Cardiologist Recruitment: How to Attract Talent When Supply is Low

Written by: Lisa A. Burke
Published On: May 11, 2020
Category:

cardiology heart

With the number of hospitals offering advanced medical service growing, the demand for specialty trained physicians has increased significantly. Yet, there remains a critical shortage across all practice areas, including cardiologists, a specialty experiencing increasing demand accompanied by long time-to-fill ratios.

High blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. About half of Americans (47%) have at least one of these three risk factors.*

Cardiology (JACC) showed that there were 4,000 too few cardiologists to meet patient care demand with the shortfall predicted to rise to 16,000 by 2020 and double by the year 2050.(1)  In addition, per an article by Cardiovascular Business, the sparsity of cardiology residency training programs has resulted in a lower number of doctors entering this specialization.   

8 Strategies to Recruit Cardiology Talent

Low reimbursement rates, combined with the increasing costs of operating a private practice, along with a desire for work/life balance, have fostered increased physician interest in hospital employment. While the competition for this talent pool is intense, there are several strategies an organization can implement to foster a successful cardiologist recruitment process.

happy cardiology patient

  1. Partnering with a trustworthy job board is an effective method to attract qualified and engaged talent.  In light of the competition, job packages on myhalthtalent.com empower recruiters to customize their job listings and create a  career site to highlight key elements of your organization, such as   mission, values, culture, benefits, compensation, relocation assistance, tuition assistance, professional development, on-site day care, etc. While posting to a job board can be effective to reach active job seekers, it’s best to pair this strategy with other channels.
  2. Develop relationships with residents and fellows currently working in the cardiology department of the organization, as well as leading teaching faculty across multiple academic programs. Specific activities to foster relationships with the cardiology residents can include asking for their input during ground rounds and inviting them to company events. These efforts foster a sense of belonging and loyalty, thereby increasing the likelihood that residents will join your organization when their program ends.
  3. Encourage cardiology staff to join and actively participate in professional associations related to this specialty. In this way, the physicians gain access to other members' contact information which can be a significant benefit to recruiters in that they are provided viable candidate leads in an expeditious manner. It may also be a good strategy to have the physician reach out directly to members as a colleague to increase response ratio. 
  4. Utilize social media to develop a candidate pool. According to a 2019 LinkedIn marketing blog post, the site reaches over 40% of all physicians and surgeons in the US with over 360,000 members who specialize in cardiology and other practice areas.
  5. Recruitment is an ongoing activity so even when your facility is fully staffed, recruiters should be actively engaged in pipeline development. Indeed, the best time to recruit is when you don’t have the need so that when an opening does arise all the upfront work in terms of sourcing and vetting candidates will have been completed. This will allow recruiters to jumpstart recruiting and move right into the interview stage. Timing is of the essence when recruiting medical professionals.
  6. Before commencing active recruiting, organizations first need to assess their need and preparedness to hire:
    • Does the hospital have the budget to pay for a full or part time cardiologist?
    • Does the role involve hands-on patient care or is it leadership focused?
    • Does the facility offer a collaborative and positive culture? Are there any internal or external issues  (such as change in leadership, competitive compensation or fiscal issues) that need to be explained? Is there a diverse workforce? How does the facility foster work-life balance?  
    • Is the facility looking to advance it’s cardiology specialty by investment in updated diagnostic equipment or other resources?
  7. All interviews should probe for not only skills and competencies but also for work style and cultural fit. A candidate may have all the necessary qualifications but if his or her personality doesn’t mesh with the overall organization, it’s best to continue the search.  A recent article by Myhealthtalent.com provides a useful overview of soft-skills assessments.
  8. When a great candidate is identified, move quickly. A recruiting committee should be formed to include recruiters and hospital administrators so that hiring decisions can be made and offers extended. Try to include all stakeholders in the initial meeting. In addition, schedule the onsite tour of the facility on the same day of the interview. During the tour, visit not only the cardiology unit but other areas of the hospital to provide a complete picture of the organization. Tailor the visit to each candidate’s interests; e.g. if the option of onsite daycare is important to the candidate, make sure to stop by that center during the tour.

Conclusion

Successful cardiologist recruiting begins with a comprehensive understanding of organizational needs and matching with the backgrounds of interested candidates in terms of skills, competencies, cultural fit, as well as compensation expectations. After identifying top candidates, vet carefully to ensure fit and then negotiate employment terms to foster a win-win for each side. Building a team of exceptional physicians who will provide exceptional care is a worthy and attainable goal--reached by careful screening of one candidate at a time.

To place your cardiology recruitment advertisement in a journal or post a banner online, contact your Elsevier Recruitment Sales Representative today.

*Fryar CD, Chen T-C, Li X. Prevalence of uncontrolled risk factors for cardiovascular disease: United States, 1999–2010 pdf icon[PDF-494K]. NCHS data brief, no. 103. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics; 2012. Accessed May 9, 2019.