6 Essential Physician Recruitment Tips From Industry Experts

Physician recruitment experts provide six tips on drawing physicians to ambulatory surgery centers.

1. Involve the current physician owners in the recruitment process. Because physicians often have an extensive personal network of other physicians, administrators should turn to the surgery center's partners for insight on potential recruits. "The current base of physicians can actually be the best recruiters an administrator has," says Gary Seaberg, Director, Strategic Accounts, HEALTHeCAREERS Network. "Encourage them to help identify potential new partners or users of the facility. An administrator can't do this by hiding in the office all day."

Administrators should engage physicians at the center in conversations about recruitment and maintain a list of targeted candidates to stay in touch with, says Mr. Seaberg.

2. Host social events that highlight the facility. The surgery center should host events that drawing potential physicians to the center in a low-pressure setting, such as a light dinner that allows them to see the ASC, says Mr. Seaberg. The local chamber of commerce can also serve as a positive influence on visiting physicians considering a move, so it is important to maintain a strong relationship with the group, he says. "Make it a point to promote the ASC to the chamber. Invite the Chamber and other community leaders to events."

3. Ensure that physician partners feel valued throughout the recruitment process. Because the physician partners will inevitably interact with potential recruits heavily during and after the recruitment process, it is important to make them feel involved in the process. "Help the cause as the administrator by being a trusted member of the team," says Mr. Seaberg. "The physicians need to know that the administrator is looking out for their best interests and the interests of the ASC as a thriving entity."

An administrator can actively involve the physician partners by asking them to define the physician they seek for the center, says he says. "Without the help and support from the existing base of physicians, there will be no new ones added — superstar or not. It is fiercely competitive, and it's important to have everyone buying in to the recruitment process."

4. Highlight the surgery center's electronic medical record proficiency. "If a [surgery center] is deeply embedded into the EMR and computerized physician order entry, this could definitely be a leg-up," says John Tomsic, vice president of sales for Randstad Healthcare. With the increasingly known cost and quality benefits associated with implementing EMRs, a surgery center should use technological proficiency to its advantage when recruiting physicians. "Sell the benefits, such as improved efficiency, better coordination of care and faster, more competitive reimbursement," says Scott Berger, head of recruitment strategy for MDR Associates.

5. Make the transition easy and convenient for the recruit. A surgery center should highlight the advantages that distinguish it from other centers. For example, it can offer to pay for licensure expenses and 100 percent of relocation expenses, says Mr. Tomsic. "Your ASC's compensation package needs to be competitive both in terms of salary and benefits," adds Mr. Berger. An ASC can also emphasize its organizational office capabilities, marketing itself as a center that removes the administrative burden from the physician's mind, he says.

6. Emphasize the importance of work-life balance and the uniqueness of the community. The importance of work-life balance should not be overlooked, particularly if the recruit will be moving to a new location. "Play up your community's quality schools when recruiting surgeons with kids, or focus on entertainment, culture and community resources for other recruits," says Mr. Berger.

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