When recruiting physicians, it is always best to have your talent pool in your looking glass rather than in your rearview mirror.
It happens all the time: You think you are moving at a gentle pace, you just filled your top opening, and then you get that email or phone call - the one that tells you things are about to change fast.
"Dr. Jones has just put in for retirement, and he is leaving in 60 days" is not what you were expecting to hear. Dr. Jones told you that he was not leaving for two more years at the last meeting. You asked him because you had contact with a good lead, and you did not want to let that lead go, but you did not wish Dr. Jones to feel pushed out either.
Growing your talent pipeline will help improve the candidate experience and ensure that you do not make hasty hiring decisions. If you keep a large candidate pool growing and flowing, you will panic less when those surprises happen, and realize it may work out OK because you have been planning for them.
Ensure that you have an ongoing process that can adapt to whatever changes are going on in the marketplace. Make sure you are keeping up with trends and managing the actual basics of recruiting at the same time. A well-planned process will keep you on top of your competition for these candidates and keep prospects interested in your unique approach - and possibly your openings. Besides, there are benefits to creating this pipeline of talent.
Here’s how you can create yours:
- Use strategic growth to plan
Think about long-term planning. Are you adding on to your current facility? Are there plans to acquire another practice? What is going on physically? Have there been talks about the next five years? Ten? Fifteen? Use this as your base for starting your pipeline.
You can also:
- Make a plan for candidate sourcing and aim to reduce the time you have an opening to the time you hire. You can reduce your time to fill by having a process in place.
- Remember those candidates who were not the first choice for the position or were still interviewing for jobs the last time you touched base? Reach out to them again. You can start softly by sending an outreach email.
- Go back to your virtual career fair results or lead reports you received but never initiated. Now is the time to keep a spreadsheet of their emails, when they graduate, when they should be contacted and how often. Make sure you have a plan.
- Establish new relationships with candidates
Just make a connection. You are not asking anything from them, but you do need to offer them something. You can start by introducing yourself and explaining how you got their name. Then provide them with something about your facility and community.
Make your closing simple like, "Thank you for allowing me to reach out to you. If there is anything I can do for you, or if you have any questions about the hospital, I would be happy to answer them for you."
Another path to adding new candidates to your talent pipe is building relationships with residency programs.
- Reconsider how you classify existing contacts
When you create your talent pipeline, make sure you are creating it to be kept full, and stop finding reasons not to have certain candidates in your pipeline.
- Find reasons to be optimistic about a candidate rather than being negative.
- Once you have an initial email or phone connection, you might find something you never thought you would like about the candidate.
- Everyone has something to offer. It does not have to be you get. Some of the most meaningful conversations that I thought I did not have time for were with physicians I never thought I would place, but I still keep in contact with them today (after I placed them).
- Continue evaluating your candidates
Now that you have reached out to the physicians in your pipeline and sent them an initial email, you can make these notes for consideration in your database or spreadsheet:
- Could this person be a good fit in your culture?
- When do you think you should follow up again, and with what material?
- What follow-up frequency would be most appropriate, even if it’s every six months?