Planning for Recruitment

Physician Recruitment

Physician recruitment is a lengthy and detailed process that should be initiated at least six months prior to placement. It is therefore important for a health authority, community, facility or practice to be aware well in advance of anticipated vacancies or required additional physician resources.

Before initiating recruitment for a newly created physician position or a replacement position, contact the responsible health authority to ensure that the position is approved as part of the overall physician resource plan. In addition to providing approvals, the responsible health authority can provide valuable and needed assistance to facilitate the recruitment of a new doctor, particularly if hiring an internationally educated physician requiring provisional licensure with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia (CPSBC).

Identify a Primary Contact and Assign Responsibilities

The responsible health authority or practice will need to identify key individuals responsible for recruitment efforts. Those involved may be members of the hospital selection committee, a Regional Medical Director, or an individual physician. It is important that designated contacts be aware of the potential time commitment involved and of the importance of managing the relationships with potential candidates in a timely and informative manner.

Some questions to consider:

Who will receive the CVs of potential candidates as well as review, acknowledge, and act upon them in a timely manner?

Who is the key contact for potential candidates and for Health Match BC consultants to speak to regarding the practice profile and recruitment efforts?

Who is responsible for orchestrating contacts with physician candidates, such as telephone interviews and ongoing discussions?

Is the staff of the hiring organization, such as reception and other physicians, well informed that recruitment is underway so that the team can more effectively deal with potential candidates and their queries?

Establish Timeframe

It is best to establish a target date for the position to be filled and the completion of the recruitment process. Again, six months lead time is usually considered the minimum amount of time to accommodate all recruitment steps such as advertising, selection and interviewing, licensing and approval requirements and, finally, relocation.

Define Terms and Conditions of the Position

Before commencing recruitment efforts, determine exactly what the terms and conditions of the position will be. This, like most of the recruitment process, is a two-way street. It includes the details of the responsibilities and accountabilities that you expect and require of the physician position, and the specific terms and conditions that you can offer the new physician.

You may need to verify remuneration and special compensation arrangements with your health authority or the Ministry of Health Services prior to beginning recruitment. The key is to obtain detailed, accurate information that can be discussed with candidates to achieve a mutual understanding of expectations and commitments.

Items to include in your written list of terms and conditions include the following:

  • Fee for service - anticipated annual remuneration
  • Alternative payment arrangement of contract
  • Rural subsidiary agreement fee premium, annual flat fee, recruitment bonus or other benefits
  • Locum or permanent (dates and duration)
  • Overhead costs and responsibilities
  • Hours of work expected and anticipated
  • On-call expectations
  • Vacation and education leaves
  • Availability of free or subsidized housing
  • Availability of transportation (car)
  • Other details regarding the specific characteristics and expectations of the practice, colleagues, and community.

Develop Physician Profile

Closely linked to defining the terms and conditions of the employment or practice arrangements is the creation of a comprehensive outline of the position profile. The position profile serves a number of purposes:

  1. It helps you and your colleagues come to a consensus on the expectations and requirements of the new physician position in your practice. The position profile provides clarity on details of the position requirements, defines the practice characteristics and its context in the facility or community.
  2. It is an essential tool to fully inform physician candidates of your opportunity.
  3. It provides your Health Match BC consultant with a comprehensive understanding of your needs and requirements, and can be used to craft an effective job posting on the Health Match BC website or other advertising tools.

Importantly, a position profile that clearly defines the qualifications, expectations and abilities required for the role provides you with a "road map" to guide you through the screening, interviewing and hiring process.