Jane Whalen, Senior Vice President, Practice Management Services, Clinical Colleagues, Inc.
When it comes to recruiting new anesthesiologists and CRNAs, most hospital leadership teams agree that finding the most qualified, skilled candidates, whose experience aligns well with the hospital’s core service offerings, is critically important. The real challenge becomes – how do you find the right person, and then motivate him or her to choose your hospital over other attractive opportunities being considered, without overpaying them?
Here are few ways this can be done, to benefit both the candidate who is applying for the job as well as the hospital:
1. Create a well-defined, very specific scope of work. Be clear about what your needs are, including the education, training, skills and experience that are required, and include the types of cases your new provider will be responsible for covering as well as scheduling details for the position. By being as specific as possible, you can help assure that only those who are qualified to apply actually will, and you can quickly eliminate those are not qualified. At the same time, begin to craft the interview questions that will help you ascertain who is, indeed a well-qualified candidate.
2. Know how your compensation compares to the market. Generally your compensation package is predetermined by the hospital’s current salary structure with little flexibility. Just because your compensation is lower compared to a market rate doesn’t mean you have to lower your expectations – but it may mean you need to emphasize qualitative and other non-financial factors. If your compensation is on the high side of a market rate, then you will probably have more applicants, but the scrutiny for the “right” candidate will be no less intense. Knowing how you compare to the market is important information and understanding why someone wants to be considered for YOUR position provides critical insight. Beware of the perpetual “job shopper” who is always looking and focused solely on compensation.
3. Consider including a sign-on bonus to make the offer a bit more attractive. This is a simple strategy that has proven to work well, especially if the compensation is not quite a market rate. Sign-on bonuses put some more cash in your candidate’s pocket, without creating an on-going variance to your salary structure. For candidates relocating to your area to join your team, a moving allowance is another way to enhance the offer without blowing the budget.
4. Lay out the details. A simple one-pager outlining some details about the job opportunity, the hospital itself, and the geographical area where the opportunity is located, is a useful tool that can quickly educate prospective employees. Candidates appreciate that “snapshot” of details and again, it helps assure that only those who are truly interested in your job opportunity are going to pursue it. This also assures that every candidate has received the same basic information.
5. Be open and honest. Candidates who are applying for any job, whether clinical in nature or not, should be privy to “the good, the bad and the ugly.” No one benefits from sugar coating the dynamics of what it will be like to work at any given place. There is nothing wrong with having an open and honest conversation with candidates up front, so they understand the dynamics and what challenges they may face on the job. Every opportunity has it challenges and the “right candidate” will embrace the specific challenges of your opportunity.
These are just a few of the strategies I have seen work well, and they may help your hospital find the right providers without requiring that you “break the bank” to get them in the door.
About Jane Whalen and Clinical Colleagues, Inc.
Jane Whalen is the Senior Vice President for Practice Management Services for Clinical Colleagues, Inc. (CCI). She has over 25 years of practice management expertise and has successfully recruited physicians and CRNAs to very challenging locations while staying within budget. She provides practice management support to CCI clients and clinicians, including contract development and maintenance, review of practice metrics, as well as recruitment and retention. To learn more about Jane Whalen and Clinical Colleagues visit CCIAnesthesia.com.