PHYSICIAN RECRUITMENT DURING COVID-19 TIMES
The requirements of health facilities have changed within a blink of an eye amidst COVID-19 crisis.
Travel restrictions to flatten the pandemic curve forced the recruiters to change the traditional ways of hiring.
In many parts of the world, even the retired physicians are volunteering to fill up the shortage.
What does this indicate?
Though the demand for physicians around the globe has increased, the situation has altered the job market for the physicians.
No more attractive salary packages or practice options, because hospitals and other health facilities struggle with lower revenues due to more focus on controlling COVID-19 and unwillingness of patients with other diseases in getting treated.
So, this blog entails relevant details on the changed physician recruitment norms in the COVID-19 era. If you are a new physician or in the medical recruitment sector, reading this article will truly be an eye-opener. Read on.
THE MAJOR RECRUITMENT CHALLENGES
Healthcare recruiters are stressed over navigating physicians’ recruitment during these trying times.
Some of the changed recruitment strategies are:
Digital interviews are conducted instead of the regular on-premise interviews.
Resorting to the modern technologies such as Zoom, interviews are conducted. It is a time and money saver for both the job seeker and the employer.
Online platforms are not only helping healthcare in recruitment processes, but also in staying connected with the professionals’ world over and helping patients under quarantine in procuring medical advises.
However, using online platforms for interviews has its own ethical and technical challenges. Screen barriers often hinder recruiters in giving fair and honest assessments.
In the United States, the Federal Law has waived off the usual norms that compensate physicians above fair market value.
Now the hospitals and health systems can execute compensation agreements with the candidates themselves.
This is the case in many others countries as well.
The recruiters’ task is to help candidates negotiate the compensation and find them opportunities.
Compensations can vary based on the organizational ownership models, so a new physician should be careful in choosing and agreeing to any compensation models.
The increased demand of physicians and unavailability of candidates with the right skill-set can be solved by recruiting Locum Tenens. These professionals are short-term contract workers ready to fill in positions temporarily.
Well known health recruiters provide specialized services for Locum Tenens and they were in high demand even before the pandemic.
The National Association of Locum Tenens Organizations (NALTO) in August 2019 stated that over 50,000 physicians work on locum tenens project every year and 90% of the U.S, healthcare facilities make use of their services.
In the last 2 decades, the US is facing the physician workforce shortages and this is faced by many other countries too.
A study conducted by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) found out that 2 of 5 active physicians will be 65 or older in the next decade.
Imagine having a pandemic similar to Coronavirus in the next 10 years and dealing with a medically underserved population, isn’t it horrendous?
More Locum Tenens empowered with cutting-edge medical technology knowledge will be critical in addressing the future physician shortage.
Travel restrictions put forward by various countries have resulted in many missed appointments and delayed care.
Consider a situation where a hospital needs an eminent physician to take in-charge on an immediate basis.
The only choice is to interview candidates within a certain distance in a restricted demographic. But what if the requirement doesn’t match the skill set of the available physicians? Or what if physicians are not available due to high demand?
Though technology is helping in remote medical assistance, nothing can replace the physical examination of a patient by a doctor in the treatment process.
Hopefully, lifting of travel restrictions will solve this challenge to a large extend. But until there is a promise of a vaccine, travel will remain to be one of the obstacles for physician recruitment teams.
Lack of Motivation:
As the salary has reduced for most physicians and workload has increased, recruiters are in apathy to fix on a work motivation factor for highly experienced and talented candidates.
COVID-19 has definitely impacted the productivity.
Any physician looks for intrinsic motivators such as money, purpose, growth, learning, etc.
But in this current situation, job satisfaction is not the priority. Physicians should remember their duties, responsibilities and commitment towards a society.
THE PHYSICIANS MUST UPSKILL
To get employed and gain right compensatory package during the pandemic, physicians must upskill.
Health facilities, hospitals and other medical spaces are ready to onboard physicians who are good at keeping their fears at the bay and serve the people.
So, if you are a physician with experience or just passed out of the medical school, work to upgrade on the following skills.
- Leadership capabilities and readiness to engage in crisis communication
- Resilience and endurance to cope up with high pressure work scenarios
- Compassion to serve a distressed community struggling to wade of the Coronavirus
- Continuous learning capacity
- Analytical ability
- Quick problem solving quality
- Good level of medical knowledge
- Great communication
- Insights to manage burn out
Now the question is how to improve the chances of getting employed in the present scenario?
The smartest solution would be to get the services of top recruitment firms such as Palm Careers.
Choosing the right medical staffing agency can be a bit tricky. Look out for the below characteristics.
- A robust medical industry relationships and tie-ups
- Great reputation and placement statistics
- Diverse range of service provisions
- Friendly staffs
- Transparency in payment
- Provision of customized search options
- Free consultations
- Positive Customer reviews
- Round the clock service
Well, COVID-19 has transformed the norms by which medical recruitment function. Now there is only one option to survive – ‘Adapt to the New Normal’.
This might take a longer time, but the industry will get through the prevalent tough times.