The Truth about Physician Recruiting – compelling examples of the costs of ignoring wasteful traditional recruiting practices.

Let’s say your hospital or practice decides to open a recruiting project for a Gastroenterologist.

Scenario A – YOU: Let’s say that you work extremely hard, you stay on the phone week after week, you acquire candidates (how you get them is another blog entry!), talk to them, try to cajole them to interview, set up the interviews, etc. You are extremely busy. You eventually fill the position in 4 months, and you celebrate!

Scenario B – Another Recruiter: On the other hand, with all things being equal, another recruiter at your employer fills the same position 3 weeks sooner.

Who is the more valuable recruiter to your hospital?

According to two major and well-known industry studies from Merritt-Hawkins as well as the Advisory Board Company in Washington DC, a hospital loses at least $100,000 for every month a physician job is unfilled. For a specialty physician such as a Gastroenterologist it can be $250,000.

  • The other recruiter just made your hospital at least $75,000 filling one opening three weeks sooner than you. Over 7 physician jobs filled with this disparity means this other recruiter saved your employer over $500,000.

So is always being busy, being on the phone all day, and dealing with candidates and setting up interviews and if you eventually fill your open jobs, the way to measure if you are successful?


Today the smarter employers and recruiters understand that closing percentages of visiting candidates, hiring the better candidates, being in a position of advantage when negotiating contracts, reducing the number of expensive interview visits, retention statistics, saving third party recruiter fees, among many other factors, is the modern and appropriate way to measure recruiting to not just save money, but assure a long term foundation for the hospital and the care that ultimately reaches the patient.

Lesser-quality employees make more mistakes. They aren’t as efficient. If a physician leaves after 24 months what does that say about how he was sold on the job but not sold on the hospital and living in your area – and what is the cost to re-fill that job?

Online Job Tour Test Market: Over a four year test market, simply by providing physician candidate prospects with Online Job Tour, which provides a more comprehensive “virtual site visit experience” than the real thing, our clients have averaged the following.

  • Use of Online Job Tour results in filling positions 3 weeks faster (19% faster).
  • Use of Online Job Tour reduces third party recruiter fees by 16% (1 in 6).
  • Use of Online Job Tour reduces overall onsite visits by 33%.

We calculate for a small hospital filling 10 physician openings and 10 Director-level or specialty openings over a 36 month timeframe (with the assumptions noted below) – based only on these stats, the savings is $947,000.

  • These astounding dollars are merely due to reducing the time to fill by 19%, reducing the number of visit needed to fill the jobs by 1/3, and a small reduction in the need to use third party recruiters – which is the smallest return of the three – saving 1 in 10 recruiter fees reduces that total number by less than $50,000.

Naturally, our stats do not include non-physician recruiting, how Online Job Tour promotes a better long-term placement and reduces retention problems, and in many cases, our clients are dealing with candidates where they are the top choice – this translates into hiring better talent and serves to turn the negotiations to our clients’ favor – we have numerous examples of our clients not needed to supply huge bonuses and income guarantees because the candidates want the job and don’t need to be motivated by a big bonus. Most important is the better quality, happier physicians and employees are better workers – lest we ever forget for a moment that patient lives are in the balance.

  • As a former third party recruiter, I know the costs of recruiting as well as the costs for being inefficient – they are uncountable and my brightest clients tell me these ROI numbers are extremely low.

A smarter recruiting process with Online Job Tour makes a phenomenal difference.

So the next time you consider how effective your recruiting is, remember for the sake of your patients and your hospital’s budget that it’s not just about if you are busy and you eventually fill the open jobs, especially if your performance is going to be evaluated vs. others using Online Job Tour to reach today’s modern, tech-savvy jobseekers.

Recruiting Assumptions for our ROI Study (conservative estimates) – contact me for the ROI study.

· The average number of candidates who interview to fill a physician opening is 4 (2 for non-MD).
· The average number of total site visits with candidates and spouses to fill one physician job is 6 (3 for non-MD).
· The average cost for one interview site visit for a candidate and spouse is $1,500.
· The average time it takes to fill an open physician job is 4 months (2 months for non-MD).
· The percentage physician or high-end positions are filled using a third party recruiter is 75%.
· The average recruiter fee for a placement is $20,000.
· Studies published by Merritt-Hawkins and The Advisory Board, Inc. conclude the average lost revenue for every month a physician opening is unfilled is $100,000. We are assigning $25,000 lost per month for Director/specialist jobs unfilled (contact us for these studies).

To contact me directly, email me at I am also on Facebook. Learn more about my work at


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s