Three Staffing Lessons Hospitals Have Learned from COVID So Far

Jan 12, 2022

There’s a lot to be learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. These are the top lessons we learned to help healthcare recruiters improve their hospitals.

1. Flexibility Is Crucial

The physician shortage became painfully obvious as the pandemic continued. As hospital beds filled, it was simply a doctor’s medical knowledge that mattered instead of specialty and work experience. Ethically, crossing specialties outside of a public health crisis shouldn’t happen as it did during the pandemic. However, it does provide insight for in-house recruiters struggling with the healthcare provider shortage.

In 2019, AAPPR reported physician searches are taking longer than ever recorded in the ten years they’ve been conducting the Provider Recruitment Benchmarking Report. This can be explained by two factors: lack of supply and strict job requirements. As a recruiter, you have little impact on how many physicians exist. But you have a lot of control over the requirements for the physicians you interview. Understanding which job requirements are “must-haves” vs. “nice-to-haves” and opening up your search accordingly will decrease your time-to-hire and decrease lost revenue caused by the opening.  

2. Burnout Cannot Be Ignored

64% of physicians report that the pandemic intensified their sense of burnout. It has never been more necessary to create a flexible, supportive work environment. In-person/work-from-home hybrid options will likely become more common as a solution to overwhelming administrative duties. Where possible, allowing and encouraging physicians to simply work less could have a positive impact. Sabbatical programs and shorter shifts are trends we could expect to see. 

3. Leadership Is Not Easy

Effective leadership is hard to achieve under normal circumstances, let alone during a pandemic. While it’s easy to assign blame during stressful times, it’s important to consider the relationship between hospital leadership and healthcare providers. How can these groups come together to improve the hospital as a work environment? For leadership, creating an open line of communication for providers to express their needs and concerns. According to one survey:

Physicians who like their current leadership feel twice as capable, and are more than six times as likely to feel engaged, than those who aren't satisfied. They're also twice as likely to be satisfied with their jobs, and 45% less likely to show signs of burnout.

From the physician’s side, it’s important to actually speak up. Leadership can only fix what they know is broken. Once a line of communication opens, it’s up to the physician to speak up about their needs in the workplace. Only when leadership and physicians come together to improve the workplace will true change occur.

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Now that we've fed you the veggies, how about some good news? Once you matched into a residency program, the general salary for a first-year resident is $52.5K. Though you may not be jumping out of your shoes, there are many programs available beyond your initial salary that can help you chip away at those lingering debts. For example, a ten-year plan would pan out to about $2,000 per month in payments (with $182K in loans). 

Solution number one is to finance your debts through a private lender. This could provide you with a lower interest rate, but you’ll have to pre-qualify first via few factors, including your credit as well as your current income. Solution number two is to consider working for an organization in a state that offers a student loan assistance program. Though it varies by area, certain states can knock away a considerable piece of those loans in just a few years. In Texas, the Physician Education Loan Repayment Program offers up to $160K for over four years of practice in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). In New York, Doctors Across New York provides an additional payment of up to $150K over a five-year commitment to doctors practicing in underserved areas.

The student loan forgiveness state programs are a valuable resource, and should be taken into serious consideration when deciding on a destination and facility of choice. Perhaps you’re thinking of immediate relief, or more of a short-term solution. To be honest, that is not really feasible with $200K in debt. But, when negotiating your “dream” role, it is important to use that as an opportunity to obtain a possible sign-on bonus as well as relocation assistance to help ease the burden, at least temporarily. Keeping a positive mind-set, and considering all possible solutions, can help you achieve your goals of financial growth and stability as a physician.

28 Jan 2020
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When asked if they’ve “gone digital,” many companies will say, “Of course. We have a website, a Facebook page, and we send email campaigns!” While this kind of online presence is important, digital marketing consists of much, much more. 

Digital Marketing is an action. And not just a single action, but an ongoing, evolving action that empowers you to spend your marketing dollars as efficiently as possible. The first step is putting a piece of content online. What transforms this into digital marketing is the data.

Imagine you see an online job posting. You’re pleased with your current employer, but if a better opportunity presented itself, you’d be interested. In this case, you see a job with a great company and it would cut your commute time in half. You click on the listing, quickly scan it over, make a mental note to return to it later, and move on with your day. 

We all know what happens next: you completely forget you ever saw it. We all see thousands of ads per day. The odds of your one ad being remembered are slim. This is where digital marketing steps in. Remember the job listing you clicked on and forgot about? Since you engaged with the ad, you’ll eventually see a similar ad again. 

This retargeting empowers the workforce to see those jobs they are most interested in and inform themselves about the employer. It also empowers your organization to engage with candidates who have a strong interest in your opportunity. If you’d like to learn more about digital marketing for physician recruiting, click here to schedule a time to speak with a member of our business development team.

30 Jan 2020
How To Avoid Being a Job Hopper

As a physician or advanced practitioner, there are opportunities all over that can expand your experience and your skills, but when it comes to the best time to move from one job to the next is tricky. Everyone’s situation is somewhat the same in one way or another; the specialty isn’t what they expected or the facility wasn’t the right environment for them. Things happen, and wanting to change them for the better is completely understandable; but when it comes to consistently changing jobs year after year, that could potentially ruin your chances in obtaining your “perfect job.”

Before transitioning from one position to the next, ask yourself this: How long have I worked at this facility and how long was I at my previous job?

  • If your employment list is short, or you have worked at a facility for a couple years or more, the chances of being seen as a job-hopper is slim.
  • If you have worked with several employers, and have only been at each for a year or less, that may bring up concerns from future employers.
  • If you have worked with your current employer for a year or less, identify your reason for wanting a change.

Ask yourself why this position is not working out for you, is it because of salary, hours, or location? What position are you wanting to transition into and why? Carrying on from why you are leaving your previous position for another; what are you seeking to improve or gain more experience in?

Hopefully by identifying your job history and maintaining a balance when transitioning from one job to another, you should have no problem in avoiding job-hopping.