Before Recruiting New Physicians, Build a Transparent Culture

August 2, 2013
Lori Schutte

Increase transparency at your health system to decrease internal competition for recruits.

“Our hospitals are competing against one another for recruits.”

That’s the concern we’ve heard from more than one health system leader recently, and for many of you, it is a familiar struggle.

One of the big contributors: Lack of transparency in the compensation model and recruitment function.

David Knocke, president of BJC Medical Group, and I outlined the importance of a transparent change process when restructuring physician compensation models in the recent edition of Group Practice Journal.

We wrote: “Teams operating in a culture of transparency are essential to building trust, overcoming barriers, and achieving key objectives. Yet, as important as transparency is to managing change, most organizations appear to have a gap.”

As medical group consolidations continue to increase, health systems will be even more challenged to operate with some level of consistency and integration among disparate facilities.  

The complications will be exacerbated by complex, difficult-to-explain compensation models, along with payer-dependent income, all of which will make physician vacancies very difficult to fill. 

The absence of a system-wide infrastructure for transparent communication and reporting will lead to increased competition between facilities, gaps in recruitment resources, and a lack of synergistic candidate outreach.  

The solution begins with designing a centralized recruitment process to drive shared success between facilities. Database and interactive marketing technologies can help build a cohesive, shared candidate acquisition tracking platform. The resulting reportable data can reveal patterns of success and areas for improvement, and serve as the foundation for evidence-based recruitment best practices.

The question is, do you build it or buy it? How will your organization’s recruitment platform change in the era of consolidation? Let us know what works and where you see headaches ahead.

Lori Schutte is president of Cejka Search, a nationally recognized physician, health care executive, advanced practice and allied health search firm providing services exclusively to the health care industry for more than 30 years. Email her here.