While hospitals across the nation have slowed down in terms of provider recruitment or in some cases, completely stopped provider recruitment efforts, Norton Healthcare continues to pursue acquiring top provider talent while maintaining social distancing to slow the spread of the coronavirus, all with the help of technology. Amanda Bailey, senior director, provider recruitment, onboarding and development, and her team have devised several innovative ways to reach out to providers who may be interested in joining the Norton Healthcare family.
“Since we can’t attend conferences in person, we have to find other ways to recruit candidates and take them through the various processes of hiring and onboarding,” Amanda said. “Over half of our new providers come from greater than 60 miles outside of the Louisville area. On average it takes about 9 to 12 months to recruit a physician, and in some cases longer if the physician is more specialized. This time frame accounts for sourcing, interviewing, contracts, licensure, credentialing, relocating, and onboarding. That being said, if were to have slowed down early this year when the pandemic started we would have felt the effects by the end of the year and throughout the 2021 year. Given the situation and since most of our candidates will be recruited from all across the country, we challenged ourselves to get creative, reduce expenses, utilize technology, and still maintain a personal touch with our candidates and their families.”
To find candidates not only have we increased our existing marketing and advertising tactics but we have also been participating in several virtual career fairs and exhibiting in virtual exhibit halls for some of the medical societies annual meetings. The most recent ones have been the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Cardiology, and we will be planning to attend the American Academy of Family Physicians in July just to name a few.
In addition to changing the way we source candidates we are also changing the way we interview our potential new providers. When a candidate comes to Louisville for an in-person visit, they spend about 3 to 4 days in Louisville. There are tours of the facility, dinner with a group, real estate visits and more. But right now, that’s just not happening.
“We didn’t want to just do a conference call or a video meeting. We know that where a candidate chooses to pursue the next phase of their career is an important decision and selecting the right candidate to join our team is vital to the care we provide,” Amanda said.
A day or two prior to the virtual site visit a gift box that is made to look like a medical bag is delivered to the candidate‘s house and is full of Kentucky Proud products and Louisville swag. This offers the candidate a taste of what our community has to offer and becomes a nice surprise for the candidate’s family during the monotony of our quarantine days. For the interview, the candidates get an email with an itinerary, links and instructions. The itinerary is typically scheduled to last about 6 to 8 hours. They typically participate from their homes or offices. Some of the virtual meetings are with groups; some are with individuals. There are also video tours of various hospitals or facilities created by current Norton Healthcare physicians. There are also little extras.
“We schedule a lunch break, and then we send the candidates lunch via GrubHub or Postmates,” Amanda said. “If we know the candidate is at home with family, we will send a family meal instead of an individual meal. This allows us to bring their family into the process and helps them to feel included.”
The virtual-concierge service doesn’t end on the interview day. Candidates are scheduled for virtual meetings with real estate agents who work in the area. These meetings provide a great foundation for the candidate to better understand the layout of our city, our schools, local hot spots, neighborhoods and even video home tours of houses currently for sale in our market. Once hired, orientation and onboarding are similar experiences with live virtual presentations and food deliveries or take out from our locally owned restaurants.
There have been some unexpected upsides to this virtual way of doing things. The candidates are getting more quality one-on-one time with current physicians and other Norton Healthcare team members. This method also saves money for our system and current providers are helping us create videos for recruitment efforts to highlight our programs and benefits in a career with Norton Healthcare.
“This is a challenging but also a time of great change in healthcare. For providers coming out of their residency, fellowship or even those looking for the next step in their career, the pandemic doesn’t have to impede that choice. Norton Healthcare continues to be a great option and we are here to make that possible, “Amanda said.
Interested in Joining Our Norton Healthcare Team?
We are actively recruiting providers in a variety of positions including primary care, adult specialty and pediatric care.