Many employers may view the holidays as a less-than-ideal time of year to recruit physicians and clinicians to their healthcare facilities. While recruiting during the holidays can present a few challenges, the holidays are actually a very productive time to sign on new physicians.
Your need for physicians doesn't disappear just because the holidays have arrived. Also, professionals of any type, including physicians, are often in decision-making mode at the end of the calendar year. People often set a goal to start a new year with a new career. Additionally, if you ramp UP your recruiting efforts during the holidays, instead of slowing down, you will have an advantage over many of your competitors who may be coasting through the end of the year, missing out on motivated candidates.
"The holidays are a reflective time for most people - doctors included," states Julian "JP" Peoples, regional vice president at The Medicus Firm. "During the holiday season, physicians spend a little more time at home with family, bonding and nesting and often reflecting upon many aspects of life, including where they live, how close they are to other relatives, where they work, their lifestyle, etc.," Peoples added. Because physicians' work schedules may slow down a bit during this time of year, they may also take a bit more time off around the holidays, physicians may often be more easily reached and have more time and openness to discussing potential practice opportunities.
"Many graduating residents and fellows have accepted a job by the time the holidays are here, but those who haven't are aggressively pursuing opportunities at this time of year to finalize their decision," Peoples continued. "With year end rapidly approaching, residents and fellows face the reality that they may have waited too long or been too selective in their search."
Home for the Holidays (Professionally Speaking)
Below are a few tips for how you can bring physicians to their new professional home for the holidays:
Plan Ahead - Timing is Everything
Coordinate schedules of decision-makers! Make sure you know who is available, who will be out for vacation, and when - this goes for all key decision-makers, and anyone involved in the interview process. If needed, consider preparing a contingency interview process to work around holiday schedules. Try not to hold up the recruiting process just because one decision-maker is unavailable. If it's impossible to proceed without someone who is away, try to plan a Skype interview or some other method in which the person can participate remotely without holding up the entire recruiting process.
Share Holiday Cheer on the Interview!
The holidays provide a great backdrop and a fun setting for physician interviews! Conducting onsite interviews during the holidays allows you to incorporate some memorable family events for physicians, especially those with spouses and children. You could plan some festive holiday activities for them to enjoy together to enhance their experience in your community. Most towns and neighborhoods are decorated for the season and look their best and brightest around the holidays. Also, many community events could add some fun to your regular interview itinerary. Touring holiday lights, attending a parade, or roasting marshmallows with the candidate's kids and family could provide a unique and memorable site visit. One important note: be sure to clear any holiday-themed activities with your candidate and family prior to the visit, to make sure there are no conflicts, and that the activities are okay with the candidate from a cultural and religious standpoint.
Is Your Contract Ready?
Don't forget to check with your legal department in advance to ensure that you can have an executable contract ready to offer the right candidate. Find out the holiday work schedule of any attorneys or administrators involved in drafting the contract. With notice, they should be able to help get everything in order in advance, OR perhaps be available remotely to finalize the necessary paperwork for a candidate's contract.
It's the most wonderful time of the year.... for recruiting! Be sure to keep your momentum going through the end of the year, so you don't miss out on some of the most motivated candidates!