn about them and then pepper them with questions! From there more meetings to talk sourcing strategy on a 2 year + rural search and then checking in with a service line leader on the status of interviews. In between meetings we logged data in the ATS, #typicalday.

Some of you know already but my background is not in physician recruitment.  After nearly 7 years with this association as CEO and on the Board, I know the content but had never experienced a day in the life. I can read about it, hear about it, but I wanted to experience it.

What I observed:

  1. Sourcing is tricky

There are only so many ways to find a needle in the haystack. While there are many tried and true methods that will work for most physician searches, often enough it requires a more methodical approach to ensure you’re covering all of the haystack, with the right message, at the right time to capture that right person. You can’t give up.  It is also important to celebrate when you do find that ideal candidate and see first-hand how your efforts have paid off.

  1. Take some time to be a human

The benefit of shadowing on a Monday is that folks like to talk about their weekend. It reminds us that we’re not robots on a job, but real people with real lives. Doug Lewis, Executive Director, does a great job in building his team and I really enjoyed watching the team engage with each other, being human.  Its important to practice that to bring that human connection to candidates and new hires throughout the recruitment process.

  1. You never stop educating your colleagues

It still seems that it is difficult for colleagues who don’t do recruitment to honor the nuances in physician and provider recruitment.  It seems underestimated and so recruitment teams must continue to internally explain their value at every opportunity they have.  Recruitment truly is a team sport that takes the commitment of a whole organization, and as team captain, recruitment professionals have a crucial role to play in ensuring the team is aligned and at their best.

A huge thank you to Patti, Doug and the entire team at IU Health for letting me follow them around and see a #typicalday.  Congrats to Patti on her upcoming retirement!