How to Successfully Find a Nephrology Physician

While searching for a qualified physician for your location, you don’t want to cut corners or settle for a less-than-stellar candidate. You must have a plan in place that is methodical, organized, and comprehensive. The process can be extensive without taking up all of your time.

We would like to share some ideas on how to implement a successful candidate search.

Know What You Need

Before you even begin looking at candidates, you should determine what exactly you are looking for. Sometimes the need is obvious, but other times you may want to have an evaluation of your organization performed. This can be done internally or through a consulting firm.

The evaluation should be thorough and honest to accurately assess your physician situation. You want to make sure that this is the right time and decision to begin looking for a physician while making sure you are looking for the right type of candidate to improve your organization.

Evaluate Your Organization

As stated above, you need to determine if the time is right to bring on a new physician. You should analyze your practice to calculate its strengths and weaknesses. Are you in a position financially to bring on a new employee? Do you have the room for them? Do you have a contract ready and approved by your legal team?

If you know what obstacles may be in place ahead of time, you are better prepared to overcome them. Your team all needs to be on the same page to minimize conflict and other roadblocks. Remember, you’re not only trying to get the best candidate, but you’re competing against competitors for those same people.

Outline the Opportunity

Remember you’re not only looking for a candidate, but they are looking for you. You need to sell yourself while searching for the right physician. Make sure to clearly describe your practice and the available position. You’ll want to share the important features of your organization, along with what you are looking for in an ideal candidate.

Make sure your job description is reviewed by your medical staff. This will help ensure you have the right person for the job and they know what is expected of them.

Take Advantage of Physician Search Sources

There is no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to looking for a new physician. There are plenty of resources out there that can help you find the right person.

  • Networking: Use the people and contacts you know to spread the word, if it’s permissible. Referrals from known entities that you trust can be valuable.
  • Organizations and Associations: Many appropriate organizations have job boards that can share your job opportunity. Contact conventions and training programs to let them know you have an opening that may be of interest to their clientele.
  • Advertising: Don’t overlook the opportunity to share your job opening in medical publications and journals. Give extra attention to publications that highlight specialties such as Nephrology.
  • Direct Mail: It may be worth the time and money to purchase a mailing list of a target audience. Design a mailing that will go to specific people that can help you fill your position. In addition to the mailing, make sure you have a process in place to handle responses.
  • Physician Search Companies: There are organizations out there that have the sole purpose of matching job seekers with practices that have openings. Not every search company is the same, so you’ll want to do some research to ensure that they are the right fit for your group. You’ll want to go over strategies, costs, and other factors before you commit to a particular firm.

Choose Your Next Steps

Once you have gotten to this point, you need to determine the best way to proceed. Does your practice have a recruitment department and, if so, are they going to take care of the whole process or are they going to work with a search company? If you don’t have a recruitment office, who is going to handle the candidate search? Make sure you have a strategy in place and that your team has the time to give to the task. Make sure there is money in your budget to cover the costs of the search regardless of how you proceed.

Commence Searching

This is an important position, so you want to make sure that the clients are vetted and screened. Contact qualified clients quickly before another organization makes them an offer. Make sure the candidates know that you are interested so that they don’t move on.

Interview the Candidates

As soon as you can, you should set up a phone interview with the qualified candidates. If the phone interview goes well, the candidate should come in for an on-site visit for a second interview.

  • Phone Interview: When conducting a phone interview, in addition to the candidate, the HR person, an administrator, or an appropriate physician should be on the call. The interviewer should be professional and able to clearly explain the position and opportunity to the candidate. Have questions ready before the interview along with a selection of available dates for an on-site visit.
  • On-Site Interview: If the phone interview goes well, an on-site interview should be scheduled. This visit should provide the candidate with an opportunity to see the practice and get a better idea of what the position entails. Take the time to learn more about the candidate while showing them around your practice and the community. Allow the candidate time to meet with administrators, other physicians they’ll be practicing with, and other staff and support members. The on-site visit can take a couple of days to ensure that you and the candidate have all of your questions answered.

After the Interview

Promptly let the candidate know what your decision is, whether you decide to pursue them or not. If you aren’t going to choose them, professionally let them know that you are going in a different direction. By handling this candidate professionally, you prevent burning a bridge you may need later. If you decide the candidate is the right fit, either contact them within a couple of days of the visit unless they asked for a specific time to think about it.

Regardless of your decision on the candidate, you should wait no longer than one week to contact them.

Contract Time

Before you offer a contract to a candidate, make sure that it has been reviewed by a physician contract expert. If the contract isn’t fair or appropriate, you can damage your reputation or find yourself in a legal battle.

The contract can be negotiated, especially if you strongly favor the candidate. Decide if the requests are worth losing the candidate if you reject them. Negotiations need to be done promptly so that the candidate knows that you are serious about the job offer, but you should also take the time to fully evaluate the requests. A good rule of thumb is to forward a new contract in about two to three days of the request. The candidate should communicate with you, not an attorney. The attorney should lend guidance, not speak for your practice.

Make Your Decision

Not every answer is going to be found in a concrete form. You need to give attention to your feelings regarding the candidate and how they will help your practice. Take advantage of trusted resources such as peers, colleagues, and other people familiar with your organization. They may have a viewpoint that is more objective than someone closer to the situation.

Move Forward

The process of hiring a new physician can seem overwhelming, but it is very important. This person needs to be able to work with patients, staff, and peers while also being good at their job. The decision to hire someone shouldn’t be taken lightly. By following the steps outlined here you should be able to make the right choice in finding the missing piece to your practice.