The American College of Healthcare Executives' bimonthly journal has a column I wrote with my colleague, Ken Cohn, in the current issue: Field-Tested Strategies for Physician Recruitment and Contracting. Please let us know what you think.
The Harlow Group LLC
Health Care Law and Consulting
I realize that as a representative from outside the operational mainstream you must be careful not to step on toes, but you missed a good chance to set your expectations bar higher for your target audience. One of six bullet points on the first page regarding CEO involvement (totally essential, btw) referes to briefing “promising candidates before they meet with certain abrasive personalities on the medical staff.”
For meaningful recruitment to have traction, plans must be in place to outsource anyone on staff who falls into the “abrasive” category. In the unlikely event that a recruit is not paired with a mentor and trips over one of the assholes, someone needs to let him or her know that person is being counseled and will be leaving the organization if abrasive (or whatever) temperament is not soon corrected.
After thirty-five years in food service my post-retirement work has included a five-year stint in an excellent local health care system. I was able to see how a big organization (five hospitals on several campuses, a corresponding number of ancillary services, several thousands on staff) was able to re-brand itself, starting at the top and including everyone down to housekeeping, with a total commitment to improving patient and family satisfaction metrics. It goes without saying that a sea change of a very old corporate culture had to occur as the organization morphed into a different animal, including the elimination, if necessary, of professionals who thought and behaved as though they were not replaceable.
One of your “Interview Process” bullet points echoed this same idea, seeking to “mitigate the effect of an interviewer who is not enthusiastic about his or her association with the organization” etc. It should not be necessary to “let the candidate know about this person’s attitude beforehand” because the really good candidates are not stupid. They’ve been through enough of life to know that there ain’t enough money or other benefits in the world to compensate for working with problem people. There are too many better places to work, and those people will poison not only the recruiting process but the professional success of any organization that tolerates unprofessional attitudes and behaviors. And yes, being polite and able to play well with others should be a meaningful part of everyone’s official job description, subject to review and improvement.
As a lawyer you may even lose a client if you are bold enough to be as pushy as I suggest. But I can assure you that whatever outfits you eventually find will be light years ahead of whatever you left behind. If your client dumps you for being unrealistic, they will have lost more than you.