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    Andrew Hajde
    Andrew Hajde, CMPE

    Effective recruitment is crucial as low unemployment and the growth of the healthcare sector drive competition for top-performing qualified clinicians.

    If you fail to select and retain the right candidate for your organization, it quickly becomes a very costly mistake that goes well beyond dollars, potentially diminishing the morale and overall satisfaction of your team when a provider is not a good fit.

    Every organization strives to have as much top talent as possible. But as David Wolfe, founder and CEO, NP Now LLC, outlined at MGMA19 | The Operations Conference in April, a typical organization consists of 20% A players, 70% B players and 10% C players. Everyone is trying to grow the 20% A players to 40% or more and reduce or eliminate the number of C players. A players are your top performers, B players are satisfactory employees and C players are those who need to be coached up or taken out of an organization.

    From the job candidates’ perspective, they often will find multiple situations with equal levels of pay and benefits, prompting them to look at a potential employer’s culture and how they might fit. If they get an impression of an uncompassionate or unhealthy culture, it will make their decision much easier. “There’s an old saying that no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care,” Wolfe said. Once you land a top candidate, continuing to live up to what was promised during the interview will help to retain them in the long run.

    To fulfill these goals, Wolfe recommends developing what he refers to as attraction-based recruiting. This method of recruiting aims to attract top talent and then engages them in a way that makes a candidate see that your opportunity will improve their overall well-being and quality of life. It’s built around the premise that people want to join what they perceive to be a winning team.

    Fundamentals of attraction-based recruiting

    Wolfe outlined three steps for attracting top talent to an organization:

     “Tell your story in a way that inspires and excites someone you are recruiting,” Wolfe said. “Attraction-based recruiting gives these candidates a clear picture of your company’s past and present and outlines their place and purpose in its forward trajectory. Candidates are attracted to winning organizations, especially when they can envision their role in your company’s success.”

    A hiring manager should build a relationship and a connection with the applicant. At the end of the recruitment process, they are going to ask themselves, “Who wants me more and who cares about me more?”

    While recruiting, someone in the hiring process should paint a picture to the candidate of where he or she sees that person going in the organization, five or more years into the future.

    Avoiding common mistakes

    Many companies and recruiters often make several mistakes when attracting talent:

    • They don’t cast a wide enough net for candidates
    • They fail to attract candidates first and then qualify the position
    • They fail to attract candidates with details of the position by only providing generalities.

    To overcome these pitfalls, a job posting and description needs to have specific details and include information such as when the organization was founded, number of locations, who is part of the team, average tenure, any awards the organization may have won, information on promotions, etc. This candid approach makes your organization seem reputable.

    Wolfe then recommends telling a story with the job posting, including information on why you are hiring for the position, the organization’s vision and how valuable the role is to the future of the organization. “Clearly express how you value and appreciate your team members — don’t call them employees,” Wolfe said.

    Outlining benefits such as retirement savings (401k), paid time off or other monetary benefits is essential. You should also mention any additional perks, such as award recognition, fun team outings, gifts to charity, birthday lunches, holiday giveaways, etc. Some organizations should consider listing a hiring manager or human resource manager’s name and contact information on the top of the posting to give it a human element to increase the number of applicants.

    Nine-step recruitment process

    Wolfe suggests nine steps that every hiring manager should follow to ensure a top performing application and hiring process (see Figure 1).

    These steps are designed to help an employer make certain that they identify the right fit for their organization. In many cases, people are taught how to interview, which can result in essentially two people lying to each other about how great they are. One of the steps Wolfe recommends in the hiring process is to make sure your interviews avoid being typical but instead unusual in nature. This approach is designed to get the applicant to take off his or her interview mask and reveal themselves rather than only telling the interviewer what they want to hear. Telling jokes or doing something to make the candidate feel comfortable will help a hiring manager see the real applicant — if a hiring manager is buttoned up and very formal, an applicant is more likely to mimic that behavior.

    For organizations with longer recruiting windows leading to a job offer, communication with top candidates is very important. Many large health systems take longer to do this due to numerous steps in their process, which can lead to top talent considering other options in the meantime. Managers should be mindful to streamline the interview and hiring process as much as possible, which will give all candidates the impression of a well-functioning organization.

    An organization should consider making a stronger salary offer upfront rather than the bottom of the pay range. Though it may cost more, Wolfe said it likely will pay off in the long run through increased retention, goodwill and a much lower risk of losing a candidate due to more-competitive offers elsewhere.

    Before making an offer, Wolfe recommends doing a brief review to make certain the candidate is driven with a history of success, is coachable and humble, and has emotional intelligence.

    Strategies to recruit the next generation workforce

    The term “millennial” has become cliché as it relates to a focal point of the overall workforce, but the reality is that younger clinicians are becoming the new norm as more and more physicians and NPPs/APPs retire and exit their practices. Wolfe recommends four methods to grow and retain younger providers in your organization. Establishing mentors and a path for growth and giving them a purpose and voice are critical in making them part of the team.

    What they can learn from those who are retiring is invaluable as it relates to the wisdom and experience that would take a new hire years to learn on his or her own. An effective recruiting process should result in identifying a new employee who will be motivated to work harder. Your organizational culture and building the right team will be a big part of your organization’s long-term success.


    1. Mentorship: Pair them with a mentor, then leaders need to set clear expectations.
    2. Growth path: Show them a path for advancement based on performance.
    3. Purpose: Let them know they are part of something bigger than themselves.
    4. Voice: Give them a place where they can be heard.


    Following these best practices to recruit the future of your healthcare organization will help hiring managers and practice leaders take their provider and staff recruitment to the next level. There is no time like the present to enhance your organization’s methods, techniques and culture to become a top performing organization filled with top talent.

    Andrew Hajde

    Written By

    Andrew Hajde, CMPE

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