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    Kenneth T. Hertz
    Kenneth T. Hertz, FACMPE

    Recruit doctors
    Who does the physician recruiting for your organization? If you’re like many larger organizations we know, you might have an internal recruiter, use an external recruiter sometimes or engage physicians, staff and community members.

    For many smaller organizations, you might use the internal recruiter from the hospital, use an external recruiter or engage your physicians, staff and community members.

    Didn’t see much of a difference? Exactly. So what makes the recruiting process successful: Is it who you use to do the recruiting or the process itself?

    If you answered the process, you’re exactly right.

    The real goal is to successfully recruit physicians to your organization. Ultimately, successful recruiting should translate into retention. Here are 10 golden rules for successful recruiting:

    1. Plan. Scale the plan for your organization. Identify both current and future needs, determine your financial resources, personnel resources and marketing resources.
    2. Start the process early. This will take time – remember, it may take you 18 months or longer to recruit a new physician to your practice. Do it right. This leads toward better retention. If you wait until a position is vacant, you are already several months behind schedule. Furthermore, ensure you know exactly what the C-suite wants from this position, and have their buy-in. Knowing exactly what they want will streamline your search and enable a swifter conclusion. Include them in your interviews.
    3. Understand the market. What is the going rate for your position? What are the benefits you need to offer to attract the right candidates? How long does each search take on average? These metrics can vary dramatically. ASPR benchmarking survey sets up a framework for detailing the cost and length of time for hiring each specialty. MGMA’s Starting Salary dataset in the MGMA DataDive Provider Compensation 2016 can provide insight into industry guaranteed compensation norms. Know the costs that will be lost with an unfilled position – that will help you get buy-in from your key stakeholders more quickly.
    4. Know your vision, mission and values. Understand the organization’s culture so that you get the right fit. There are many excellent physicians, but getting one who meshes with your culture is critical for retention.
    5. Manage the process. Whether you use an internal or external recruiter, clearly communicate your practice culture and compensation packages to the recruiter. Be sure to let the recruiter know that your organization will have additional expectations for the new physician including leadership, committee work, public speaking, etc.
    6. Engage your physicians and prepare them. Help them identify what to ask during interviews with a standard list of questions, as well as a report form to complete after the interview. Consider having your physicians reach out to residency programs directly to identify top candidates.
    7. Involve your staff. Your staff is an integral part of the recruiting process. Inform them when you are recruiting new physicians, their schedules, etc. Engage the staff in meeting with and interviewing candidates, and let the candidates interview them.
    8. Make the community a part of the recruiting process. Prior to the site visit, identify a bank officer, real estate agent, school administrator or appropriate religious leaders you can work with, and have the candidate and their spouse meet them. This is about making a great impression on, and selling your community to, the applicants. These community leaders can go a long way in establishing the warm and welcoming nature of your community.
    9. Move quickly. The saying, “Time kills all deals,” is true when it comes to physician recruitment. Be prepared to make offers immediately for the right candidate. If you waste time, someone else will sign that provider.
    10. Be organized. Have a tracking system that shows where you are in the process with each candidate. Let it be your guide and help you stay on task. It will alternately help you identify where you may be letting your process get bogged down, and help you continue to improve your recruitment efforts.


    The reality is that everyone helps recruit for your organization, and the retention of physicians starts with proper recruitment. Setting the tone and expectations early and following through can help mitigate the need to do the search again.

    Industry expertise provided by ASPR in collaboration with MGMA.

    Kenneth T. Hertz

    Written By

    Kenneth T. Hertz, FACMPE

    Kenneth T. Hertz, FACMPE, has held numerous leadership positions in small and large healthcare organizations in primary care, multispecialty care and large integrated systems. 


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