Redefining Recruitment to Retention

How Strategic Recruitment Drives ROI

During such a challenging time for recruitment professionals, with ongoing physician shortages and increased provider turnover, it may be difficult to take a strategic approach to recruitment, rather than just doing whatever it takes to fill an opening. Recruitment may seem as simple as filling an open position, but when done right, it can be so much more and can actually contribute to an organization’s bottom line.

Physicians and providers are healthcare system’s number one source of revenue. They bring in the patients, who pay for high quality care and hopefully become loyal to their physician and regularly return to the system. Because of physician and provider’s direct relationship to an organization’s financial success, recruiting and retaining high-quality physicians is critical for sustained financial health.

However, recruitment is harder than ever based on limited healthcare spending, the ongoing physician and provider shortage and an increased competition for talent. So, how do you recruit strategically in this environment to ensure your efforts align with your organization’s larger strategic plan and ultimately support the bottom line?

The first step is to implement a strategic plan to source, recruit and retain mission-aligned and high-quality talent to ultimately save your organization time, money and resources. Here are some key considerations for developing your recruitment strategy:

Identifying organizational needs and goals

To ensure your recruitment strategy is aligned with and working towards your organization’s larger business goals, it’s critical that you first identify and understand those goals. A great way to do this is to have recruitment professionals included in organization wide strategic planning efforts. If you understand the larger strategy, it will be clear where you fit in and how recruitment can support the larger vision.

Defining target candidate profiles

Based on national averages for physician revenue, days to fill a physician vacancy and number of searches per year, reducing an organization’s average search by just six days can generate more than $4.3 million in additional revenue. That’s why it’s so important you find the right candidates the first time who are a good organizational fit with the potential for longevity. To do this, we recommend developing thorough candidate profiles. Beyond hard skills, what are the characteristics of someone who would thrive within the organization. This will help to ensure you’re attracting the right talent and mitigate the risk of having to re-fill the same role in 6 months.

Optimizing sourcing channels

In today’s recruitment world, there are so many different avenues to find talent. It’s important to understand where the candidates you described in your candidate profiles search for jobs. As part of your recruitment strategy, it’s important to ensure you’re on the right channels and using the right methods to reach your target candidates. What works for one specialty might not work for another, so optimizing channels and taking a robust approach to sourcing is critical.

Establishing selection criteria

The selection process can be overwhelming, especially when you are desperate to fill an opening. In cases like this, it’s more important than ever to have very clear criteria for a right fit candidate and that you’re sticking to it when making a decision. This will give you and other decision makers clear guidelines to follow and ensure you’re prioritizing filling the position with a good fit that will be more likely to stay at the organization for a long time, rather than just filling the position as soon as possible.

Integrating physician-led tactics

Current physicians are the most important asset to your organization. They are ambassadors of the organization and should be included in the recruitment process whenever possible. Current physicians can provide great insights into the priorities of potential candidates. As a recruiter, you can play an important role as the coach of a larger team during the sourcing, recruiting and interviewing process. Remember to involve other team members including physicians and ensure they are playing the right role (like talking to the candidate about company culture or allowing the candidate to shadow them for a day).

Developing and implementing a strategic recruitment plan is only the first step in tracking ROI. Data is essential to measure ROI and ultimately determine the effectiveness of your strategic recruitment program. However, to be able to determine whether your recruitment strategy is effective, you need to be intentional about the metrics you choose to track and ensure they are telling the right story.

Some important metrics to track to measure ROI of your recruitment program include:

  • Sourcing ROI: Where are your strongest candidates coming from and is that aligned with where you’re spending the majority of your sourcing dollars (online ads, job boards, industry events etc.).
  • Days to Fill: Comparing your days to fill average with national trends can help you conclude if your overall recruitment efforts are successful. If your search for a particular specialty took double the time of the national average, you might conclude that you weren’t targeting the right candidates on using the right channels to access candidates.
  • Provider Turnover: Provider turnover is a crucial metric to track, as it will tell you how well your organization is doing at retaining physicians. In cases where there is higher turnover is high, organizations may want to strategize a stronger retention strategy or explore whether the providers they are hiring are indeed the right fit for the organization and community.

Without taking an intentional and strategic approach to recruitment, there is no guarantee that your efforts are moving the most important needles at your organization or supporting the company’s bottom line. But it’s not enough to just develop and implement a strategy, you have to be intentional about the metrics you track and data your measure to be able to tell the story of your work and make the case for why strategic recruitment is essential.