This page is dedicated to helping our clients from hospitals and clinics across Australia and New Zealand to get the best out of working with doctor recruitment agencies when you need a permanent or locum doctor."
The locum doctor market is really fragmented as there are simply dozens of permanent and locum doctor agencies out there to choose from, so how do you decide which one to go with? When you read about any recruitment agency, most will tell you that they're the most professional, the most diligent in their approach and that they know doctors better than anyone else. However the truth is no single locum doctor agency can truly claim these things, which is why almost every single hospital and clinic relies on a multitude of options when it comes to finding a permanent or locum doctor.
So How Do You the Best Out of Your Agency?
There are three really important things to consider when working with a locum doctor agency to get the best out of them and ultimately make your life easier when it comes to finding a permanent or locum doctor. These are:
1. Make sure you communicate really clearly about what you want from your agency and what information you want doctors to receive about your hospital or clinic
Taking this approach will increase the chances of getting the best match possible between the job you have and the permanent or locum doctor you hire.
2. Engage with you agency as soon as you know you have a vacancy for a permanent or locum doctor
Definitely don't wait until the last minute or casually flick them a really short email of what you need. If you make time to invest in your agency upfront the quality of your engagement will project itself into the conversations agencies are able to have with potential candidates about your jobs, and ultimately increase your chances of hiring the best people.
3. Learn how to effectively delegate the right parts of the recruitment equation to your agencies
So you can get as much of your plate as possible focus on the most important things for you such as on-boarding or roster management. This is especially the case when your agency has an established marketing department whose sole purpose is to find the best available doctors for the jobs that need filling.
How Do You Increase Your Chances of Hiring the Best Permanent or Locum Doctors?
As the locum doctor market is really short on candidates, you’ll need to stand out as a place of work to make sure you attract the best candidates over other options they’re likely to have.
Some of the things you can do to help attract and retain the best doctors include;
- Being really clear about how much you going to pay your locum doctor both in terms of salary but also highlighting what else is included in that in the package such as accommodation, travel costs, car
- Being flexible about whether you're able to accommodate the doctors partner or family will also give you an advantage when it comes to hiring a locum doctor
- Once you've chosen the doctor the final thing to do is welcome them both before they arrive and then on their arrival. As a doctor who feels welcome and happy is more likely to tell people really great things about your hospital or clinic
Pitfalls to Avoid When Hiring Doctors
Some common mistakes that are often made when recruiting doctors which ultimately ends up leading to departments running short on staff are;
- Waiting until the last minute to tell an agency you need a doctors for vacancy, this massively reduces the chances of someone starting with you on time, especially as over 10% of all locum doctor vacancies end up falling through and needing a back-up candidate
- Failing to consider the skill, will and fit of a doctor can lead to the wrong permanent or locum doctor being placed in your organisation, which can have a number of negative implications
- Skill is the easy bit; it’s about their CV, job history and experiences that they've had in their career to date
- Will is about where you're located and whether someone is prepared to travel to work with you and possibly needing to stay in a specific location or accommodation whilst working with you
- Fit is about the cultural fit and what type of person you want. This can be influenced by your existing staff base or even the needs of your patients however we find this is the one area that is often overlooked the most and can end up having the biggest impact on how a locum doctor placement works out
From working with over 25,000 doctors over the last 10 years we've identified five things that are critical when it comes to hiring doctors and keeping the right people in their jobs:
1) Salary is the number one reason why doctors seek change. If they feel they could get more elsewhere, there is a high chance they will do this
2) Lack of flexibility is the second highest reason that doctors seek change, especially in the 25 to 40 old age group who want the ability to have a lifestyle through medicine and not just have to think about working in the hospital or clinical or feel tied down. Some ideas that we found of work to things like offering your doctors leave without pay if they want it being flexible with rosters or even allowing them to job share although this might be difficult to manage.
3) Workload is the third reason why doctors say that they are likely to leave a job. When departments are understaffed employees feel stressed and under-supported. The true cost of losing an employee can cost employers up to 400% of a salary to replace them, so if you’re thinking of cutting back on locum doctors, this might be something to consider
4) Number four is when human resource departments are seen as unresponsive or don’t consult with their doctors before changes are made, so how your HR department acts is incredibly important when it comes to both on-boarding and retaining your doctors
5) Finally, the fifth most important thing is making yourself available to talk to your employees. This is the same for either a permanent or a locum doctor, as both want face-to-face communication time with their supervisors, management and HR
It's important to us to get the right person, with the right skills, with the right fit for our team. It's an investment and we were not disappointed."