Happy new year, everyone! I’m excited to start the new year with fresh eyes and exciting new goals. One goal, in particular, is to continue living the mission of Tri-County Health Care and sharing that mission with potential providers. Choosing the right provider is tough, so I would like to start the new year with an added layer of transparency. I hope this blog will help me do that. In the world of recruitment and hiring, I see a lot of misaligned expectations and miscommunication. I want to clear all of that up and share my insider perspective about hiring potential providers with you. I hope that students will find this blog and take this information on their career adventure.
Students to professionals
Provider Recruitment is very different from typical recruitment as it is a longer, more complicated process. Often times, recruitment occurs over many years. I start tracking students and go to events to meet all sorts of people studying in the medical field. Each student that comes through our building is a potential hire. I start talking to them when they are still in undergraduate school. This is a planting the seed moment because I get the opportunity to introduce my organization while they are still finding their place in the world. Sometimes people need a little guidance or even a little push in the right direction. I want Tri-County to be a student-friendly place that can harness all natural and earned talents.
My background is in education and what I admire most about providers is their appreciation for education. They spend so much of their lives pursuing knowledge and are lifelong learners. I observe this every day when I interact with our staff. Hearing them talk about this illness or that fracture, or even just talking about the human body in general, is always so fascinating. What I’m really getting at is, if I think someone is a good fit for Tri-County, they need to have an intense drive to acquire knowledge. Recruiters should look for perpetual learners that absorb every shred of knowledge they can. I want the people who stay up until 2 a.m. watching the Discovery Channel or someone who would rather play a trivia game instead of shooting pool during a night out.
Expectations and the changing medical landscape
I don’t want to alarm anyone reading this, but the medical community is in a state of disarray at the moment. I’m not just talking about the pandemic. There is a lack of trained medical staff in our country. Then, COVID hit and every provider was stretched professionally and personally. We can’t afford to lose providers. When I’m out on a recruiting mission, I see the value in each potential hire. I often find myself saying, “This is someone who could save lives; they just need the appropriate facility and tools.” Students should be aware of their value moving forward in their career but also know with high value comes great responsibility and often high expectations from employers. In many ways, choosing the right provider is about selecting the right student. Remember that.
What am I really looking for?
I think about that a lot so I sat down to itemize the things I’m looking for in a potential provider. I think this makes up a good candidate, and I actively look for these things when I’m recruiting.
- A good fit is someone who wants to live in a rural area. Any provider we bring to interview must know upfront that we are in a rural area. Lots of trees and cows, if that’s not for you, we understand. If a provider is looking for a certain lifestyle that doesn’t fit what we can offer, it wouldn’t be a good mix.
- A solid self-starter is always an attention grabber. I look for physicians who can handle working independently with a certain level of autonomy. To a certain extent, they will be operating their own practice; I want them to feel a sense of ownership and even crave it. This fosters a positive work setting for them instead of an overly corporate “do what you are told” environment. This leads to everyone being a lot happier, physicians and patients alike.
- I’m always on the lookout for someone compassionate and caring. I need to detect a genuine desire to help others. A person can have all of the fancy degrees, be at the top of their class, and still have terrible bedside manner with no desire to care for the patient. The difference is readily notable; you can’t hide it.
- Knowledge is a big part of choosing the right provider! You need to be smart or at least display the ability to gain knowledge semi-quickly. Like I discussed above, being a lifelong learner is pivotal in this role. You won’t make it in any hospital or clinic if you don’t keep your mind sharp. Learning doesn’t stop after you take the cap and gown off.
- A clean record is always good. Over the years, I’ve trained myself to look for red flags. I work with a dedicated team that assists me in noticing if a potential candidate is running from something, quits jobs abruptly without notice, or likes to overly embellish their expertise. Be honest with yourself and me.
The end goal
My hope is someone will read this blog, maybe one of those students eyeing graduation, wondering where life will take them next. I hope you will consider Tri-County Health Care. I promise I’m not that hard to please. Choosing the right provider is important. I just want Tri-County to align with people who genuinely care about helping others.
Susan Marco-Provider Recruitment Specialist
As a former professor, Susan is a purveyor of lifelong learning. Five years ago, she joined the Tri-County family and has since recruited some of the finest physicians and advanced practice providers around. She is an avid reader, published author and enjoys spending time with family when she isn’t exploring TikTok.