How Physician-Executives Get Recruited

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Behind the Scenes of Executive Search Firms

[By Pierce Gray]

[By Ann Miller RN MHA]

Fill the Funnel

The best-kept secret about physician recruiting is to keep the funnel filled with a pool of candidates.  Organizations can’t afford to wait for doctors to beat a path to their door; they have to go after the physicians they want.  That means generating a sizeable list of prospects on the front end to narrow it down to the 100 or so doctors who will be called for an initial conversation.

From there, the team may do some 50 telephone screening interviews to generate five site visits in order to select the one perfectly matched prospect who will sign on the dotted line.

***Physician Executives


The Prospect List

Depending upon the opportunity, there are a number of ways to generate a list of prospects:

  • Direct mail using a purchased list of physicians culled from criteria such as medical specialty and current geographical location. The American Board of Medical Specialties, the American Medical Association [AMA], and licensure boards can supply these lists. The organization sends direct mail announcing the opportunity and then has a team member follow-up with outbound calling. If the physician is not interested, the caller should ask if s/he knows someone who is interested.
  • Personal calls following recruitment fairs and specialty meetings.
  • Advertising in medical and specialty journals and on the web, Twitter, etc.
  • Resident campaign using posted flyers and announcements.
  • Physician networking based on group member recommendations.
  • Medical Staff Office contacts at the local hospital.
  • Networking through specialty or group management organizations. Some organizations offer free on-line job postings for members.
  • Affiliations with residency programs.From the initial pool of candidates, the internal recruiter must call prospects and conduct preliminary screenings to verify licensure status and board certification, gather professional and personal details about the candidate, and answer his or her questions about the opportunity. Whenever possible, research should be done to secure the prospect’s home or cell telephone number. Calling prospects in the evening at home gives them more time and privacy to talk freely.
  • This screening step generates a smaller list of credible prospects that meet the search criteria that was generated at the beginning of the recruitment process.

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