At the center of every clinical service line is the physician compliment that delivers care in what arguably may be the most impactful way. A patient’s experience with their physician can many times outweigh all other aspects, important as they are, of the continuum of care. Seasoned Service Line Leaders know that the cost of a great or not-so-great physician placement can have lasting effects on the success of the program. For this reason, Corazon stresses the importance of this Leader in all phases of the search including:
- Choosing the search approach: internal vs. external
- Providing input on the position profile and marketing approach
- Reviewing candidates and initial phone screens
- Developing and taking part in the onsite interview experience
Understanding the ability of an internal recruiter and their successes in specialty physician searches is vital. The Service Line Leader should be able to understand the answers to some key questions to achieve success. Does the recruiter have any kind of developed database or active network from previous searches? Can they speak to the intricacies of the specialty? Do they understand what is important to attract qualified specialty physicians to a program in today’s market? These are the same questions that need answered when evaluating an external search firm as well.
Position Profile and Marketing Approach
Who better than the Service Line Leader to determine what skill sets are key to sustaining or achieving future growth? The Service Line Leader is also best suited to know what the optimum candidate would look like, and how the ideal hire would work toward the overall service line plan. The way that this message is then disseminated is most likely different in each specialty, but gaining leadership input into a detailed position profile helps with ensuring the right candidates apply, which streamlines the process from the start. Determining what societies or organizations other physicians may know and respect or be active in could be critical to finding a qualified like-minded individual. And while the recruiter should also be able to speak what budgeted dollars can give the best bang for the search buck, the decision should never be theirs alone—the service line leader should have input here as well.
When candidates meet the specifications and are interested in joining the program, as the Captain, no one knows better who could “play ball” with their own team than the service line leader. Having a recruiter eliminate them outright could take great candidates out of the pipeline for all the wrong reasons. Initial phone screens or Zoom calls can tell so much about the cultural fit that goes way beyond the bulleted outline of a physician’s CV, and the service line leader should be involved. This is also a great opportunity to dig into how candidates have worked with other leaders in previous positions, and this is something a recruiter could never evaluate on behalf an individual leader and their personal style.
When making the investment to bring a candidate to the facility, it’s an opportunity for the program to shine. The on-site visit is also a time to determine who the best ambassadors are to finalize the placement. Shaping the day (timing, locations, messaging) can be a delicate dance. Yes, it is a time to evaluate the perspective physician, but chances are, the service line is going to benefit from a candidate who has made it this far in the process. A savvy Service Line Leader would never leave this to chance. While a recruiter may use a standard template to develop this itinerary, a service line leader could give valuable information and input into what a productive day would entail.
Corazon knows that no one feels the pain of low volumes, over-worked physicians, and missed budget targets more so than the Service Line Leader. And that leader is the first stop for the hospital CEO who wants to know what is being done to turn the situation around and accomplish a hire. With a decision this important, Corazon believes (and our experience proves!) that the more engaged the Service Line Leader is in the physician search process, the more likely the organization will be pleased with the placement and outcome…