Setting clear expectations for compensation is one of the most important strategies identified by respondents of the AMGA and Cejka Search 2007 Physician Retention Survey. With that in mind, it is important to remember that attracting and securing the best applicants will help save hospitals and medical groups time and money in the long run.
One recruitment challenge that exemplifies this principle involves a non-profit regional health center that enlisted Cejka Search’s expertise. It is a 392-bed acute care facility with a Level II Trauma Center and an accredited Chest Pain Center located in an East Texas city with a population around 100,000.
The health center was recruiting two pediatricians for two separate positions. The first was a position in its Family Care Center for uninsured and underinsured women and children. The health center paid these physicians a straight salary.
At the same time, the health center was also searching for a pediatric physician who would treat insured patients in a traditional style practice. The components of this financial package did not limit income, providing both a base salary and productivity bonus option in addition to a signing bonus.
This was a challenging search because the requirements for both positions were very similar, although the salary and benefits varied. The health center needed to fill both positions immediately, but did not want all of the candidates to apply only for the more traditional practice setting.
Cejka Search used industry supply and demand trends from the retention survey to support their recommendations for the client. Some of this data included qualifying 39 percent of respondents cited increasing the signing bonus, loan repayment or other incentives as a strategy for attracting and retaining primary care physicians. Thus, Cejka Search’s recommendations began with marketing the clinic position by highlighting the signing bonus, although the amount would not be specified.
To also make the position more competitive, it was recommended that bonuses based on productivity would attract more highly qualified candidates.
Once Cejka Search publicized the signing bonus and told the potential candidates of an anticipated change in the compensation plan, the position attracted several qualified applicants.
Cejka Search has already helped the health center fill both positions. The health center implemented Cejka Search’s same recommendations in another specialty in early December 2007 and interviewed and hired a highly qualified top candidate within 60 days.
This case is a success because the client routinely does what it takes to attract qualified candidates for each position.
Submitted by Cheryl DeVita, Senior Search Consultant of Cejka Search