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October 4, 2021

Five tips for salary negotiation

As a provider and physician recruiter, you know what the hiring process is at your organization. After all, this is what you were hired to do in most cases.

However, many people have had to do multiple jobs during our current health care culture, and you may be one of those people.

Here are five things you must consider during the hiring process if you’re a physician recruiter or a human resources specialist filling in temporarily as a physician recruiter.

  1. Do your research and know your market.

Look on several job boards to get a feel for what is out in the marketplace. Using job boards such as will give you the best idea of what all organizations, profit and nonprofit, are offering. Salary surveys from the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) and other sources are also an excellent way to obtain some comparisons.

Make sure your compensation package is competitive and that you know how your competition compares. You can utilize third-party agency recruiter websites as well, but in some cases, they may not list the name of the facility for which they are recruiting. If that is the case, you may not want to consider that information as an accurate source for your thorough research.

  1. Introduce competition early in your process.

This is something that was taught to me when I was a recruiter. It proved to be one of the most valuable pieces of information I learned in the beginning.

First, always be honest, but if there is competition for the position at hand, discuss this politely. Having a candidate know other providers expressed interest in the position shows it’s a desirable opportunity - and might even increase their enthusiasm about it.

  1. Don’t talk about the money first or until you are ready to negotiate.

Try your best not to start with the money. Have the candidate ask you about this first. They will usually not get past the first conversation without asking something like, "What is the salary range?" or, "Are there any negotiations?" this question. It will often start with, "What is the salary range?" and, "Are there any negotiations?"

  1. If this is the right candidate, don’t wait long - or at all - to offer the job.

It is trending to offer a candidate the job during the interview either verbally or with a letter of intent. In some cases, organizations have already done preliminary checking and provide the entire contract on the spot.

  1. Help tie up the loose ends.

Look for opportunities to assist with relocation and onboarding, and be sure to remain in touch throughout the negotiation and hiring process. The last thing you want to do is lose your candidate after a signed contract due to a lack of follow-up. It happens.

If there is a long period between when your candidate signs their contract to when they begin their position, make a point to keep in touch with them - no matter how busy you are - at a minimum once per month, and make sure to do the same with their spouse or significant other.

Another helpful option is to buy a subscription to a local newspaper and have that delivered to their current home to help them start keeping up on the community’s current events. Additionally, ensure there is a checklist with the things that are still needed to complete the candidate’s onboarding with the monthly check-in. The purpose is to check in on their well-being, but at the bottom of the email, have a list with empty boxes and check marks when the tasks are completed.

Read PracticeLink articles from Michele Gutermuth.

Michele Gutermuth

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