The Association for Advancing Physician and Provider Recruitment (AAPPR) is redefining recruitment to retention and is the only professional organization where physician and provider recruitment leaders and others who influence recruitment, onboarding and retention can connect, learn and advance their careers.
Doesn’t it seem like everything today is attached to some form of number? From stock market indices, labor workforce data, inflation rates…even mid-term election results, numbers can be found everywhere! Even running my computer as I type this post is based on numbers and highly complex computational algorithms.
Yet for all their worth, numbers are numbers, and they still need analysis and interpretation. Be it digits, graphs, charts, or color-coded figures, every number begs to shape a story and to become the very backbone of an author’s interpretation – an interpretation that may just lead to insightful information or perhaps, purposeful action to achieve a desired outcome.
From quarterly business reviews, forward-looking statements, budgets, to monthly operating reviews to the C-Suite and senior leaders, your prowess and keen intellect in the physician and provider space possesses the ability to use data to manifest a story. A story designed to inspire, strike motivation, optimize, innovate and shape the future of our nation’s health care delivery.
In fact, being a data-guided author makes you a more influential and confident leader to shape a unique story arc showcasing resilience, determination, and several hero moments only a good author can bring to life.
As an association, AAPPR remains committed to ensuring you have the toolkits and instruments needed to create a compelling story that makes you an invaluable asset to your leaders and this industry. Have you compared your organization’s metrics to even just one of the data points on the recent 2022 Benchmark report? How will your story provide you and your efforts a hero moment to becoming a premier destination employer?
Before 2022 ends, take the opportunity to tell the full story, be a talented author, be an industry leader, better you and your organization’s success in hiring exceptional physician and provider talent, and more importantly leave a happy ending with many of your readers smiling.
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:
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.
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.
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!
As we roll through the dog days of summer, we hope that our AAPPR members have had a chance to unplug and use some of their coveted vacation time. The Board of Directors at AAPPR, purposely pauses many meetings, during July and August, to allow board members and staff to prioritize time-off. With the intent that we can truly unplug, put that “out of office” message up, and not feel obligated to respond during our time away from the office.
We always talk about physician and provider well-being, but it is important to remember that we can get burnt out in our roles too. It can often feel like there is not enough time in the day to get everything done. This can make it hard to justify time away from the office and we can get complacent by telling ourselves we’ll do it later. How many of you have 50 to 100+ hours of paid time off, sitting in your accrual bank right now? That later is now.
The work will always be there, and you may lose that hard earned vacation time if you don’t use it. And you should absolutely be using it!
It has taken me a long time to become comfortable, unapologetically, with prioritizing time away from the office. If I don’t take that time to refill my cup, carve out time for things I enjoy, and spend uninterrupted time with friends and family, I wouldn’t be able to do my best work or put my best self forward to candidates or colleagues. It helps keep me grounded and able to give more when I am back at work.
As we embark on a busy fall conference and recruitment season, I want to remind everyone there is still time to recharge! We look forward to seeing you out there in a few weeks. In the meantime, use that vacation time unapologetically, make some memories and spend your time on things that bring you joy. I’ve learned the work will always be there, and the only person who can prioritize my health and well-being is me. Now, where is my hammock for that mid-afternoon nap?
As we begin to settle into the new demands of physician recruiting after a worldwide pandemic, the majority of Physician Recruitment Talent teams have been gifted with high demands to add Physicians and Advanced Practice Providers as soon as possible to the more challenging medical specialties. Organizations are finding they need to rebuild and replenish the workforce after the pandemic and get ahead of strategic plans developed without understanding the shortages of Physicians and other Providers forecasted by X specialty.
Our organizations are desperate for us to assist in solving the staffing and growth strategies they have planned quickly. It leaves us asking, “what can I do to fill the gap?” Typically, summer is a hectic time for physician recruitment teams, and we tend to revert to strategies that have been tried and true. Methods include email campaigns, marketing at related specialty conferences, career fairs, texting, social media, etc. Often as in-house recruiters, we decide to walk the road alone as long as possible before we cry out for mercy and engage the assistance of others. Yet, I believe we must abandon our thoughts of independence to achieve our big wins and embrace the true team model. That means we must consult, partner, and add resources in ways we previously considered taboo. Even in sports that are deemed solo efforts, a NASCAR Driver has a pit crew, the NFL has special teams that just kick, and golf has a caddie to advise on which club to use, the distance to the hole, and any unforeseen rugged terrain which could interrupt the ball finding the cup. If we think about it, there is always a consultant, coach, prep/service team, and other partners within most endeavors.
We need to engage in conversations with our internal stakeholders, Physician Leaders, and other key stakeholders to update interview timeframes and our processes, and reassess candidate profiling requests to refresh everyone’s expectations on timing, review any data, activities, and responses you have collected to reset the conversation.
Take a moment, to be honest. You need help! We must consider bringing other aligned partners (aka. search firms and other partners) into our conversations and strategic planning as soon as possible. Remember the goal, which has been stated so perfectly by PracticeLink, Recruit, Hire and Heal. All things aside, we need to move faster, expand applicant pools, and get our pipelines full to ensure the best outcomes.
And we need to use our best resource, Physicians. Physician referrals are some of the most solid and sure bet referrals. So we must encourage and work with our leadership to develop a Physician Referral program that provides financial incentive payments.
Remember, you are not alone in your race. Pause, breathe, start a conversation on AAPR’s chat, and use this wonderful community for support as we are all frenemies in the same race and have real empathy for the unique situations only found in our industry. Pace yourself, make a reasonable plan with reachable goals, and remain in the game.
As I watched Karine Jean-Pierre address the podium for the first time as the newly appointed White House Press Secretary, I couldn’t help but draw similar parallels between our experiences. I was acutely aware that she represented a few firsts appointed to the role – the first Black woman, born to immigrants, and a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. As I watched her, she acknowledged at that moment that she was standing on the shoulders of the generations of barrier-breaking people who came before her. It was inspiring.
When I began my journey with the AAPPR Board, I looked around the room at my first board meeting. I quickly learned that I was the first black woman to be appointed to the Board. At that moment, I knew it was my duty to challenge the board to expand diversity, equity, and inclusion not only in our leadership but also in our membership, because representation matters! And through the aligned commitment of the organization, I am proud to say that we now have the most diverse board that we have ever had, representing our membership in experiences and perspectives.
When the summer of 2020 hit, we were faced with the onset of a deadly pandemic which dramatically exposed the inequities of healthcare, frontline workers, and other essential workers risking their own safety to help others. We also witnessed the unfortunate deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others. Our communities were hurting, and knowing that our members are part of these communities, we couldn’t be silent.
Together we crafted our first statement as a Board on our commitment to diversity, equity & inclusion, but we didn’t stop there. Through difficult conversations and leaning into the uncomfortable, our commitment to normalizing the conversation and moving forward with action and education has continued. As our Board President, Emerson Moses, mentioned in the last Board Corner, our DEI micro-credential was launched at the conference in April. And the DEI Advisory Committee and the Board are continuing to push forward with initiatives in this space.
Now I present myself as the first black woman appointed as the Board’s President-Elect. Being the first comes with a sense of pride and a great responsibility that I don’t take lightly. It also comes with an understanding that we need all of YOU to help us do this work – to truly change inequity in health care across the board. Join me, our President Emerson Moses, our CEO Carey Goryl, and the AAPPR Board as we embrace diversity, become barrier-breaking individuals, and deepen our impact in healthcare.
Intentional Representation. It’s a phrase that some might say has become my new motto when it comes to AAPPR. I speak to it a lot during our Board meetings, and I had the opportunity to share what that means to me as Board President at our recent Annual Meeting of Membership in Chicago. I thought that I would share a bit of that address here:
“Our job in serving all of you is to ensure that we are consistently driving this association to bring you what you need and to elevate you as the industry experts in our space. To always have a lens on how our profession is changing and evolving – and to know the factors impacting that so that we can be strategic and futuristic as we continue to advance our field.
And for the Board to do that successfully, it must have intentional representation.
We are shaped by the experiences we have and the environments that surround us. The importance of seeing those experiences represented is the driving factor for us moving forward as well as our ability as an Association to support you where you need to be supported. That is why one of the most important roles I believe that I have as President is to ensure that we reflect each of you – the professionals in our industry who drive the work, the innovation and the mission.”
I also was proud to share several key accomplishments from the last year, the first being the publication of two White Papers representing our members as the voice of expertise in our space. The second is the completion and launch of the CPRP Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion micro-credential – an educational curriculum that is the first of its kind in the field of talent attraction:
“Having participated in the training myself, I can tell you first hand that it is groundbreaking, thought-provoking, and inspiring.
The influence we have through our profession to change the direction of inequity in healthcare is remarkable. This credential was a vision that was powerful to see come to life. But it is only the first stop on this journey for AAPPR to be intentional and consistent in ensuring that all that we do is also looked at from a lens of Equity and Inclusion.”
With all of this in mind, I would be remiss if I did not ask something of you, our members: intentional engagement. We need the representation of your work and your experiences. The 2022 Benchmark Survey will close shortly and we know that the only way that the research will serve you is if it represents you and the work that you do. The changing landscape of our field is reflected in this data, and it is imperative that we have a pulse on it in order to offer you the solutions that you need.
We also need more diverse representation in our volunteers and committees – and we have opportunities in all areas. If you have always wanted to volunteer but haven’t yet reached out about options, now is the time. From Member Engagement to Education, your voice, your experiences, and your expertise matter. Learn more on the website. Because in diversity, we find innovation and success.
And as I said to close out my address in Chicago, and I say it again here with heartfelt gratitude, “thank you all for being members and for being the engaged and inspiring professionals and individuals that you are. It is YOU that makes us better. And it is an HONOR to serve you.”
We’re looking forward to seeing over 700 members and exhibitors in Chicago at this year’s AAPPR Annual Conference. So much has happened since we all gathered in 2019. If you recall, we just announced our new name and logo for AAPPR. New this year will be the debut of Physician and Provider Recruitment Professionals Week – the first of its kind to showcase all of our members. This is a recognition we will celebrate every year and soon get into the national calendar. Whether you’re joining us in Chicago or not, please tune in to AAPPR’s social channels to be a part of the fun and celebration. We’ll be giving special recognition to nearly 20 professionals, and we can’t wait! We wish we could celebrate with everyone, but we know travel and budgets are restricted, and many of you have finally rescheduled those planned trips from years ago. You can still sign up to receive recorded featured content from the conference and, at a minimum, save the date for next year’s conference in Austin, TX, on March 21-24, 2023. New next year, the conference will start on a Tuesday and end on a Friday! Plus, it ends the day before the SHM Conference, which will also be in Austin if you plan to exhibit there.
If you think you’ve been hearing more about taking care of yourself, you’re right. One indicator: according to Google Trends, the number of searches for “self-care” has more than doubled since 2015. As recruiters, we are expected to work long hours, answer calls at all times of day, and hit our metrics to be highly productive. As a board, we’ve talked about the constant pressure and stress and how it can lead to burnout, depression, and anxiety. We are not alone, and you are not alone. We are all less equipped to handle the stresses that come our way when we’re depleted physically and experience emotional exhaustion. But by taking some time out to engage in self-care, you can help manage your stress and reground yourself where productivity is once again maximized. According to Southern New Hampshire University, “engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, improve concentration, minimize frustration and anger, increase happiness, improve energy, and more.”
I constantly hear people neglect self-care because they don’t have the time. There is enough time in the day for self-care if you are aware of how you choose to spend your time. Prioritizing self-care is an active choice. How many hours do you spend on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, TikTok, or YouTube each day? Most smartphones have an app that tracks how long you spend on social media each day. Try checking the app every day for a week. You may be surprised to learn just how many hours each day you spend on social media. Or how about trading one hour of exercise or on a hobby for just one hour spent on social media?
Another self-care tip is to set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier than usual. Reach for a notepad and pen instead of your phone when you get up. Write whatever comes into your mind. This will help reduce worries or stress and focus on your day ahead. No time for breakfast in the mornings? If your mornings are very hectic, prepare breakfast the night before so that you can still eat a healthy meal in the morning. Exercise not your thing? How about spending 30 minutes in a hot bath reading a book. Self-care is known to improve your mental and physical health.
Learning how to take time for yourself might be the hardest choice you’ll ever make. In the long run, it will be the best decision you make, allowing you to be your best self and achieve all those goals you’ve been waiting to tackle. Get started on taking care of yourself today.
In part one of our C-Suite series, you learned how advancing your expertise and influence throughout your organization begins by creating strong advocates among your C-suite and senior leadership (insert reference link here to AAPPR downloads). Data fueling your organization’s recruitment strategy is an effective way to yield greater value to executive leaders by applying the language of numbers for a more efficient and transparent approach to recruitment.
However (as we all know too well), getting on an executive’s calendar is much easier said than done. For most of us, the idea of finding even 10 minutes of your key executives’ time (BTW, at least one month in advance, right?) is a daunting and whimsical task fraught with rescheduling and last-minute cancelations. Fortunately, there’s a tool to help… one, that if you develop well, will be highly valued by leaders, will keep a pulse on what you have to say, and will provide the necessary visibility to all your recruitment efforts. The tool? It’s the executive dashboard!
A well organized and thoughtful executive dashboard has many benefits, including, but not limited to, showcasing your success, keeping a pulse on others’ accountability throughout the recruitment process, written justification for additional investments/resources, and an amazing tool for securing your seat at the strategic table.
In fact, the key performance indicators (KPIs) built within an effective executive dashboard are designed to help you close performance gaps, identify needed efficiencies, reduce expenses, accelerate peak performance, celebrate goals, innovate new approaches, and evolve your organization’s practices to better align and exceed national industry benchmarks (Hint: go and download the latest AAPPR annual benchmark study!).
Architecting the details of your perfect dashboard begins by understanding your organization’s key strategies within your calendar/fiscal year:
You will want to gather this information in advance – remember to use data (i.e., real numbers). For example, you can’t say your strategic recruitment goal is to do better than last year. Hint: the most meaningful way to express a strategic goal in an executive dashboard is via a real number together with a timeline. For example, your organization will achieve hiring X number of physicians and advanced practice clinicians by the end of 2022. Or, your organization will outperform last season’s performance by 5% (from X to Y) by the end of 3Q2022.
With a clear understanding of your organization’s strategic recruitment goals, you’re ready to lay out your one page. The layout should consist of four key areas (each space adjusted appropriately to coincide with your data, but NOT to exceed your one page):
The data table is designed to showcase a quick visual (using numbers and colors — such as red, yellow, and green) where your performance is during the timeframe that you are reporting; and, it allows for any analytical/operating leader to quickly perform their own calculations to pivot data that is meaningful for them. There’s a reason as to why C-suite and senior leaders speak the language of data and this is why you lead with it at the top!
For leaders who like to review the visual cues and then obtain the interpretation points, this is where you’ll display your language expertise. Be sure to use alpha points (e.g., A), B), C), D), etc.), so during report-out meetings or discussions you/your leader can easily reference. For example, “In this month’s executive dashboard, you’ll note a 35% increase as seen in point D under By the Numbers. The interpretation points should include highlights of the data table and the important value it presents to your strategic goal (Hint: if the executive leader completely ignores the data table, what are the key takeaways and why is it important?).
Every leader enjoys achieving a goal and learning/sharing good news. By adding this section to the dashboard, you are psychologically incentivizing your leaders to await your dashboard at each cadence. And you have psychologically incentivized yourself, your team, and others around you to get the credit to appear in that section of the dashboard! Keeping this section filled helps to compile at year’s/fiscal’s end, all of the significant successes you and the team have made toward achieving the organization’s strategic recruitment goals (Hint: this list of achievements bodes well for annual performance reviews as well!).
Remember, each executive leader also needs visibility as to what is next and what they need to do to support your efforts. Outlining your action plans prior to the next executive dashboard report helps showcases where performance can be improved, what milestones have yet to be achieved, and how you and your efforts are aligned and poised to make progress to the overarching recruitment goals. The action plans should list who you collaborate with to create accountability and visibility for all. By listing others, you’ll obtain the needed action you required from others, especially in the eyes of the C-Suite and other senior leaders. Action plans give way to purposeful urgency by treating recruitment as a priority to drive collaboration, accountability, and results. Whatever isn’t achieved in the action plan, be willing to provide the reason(s) why during a report-out and more importantly, what actions can then be taken to bring about a solution.
Establish a routine and consistent cadence of reporting for the executive dashboard with your leaders. After all, success is measurable over time. Depending on your organization’s goals, sometimes bi-weekly is appropriate. More often, monthly is seen as an acceptable standard by most executives and times well with overall financial reporting. Creating monthly reports can easily lend into aggregating to quarterly and annual reports. Additionally, each report gives way to complete transparency of the outstanding efforts undertaken to fill difficult physician and advanced practice clinician vacancies.
Creating strong advocates among your C-suite and senior leaders using their language of data while architecting an exceptional executive dashboard are necessary foundation items to be a successful recruitment thought leader for your organization. For a sample Word template of a dashboard, visit the AAPPR library. You can also download the Quick Guide to Building an Effective Executive Dashboard in the Resource Library.
In the next and final part in our C-Suite series, you’ll learn how to align your advocates and your dashboard reporting to individually author your organization’s story of recruitment success!
A new year brings a fresh start, setting new goals and thinking about the future. Now that 2022 has arrived, it also has me reflecting on the events of the past year. The resiliency we collectively have to endure and overcome is inspiring. Even in struggle, I recognize the opportunities for change & innovation that the year brought to our profession. Much of which inspired notable and historic accomplishments for AAPPR and our Members.
In 2021, knowing that our traditional in-person Conference was not going to be an option, AAPPR pivoted and stood up our first ever Virtual Conference, hosting over 600 attendees and offering a virtual translation of our much-beloved annual conference. We held the first ever Leaders Connect in-person event, with a focus for leaders and stakeholders in the provider recruitment space. Additionally, the launch of the AAPPR Academy brings all our tools and resources together for a one-stop, easy to navigate, virtual learning experience.
AAPPR published its very first White Paper – a collaborative effort between the Board and a panel of leaders within our own membership – calling out the alarming trends and shifts we’re seeing in our industry impacted by the pandemic. In complement, AAPPR published 3 research reports on COVID’s impact on physician career changes, recruitment, onboarding, and compensation structure and benefits. In addition, the Annual Benchmark Survey hit a record high number of participants and search data points – inclusive of nearly 170 member organizations and almost 17,000 searches – shattering our prior year record of 11,000 searches.
Being at the forefront of industry trends and shifting landscapes is critical to supporting AAPPR’s strategic imperative of elevating our profession and our members as the source of knowledge and truth when it comes to recruiting and retaining physicians and providers. It is critical to us as a Board in ensuring that we are not only supporting our Members with the tools and resources they need, but always thinking ahead with foresight to advance our profession along the recruitment to retention continuum.
So, in addition to reflecting, we also start to ask, ‘what comes next’?
In 2022, I will reach a milestone in my own career – 20 years working in the physician and provider recruitment. From coordinator to recruiter to consultant to leader, I’ve worked within a multitude of care models, from fee-for-service, multi-hospital integrated academic systems, to capital-backed, technology driven health startups out of Silicon Valley – and everything in between. Experiences like these shape us as professionals and how we see things. The diversity of my own experience has shown me how much variety exists within our profession when it comes to
• how we do our work,
• what drives it and
• who the key contributors are.
The evolution of our industry is remarkable to watch.
Our traditional “in-house” recruiter lines are a bit greyer – with movement of physician and provider recruiters back and forth across the employer vs agency models. We have recruitment teams now that operate purely on production models, particularly those in the VC, pre-IPO space as new care businesses emerge every day and stretch to meet aggressive growth & hiring goals. As leaders in our industry, we need to consistently ask
• What is changing and how can we proactively anticipate the needs that come along with that change?
As we think towards the future, I challenge us to consider what that looks like.
• How is our work evolving?
• Who are the people influencing that change?
• Where are the content experts, the thought-leaders and the experiences that shape how we do our work and touch the physicians, providers, and communities whose lives we impact?
• Are the influencers part of our conversation and, if not, how do we invite them to the table?
• How do we continue to embrace and welcome change in a way that only makes us better – creating opportunity for learning and collaboration across the spectrum of our profession?
AAPPR embraces the change that is occurring and is eager to see what the future holds.