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Innovative solutions and intuition help recruiting team drive physician acceptance rate to 78%

Hiring the best physicians requires precision. Given the competitive nature of physician staffing, it’s critical to learn as much as you can about your candidates in an efficient way so you can determine whether or not they’re the right fit – before it’s too late.

One leading healthcare organization’s small team of six recruiters has a crucial task. They have to identify and hire some of the most in-demand physicians in the country to fill ranks of over 440 medical professionals.

They take great pride in achieving their recruitment targets year after year, relying on well-defined policies, carefully compiled best practices and the perfect combination of software and intuition.

Moreover, they know that the overall experience they provide a candidate plays a big role in determining the candidate’s opinion of the organization. So they continually place a lot of effort into making sure their candidates have a great experience throughout the entire hiring process.

“These physicians usually have five to six hospitals to choose from so competition is high,” advised the Senior Director of Physician Recruiting and Retention. “When we find someone we want to join our team, we need to move swiftly,” “Because every day past the interview that you don’t get a contract in their hands hurts your chances of them accepting the job.”

Reaching job references on the phone was always hard; these references were often other physicians so they’re a pretty busy bunch. And even when the recruiters finally connected with them, all they got were ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers that did little to inform their decisions. It was a taxing process that gave them the information they needed to present – but no other tangible insights or data to speak of.

Then there was the credentialing process. Credentialing experts had to tap many of the same respondents who’d given references during the selection process, so the chances of getting another response were vanishingly slim. At the same time, those responses are required to complete the credentialing process.

By improving reference checking and peer reference processes, the team realized the following gains:

  • Physician acceptance rate increased from 20% to 78%
  • Closed contracts within 16 Weeks (Previously 6 months)
  • Time spent reference checking dropped from 2 weeks to 3 days

Better hiring insights on physician candidates

After using SkillSurvey ReferenceTM and SkillSurvey Credential OnDemand® to streamline their job references, peer referencing, privileging and hospital affiliation verification processes, the recruiters were closing contracts within 16 weeks of presenting the opportunity. More importantly, their acceptance rate from high demand physicians rose from 20% to a stunning 78%.

For one thing, the turnaround time for initial employment reference responses was reduced from two weeks to less than three days. But what mattered most to the recruiters was the fact that they were getting deeper, more meaningful feedback about the candidates – not just the ‘required information’. They had always conducted behavioral interviews; but as part of their overall process improvement, they started using an ‘interview panel’ and built their interview questions around the insights they gained from the reference feedback provided through the feedback report in SkillSurvey Reference.

These changes have given them a better, more consistent way to evaluate their candidates. It’s helped them probe deeper into candidates’ critical behaviors and skills – their commitment to patient satisfaction, their leadership abilities; key elements to help them with HCAHPS.

Faster peer reference responses

As far as credentialing these new doctors, peer references were responding with lightning speed: one in four peer references were responding within 24 hours. Using Credential OnDemand, peer references can respond using a mobile device, tablet or PC. Long gone are the days of the physician having to print a form, complete, sign and scan to return. Given the automation of Credential OnDemand they now had a fast, easy online way for third parties to respond to credentialing requests. This meant they could shave another 90 days off the overall process.

“Sure, our process is more efficient. But we also have a stronger way to assess the candidates. The quality of information we get is critical. We had more confidence because we knew we had good references and solid, useful information to work with,” says the Senior Director of Physician Recruiting and Retention.

In the healthcare industry, job references, peer referencing, privileging, and hospital affiliation verifications are the most common bottlenecks in the hiring and credentialing process. With the combination of SkillSurvey Reference and SkillSurvey Credential OnDemand, this organization has conquered all.

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