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Attract and keep exceptional talent with retention and recruiting strategies for today’s labor market


A revolving door of staff or an understaffed office can undo the good work of your practice. Here’s how to find and keep talent.

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Providing high-quality patient care is vital to the success of a practice, but it can also be challenging to execute when physicians have a revolving door of staff or an understaffed office that struggles to keep up with the practice’s demands.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, though, attracting and retaining employees has been an ongoing problem in the health care industry, particularly for physicians and practices who are competing with hospitals for top talent. The reasons are plenty – high rates of burnout among medical professionals, a lack of qualified candidates to fill openings, and a lack of flexibly often not feasible within the industry.

However, physicians and health care providers can implement recruiting and retention strategies aimed at improving how they find, recruit and retain exceptional talent.

Attract the right job candidates

Too often, turnover within a practice can be attributed to hiring candidates who aren’t a good fit – perhaps they aren’t a match culturally or don’t have the proper qualifications for the job. Either way, the impact can be valuable time lost during recruiting and while training the new hire, only to lead to the employee leaving after a few short months.

Taking the time to attract the right candidate from the start, therefore, can save physicians time and money. Building a team with this mindset is also vital to the long-term success of a business. A productive, motivated team often leads to better patient care, innovative ideas, and employee satisfaction that boosts retention.

To help find the right candidates, physicians can take the following measures:

  • Assess how competitive the practice is within the market and health care industry. Offering competitive wages and benefits packages is critical to gaining the attention of top-quality candidates, especially in today’s tight labor market.
  • Evaluate job descriptions and ensure they clearly and accurately define the skillsets and knowledge needed for the position. Include information on culture within the practice to help candidates envision whether they are a good fit.
  • Post openings to job boards specific to health care, so the right audience is viewing the position.
  • Consider using helpful pre-hire assessments, such as skills assessments, as another method of helping determine whether the candidate is a good fit.

Showcase employer brand

Potential job candidates may already have a perception of a physician’s practice based on its reputation within the community. Focusing on the employer brand will help display what makes the provider stand out for patients and potential employees.

An important part of a provider’s recruitment strategy should include highlighting how the practice provides exceptional care or what differentiates it from others, such as educational opportunities, flexible scheduling, or unique benefits. The provider’s website and social media accounts are additional channels that physicians can utilize to showcase their brand.

Then, the provider’s brand and culture should be reflected throughout the recruitment process. A poor interview experience or a recruitment process that lacks adequate communication can negatively impact the practice’s brand. Conversely, when physicians convey a realistic view of their culture, they are more likely to find candidates who are a good match.

Provide training opportunities and promote from within

Career advancement and professional development continue to be a high priority for employees, with LinkedIn’s Global Talent trends report indicating 59% of employees want their current employers to invest more in professional development. But implementing training may feel overwhelming to health care providers already stretched thin with day-to-day operations.

Online learning management systems provide a cost-effective solution that allows employees to complete trainings from a desk at a convenient time. Course offerings may include leadership training to certifications that help advance an employee’s career.

By giving employees the opportunity to grow and learn, physicians are demonstrating care for their employees. When positions become open within a practice, administrators and physicians should look within their staff for potential candidates. A clear talent pipeline can increase retention rates by building a happier and stronger work environment.

Help prevent burnout through wellness programs

The health care industry has experienced high rates of burnout since the pandemic, as staff shortages and demanding schedules took a toll across the industry. In addition, more workplaces are recognizing the benefits of offering mental-health resources to employees.

Health care providers can help reduce stress and prevent burnout by designing and implementing a wellness program that also expresses their commitment to their employees’ well-being. Not only will a wellness program lead to greater employee satisfaction, but it can also signal to job candidates that the organization values its employees through a supportive culture.

The benefits of a wellness program extend beyond attracting and retaining talent. By providing the proper resources to employees, physicians can experience improved productivity and better employee engagement, ultimately leading to better patient care.

Get creative with flexible schedules

Better work/life balance is important to today’s workforce, and many employees are seeking job opportunities that provide flexibility or remote options. However, in the health care industry, remote work may not be feasible for doctors and nurses who must be in office to see patients.

But getting creative and adding flexibility in the workplace can help physicians attract and retain talent while providing that balance employees are seeking. Options can be customized to meet the needs of the practice and the employees, such as:

  1. Offer shift work, in which different work hours (6 a.m.-2 p.m. and 2-10 p.m.) are performed on a rotation.
  2. Provide job sharing options. For example, one person may work in a position on Monday and Tuesday, and another person handles the position on Wednesday and Thursday.
  3. Schedule alternating days off or split schedules. With alternating days off, an employee may have one day off during the week in exchange for working on weekend day. A split schedule allows employees to start the workday earlier and end later with a 2-3 hour break midday.
  4. Offer flex-time models. Employees work their 40 hours per week, but they have the ability to vary their shift throughout the week. For example, they may work 8 a.m.-4 p.m. three days per week, then 11 a.m.-7 p.m. the other two days.

Implementing these strategies can help physicians find, recruit, and retain top talent, leading to a more productive, motivated team that is vital to the practice’s long-term success. And just as important, it lets physicians and their staff get back to focusing on providing high-quality patient care.

In her role as a senior recruiting specialist at G&A Partners, Leigh Rozelle combines her 10 years of experience in the Human Resources industry with her passion of helping businesses find and retain exceptional talent to fill their needs.

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