Hiring a new physician is a huge undertaking that has a lasting impact on your practice. Finding exceptional candidates who make patient safety and satisfaction a top priority benefits both your patients and your practice, because physicians who enhance your reputation are vital to long-term success.
The National Organization of Rheumatology Managers recently spoke to Iris W. Nichols, Practice Administrator of Arthritis & Osteoporosis Consultants of the Carolinas (AOCC), Charlotte, who has extensive experience with the hiring process and recently added new physicians to her practice, as well as Reuben Allen, Rheumatology Practice Consultant, Wilmington, NC. This article features their best nuggets of wisdom applicable to rheumatology practices of any size. If you are planning to hire a new physician within the next few years, reading this article should be your very first step.
2) Headhunters can help—if you find the right one.
Sometimes you need a little extra help finding the right candidate, and in these cases, a reputable headhunter can be a useful shortcut. Ms Nichols points out that AOCC is in Charlotte, a large, metropolitan area, which makes it easier to attract talented doctors. Rheumatology practices in smaller towns often have a harder time making their case.
“A headhunter can work for you and help make your city more desirable to potential candidates,” Ms Nichols explains. Practices can also offer extras to sweeten the deal, such as a signing bonus, moving expenses, and other perks.
Mr Allen agrees that smaller practices are often at a disadvantage, especially when competing for candidates with hospitals in bigger cities. He recommends stressing the benefits of a small practice, such as the fact that physicians have a better chance of becoming a partner sooner, more freedom to do things their own way, and less overhead. He also adds that smaller practices may be better off posting job listings through the American College of Rheumatology and skipping the recruiter route completely, as they can often be expensive. Most job seekers will check the American College of Rheumatology’s website, so they will know about your job opening even without the help of a recruiter.
4) An interactive interview is key.
When it comes to the actual interview, AOCC has developed a routine that is illuminating for both the candidate and the hiring staff. Either the day before or the morning of the interview, the candidate shadows a partner for 1 to 2 hours while they go about their day. This gives partners the opportunity to speak with the candidate 1-on-1 and answer any questions they may have. It also gives the candidate a chance to see firsthand how the practice operates, and what level of care is expected from the physicians.
Candidates also have an opportunity to spend 10 minutes with each department in the practice, so they have a better understanding of the services the practice offers.
“They’ll be working with labs, x-rays, everyone,” Ms Nichols says. “Meeting the people in those departments is just as important as getting to know the partners.”
Reprinted with permission from the National Organization of Rheumatology Managers. 5 Tips for hiring a new physician. Published June 21, 2016. Accessed October 17, 2016. www.normgroup.org/5-tips-hiring-new-physician/. Content developed by Sage Island www.sageisland.com.