The hiring process for physicians is terribly convoluted and can be overwhelming whether it’s your first time around, or you’re re-entering the job market after taking a long hiatus, or you’re administering the hiring process yourself to increase your staff. Fortunately, you don’t need to be intimidated, especially since the complexities of the medical profession and the exams you have taken while in medical school will no doubt have already prepared you for making sense of the physician hiring process.
Another reason why the hiring process for medical professionals can be a struggle is because even medical institutions sometimes take missteps with regard to protocol, thus resulting in reduced efficiency in the recruitment process. The Association of Staff Physician Recruiters (ASPR) has reported that missteps like this resulted in nearly 38% of open positions unfulfilled in 2013, which is a detriment to physicians looking to get hired, the medical institutions that need more manpower, and the patients who would benefit the most from the skill and expertise of physicians. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine has also stated that the delays in the recruitment process negatively affect research and studies conducted by medical institutions, resulting in trial delays or outright suspension due to low participation rates and lack of manpower.
Common Mistakes during the Physician Hiring Process
Slow Response Time – in an industry where there is huge demand on both the physician and the medical institutions, it is a big mistake to delay responses. And this mistake tends to stem from both parties. Physicians sometimes delay responding to opportunities, and hospitals sometimes delay contacting physicians who have sent in their inquiries. It is important to improve the turnaround speed and provide feedback to the other party as quickly as possible.
Unnecessarily Convoluted Application Process – some hospitals and physician recruiting firms make the mistake of micromanaging the application process to the point that it becomes too complicated for physicians to tolerate. Institutions that take this into consideration make it as simple as possible for physicians to express interest in an opportunity. There is no benefit to making this part of the process convoluted, especially since assessment of the applicant’s suitability tends to happen later on.
Not Having a True Decision Maker – in many recruitment processes, the problem lies in the fact that there are no true decision makers, just a committee of influencers. Influencers tend to have conflicting assessments most of the time, and without a focal decision maker, the hiring process gets delayed as applicants’ qualifications are juggled between different points of views.
What a Physician Can Expect From the Hiring Process
Many first time applicants and veterans who are returning to work after a hiatus are intimidated by the application and hiring process because they don’t know what to expect. To make it easier to get the hang of things, it helps to keep the following in mind:
A Job Offer Typically Takes 3 to 6 Months – While different medical recruitment processes will have different timeframes, rather than wonder, “are there any hospital jobs near me?” exercise patience while waiting for a job offer after applying for multiple opportunities. It usually takes around 3 to 6 months before physicians get a job offer that is in line with their expectations. This is because recruiters want to take their time matching an applicant’s CV with a suitable job where requirements match well with physician’s skillset and capabilities. The lengthy wait can be inconvenient, but it typically is for the best as it means you won’t be matched with a job that will leave you unfulfilled or unsatisfied.
Getting the Contract Takes a Lot of Time as Well – When you do get a job offer and want to take it, you should be prepared for even more wait time as the hiring agency will pore over the contract to ensure that they are providing fair terms for a mutually beneficial arrangement without any major sacrifices on their end. This phase of the hiring process can take the longest considering the time necessary to review and negotiate the contract before signing. Any mistakes or misunderstandings in this part could be bad news for all sides, so it is not uncommon for lawyers to participate if requested by the physician or the hiring agency.
Expedite the Negotiation by Reducing the Amount of People Involved – If you are doing the hiring, it is often more expedient to limit the amount of persons involved to those who are absolutely required, as this will help streamline the review process and cut down on the amount of time needed by both the physician looking for physician jobs and the medical institution looking for a physician.
A Physician Recruitment Agency Will Make Things Easier – As a physician, if you are having difficulties finding opportunities or have no idea where to start, a physician recruitment firm can be of great help. These firms serve as middle men in the hiring process and can help match physicians looking for opportunities with hospitals or medical institutions looking for new staff. Besides making the job hunt process simpler, these firms are a big help to applicants because they have support staff that will be ready to assist applicants, even during weekends, holidays, and odd hours of the day, as opposed to the medical institutions which might not be as accommodating to applicants outside of office hours.