Parents put a lot of thought and effort into choosing the person who is going to take care of their child for the next 18 years. For this reason, the physician recruiters in the hospital’s human resources (HR) department have an important job making sure the providers they help hire are not just great caregivers, but also a good cultural fit for serving and fulfilling the hospital’s mission.
“We are out there at national conferences and specialty job fairs networking, getting to know candidates and trying to stand out from the crowd,” said Lori Schapel, manager of physician recruitment.
With a team of 4 seasoned recruiters, Lori and Jane Hensley split subspecialty recruiting; Shawna Roach handles primary care, urgent care and hospitalists, and Steve Chamberlin works with advanced practice providers (APPs) – each of them juggling as many as 12 to 15 searches at a time.
“From start to finish the process of hiring a physician can take from 12-18 months,” said Jane. “On average, the hospital hires approximately 50 physicians and 35 APPs annually due to retirements, turnover and growth.”
“The timeline for hiring APPs isn’t as long because we have a large group in the local market and many of our candidates are internal,” added Steve. “Currently we employ approximately 300 nurse practitioners, physician assistants and clinical nurse specialists.”
After reviewing resumes, the recruiters conduct a phone screen to determine what candidates are looking for, what their interests are and whether they seem like a cultural fit for the hospital.
The recruiters rely heavily on master organizer and recruitment coordinator, Julie Mohney, who plays a vital role scheduling site visits. Julie escorts candidates from place to place and arranges meals, transportation and lodging – including added touches like welcome baskets in hotel rooms. For out-of-town candidates, appointments are scheduled with realtors to look at schools and neighborhoods.
“When a family is coming from out of the area, it’s important to consider what the spouse and family want and need in the community,” Lori said. “When possible, we help spouses who have careers make local networking connections in their industry.”
Gastroenterologist Dr. Madhura Phadke, who joined Akron Children’s in 2017 from the East coast, remembers the team going the extra mile to help connect her husband to an IT job in Akron.
“Within less than 24 hours of telling people at Akron Children’s that my husband would be switching jobs, I had email contacts sent to me of people who may be able to help him,” she said. “It was actually unbelievable and a really kind gesture.”
Dr. Jackie Lickliter, an Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics (ACHP) pediatrician in Warren and Lisbon, thought moving back home to West Virginia after residency to a practice she was familiar with was the best thing for her, but soon found out it wasn’t a good fit.
“I called Shawna and said I need you to take me back,” she said. “She asked me a lot of questions about what was going wrong so if I came back here she could find a practice that was a right fit. And, that’s exactly what she did.”
“I want our new providers to be successful, so I like to get to know them and what’s important to them,” Shawna said. “For some it could be work-life balance, the ability to work part time, or taking less call.”
For Shawna the hiring process for primary care begins by developing relationships with residents in their first year of training. She often knows who plans to stay and who plans to leave by the end of their residency.
“August through the end of the year is the busiest time for recruitment because residencies and fellowships wrap up in June,” she said. “Once hired, we help our providers obtain their Ohio medical license, go through the credentialing process, align their start date and have a detailed onboarding checklist to make sure they have their phone, computer, pager, lab coat and Epic training completed.”
Although a comprehensive process, Steve says it’s important to take the time to find the best people for the job.
“Recruitment is time-consuming and expensive, so it’s in everyone’s best interest to make sure the fit is right from the start,” he said.
“I want to hire someone who I would want to take my family members to,” she said. “It’s the best feeling when you know you have found the best person for the job. It’s very purposeful work.”