Have a Retention Plan in Place Before Recruitment Begins
You’ve spent thousands of dollars to recruit a physician for your practice, invited the doctor for site visits, paid advertising costs, legal and agency fees, and a slew of other expenses; but, after the honeymoon is over, and the contract is up, the physician decides to move on. Annually, about 10% of them do seek opportunities elsewhere. Not only have you lost the money you have invested to recruit, credential and on-board the physician, but now the loss of potential revenue looms—which can be in the high 6 to 7 figures respectively.
Among the physicians who leave a group, nearly half do so within the first 3 years. Why do they leave? There are common reasons. Often, job expectations are not made clear during the recruitment process. Typically these include: the amount of patients seen on a given day, call schedule, in-patient responsibilities, and the expectation to work on weekends and evenings. The most common reason, however, is that they may feel as though they are just not the right ‘fit’ with the other physicians in the group.
One way to insure that a recruit would be a good fit with the group, is to establish what the common values of the group are, and convey those to the candidate during the recruitment process. Also, involve other physicians in the practice in the interview process to determine if the candidate would be a good fit. Some may say that the best retention strategy is to hire the right physician in the first place.
Some issues are more challenging: feeling unappreciated, no involvement in the decision making process, no opportunity for partnership. And some things can’t be avoided, like the desire to be closer to family. But turnover is costly; therefore have a retention plan in place before recruitment begins. There are many success stories out there, but develop a plan that is unique for your practice; one size does not fit all. Have a plan that is at least a three year process. Start by providing enough startup resources, a mentor, and feedback which is crucial in the early stages.