There are essentially two ways to fill an open physician position in your ED: with any candidate — or the right one.

The first way can happen quickly; the other takes time. But isn't it worth the effort to find an outstanding physician who fits in with your ED team, embraces your hospital's culture and priorities, and who will remain committed to your patients, hospital, and community for years to come?

We think so, which is why we recommend a proven innovative approach, one that trades traditional wide-net "if you advertise they will come" tactics for an active, targeted pursuit.

The good news: By acting on this approach, not only will you discover better candidates, you will find them faster as well.

Here's where to train your aim:

1. Your Current ED Physicians

Assuming you’re doing all you can to keep your current EM physicians happy, you can rely on a combination of their connections and word-of-mouth to attract new candidates — an approach that can produce better results than any ad ever could. In fact, in a 2016 Schumacher Clinical Partners’ survey of new physician hires, 47% said they relied on word-of-mouth from fellow colleagues to find new positions.

2. New Clinical and Non-clinical Team Members

Never overlook the insights of non-physicians in your ED. Recent hires or those who pull additional shifts at other facilities in the area will undoubtedly have favorite physicians they’ve worked with — and a line on how those doctors feel about their current place of practice.

Even if you don't you have an open position, make it a point to probe new hires about colleagues they favor. Good people tend to gravitate to good people, so their recommendations should carry extra weight and prove valuable when it comes time to hire new staff.

3. Prominent or Well-connected People in the Community

Every community has its movers and shakers — those individuals who seem to know everyone. Whether that community represents emergency medicine, a state medical organization, or simply your local area, tap its members for recommendations about physicians or connections to others who might know of potential candidates.

4. Professional Organizations

The most effective recruiting doesn’t happen behind a computer terminal. Make sure your recruiters are an active part of local, state, and professional organizations. Encourage them to get involved, take a leadership role, and show up to network at events.

5. Local Recruiting

What are the other big employers in your region in the specialty you're seeking? Search for potential candidates on professional social networks like LinkedIn or other organizations' websites.

Ideally, you’ll be able to reach and learn more about the people you find through a referral from your networking or professional organization contacts. If no connection exists, contact the people directly.

6. Continual Marketing

The best recruiting plan is a continuous one. Keep your network on continuous growth mode by keeping your hospital in front of potential candidates. These ideas can help:

  • Market your hospital's strengths and program accomplishments — not just awards — in national trade and specialty journals and online venues.
  • Attend emergency medicine conferences and resident career fairs.
  • Sponsor lectures at residency programs.

Yes, it takes time to locate the best EM physicians, but by putting these six tips to the test, it could benefit you – and your patients – in the end.

Looking for help to put these practices into place? Let us do the heavy lifting for you. Find out more about our recruiting suite of services that focuses on getting you top-notch talent for your facility.