As the Vice President of Human Resources at vRad, I have the distinct privilege to oversee the recruitment and retention of our 500+ physicians. A strong focus for my team is keeping our physicians engaged and happy as they are our most important asset.
As we grow, we are also responsible for attracting and hiring new radiologists to our practice. Here are five things we’ve learned along the way for improving your radiologist recruiting and hiring activities.
1. Be responsive and prepare to move fast
Radiologists interviewing to join your organization want to feel important. They not only appreciate but also expect prompt communication after interviews and inquiries.
And they also don’t like to wait an extended period of time from the start to finish of the hiring process. So be prepared to move quickly. Standing out in a positive way for your responsiveness could be just what you need to land your top candidates.
2. Meet face-to-face...and embrace virtual interviews
As part of the goal of making radiologist candidates feel valued, try to conduct as many face-to-face interviews as possible. While there’s added expense and time involved with in-person interviews, they offer significant benefits to both parties. For a radiologist candidate, it allows them to see a potential employer’s facilities and interact with future co-workers. For employers, it helps demonstrate a sincere interest in candidates and offers a more in-depth opportunity to assess their strengths and ability to fit in with your team and culture.
With the growth of telemedicine, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, physicians are increasingly interacting with patients and with one another in real time via online video conferencing. Whether to promote safe social distancing or to leverage telehealth efficiencies, tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams are permanent, growing elements of the medical landscape. A virtual interview gives the hiring practice an opportunity to observe how well the candidate can communicate remotely and demonstrates to the candidate that the hiring practice has the tech savvy to keep pace with change.
3. Offer an attractive lifestyle
What will a radiologist’s lifestyle look like as a member of your practice or facility? Do radiologists have the flexibility to work from home? Does employment at your organization offer a good work/life balance?
These days everyone is looking for better work/life balance. Radiologists are no exception. For early-career physicians, this may mean access to childcare or more flexibility to make time for family commitments. For the 53% of radiologists in active care who are age 55 and older, balance might be about combatting burnout and enabling experienced physicians to enjoy extended careers.
Be prepared to demonstrate how work/life balance is prioritized in your practice. What programs and processes does your practice offer to help ensure successful home lives as well as work lives? Point candidates to current staff physician advocates for your practice who can speak to its culture.
In a competitive market, offering attractive answers to some of those questions can help tip the scales in your favor.
4. Offer strong technology, resources and support
Another radiologist hot button is access to technology that enables them to be more efficient, effective and productive. Radiologists tend to be technophiles who embrace evolving digital tools and artificial intelligence applications.
In a competitive hiring market, tech is a game changer. Radiologists know technology can play an active role in enabling them to keep pace with the growing demand for their expertise. Be prepared to discuss with candidates the PACS, dictation, reporting, workflow management and other tech tools and resources your practice will provide.
They also want to know how they will be supported in their work. At vRad, for instance, we assign liaisons to new radiologists in an effort to ease their transition to our systems and culture. That personal support continues throughout their career and also includes access to a 24/7 operations center.
5. Determine if candidates are a good match
Given the high demand for radiologists, it may be tempting to extend offers to any qualified candidates who show an interest. But you owe it to your organization and to those candidates to assess whether they are truly a good fit. Do they really want to work for you? Or are they just looking around? Hiring a radiologist who isn’t a good fit can be an expensive mistake and will likely soon land you back in the same place: looking to fill an open position.
For some great interviewing tips, check out this blog from vRad’s senior physician recruiter, Adam Jones, 7 interview questions for effective radiologist recruiting and hiring.