Keep Your Options Open

There’s an old saying that goes “don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched” - and it definitely applies to recruiting!

It’s important to keep your options open in an industry where those options are extremely limited.  If you find yourself in a situation where you have multiple physician or mid-level provider candidates, it’s important to keep them all actively engaged through the entire process.


We’ve seen this scenario time and time again:

A client has two or three finalist candidates and, when they choose one to hire, they ignore the others and stop communicating, thinking their first choice is a sure thing.  The problem, though, is that sometimes the first choice turns down the position, has a life change before their start date and rescinds their acceptance, or turns out not to be a good hire and the client quickly wants to replace them.  But because the runner-ups were treated poorly, none are willing to come back in the process, the client is left with zero options, and the lengthy recruitment process must be restarted from square one.

Instead of falling victim to this pattern, we recommend keeping an open line of communication with all finalist candidates until someone signs an employment contract, and making sure that all rejections are issued in a timely manner with appreciation for the candidate’s interest and respectful feedback on why they weren’t selected.  Whether this communication happens through us - Creative Healthcare Solutions - or comes directly from the practice, it’s essential to keep candidates in the loop and show them that their interest and time are appreciated.  

Communication and professionalism go a long way in keeping candidates engaged and willing to reconsider a position after being turned down.  If your first choice candidate does say “no”, it’ll be much easier to go back to the runner-up if you ended things in a respectful, positive manner.

So remember - keep your options open, don’t count your chickens before they’ve hatched, don’t burn any bridges, and abide by all old-timey sayings.

Top 5 "Doctor Villains"

It’s Halloween tomorrow (YAY!) and we thought it would be fun to put together a “Top 5 Pop Culture Doctor Villains” list (in no particular order).  If you think we got it wrong, drop us a line at and we’ll give an honorable mention to your pick in next month’s newsletter.  

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Dr. Eggman (also referred to by his full name, Dr. Ivo Robotnik) debuted in the 1991 Mega Drive/Genesis platform game Sonic the Hedgehog.  Dr. Eggman is a rotund mad scientist who plans to conquer the world in order to build his own Eggman Empire.  He has appeared in almost every Sonic the Hedgehog video game since 1991 and is also a prominent character in other media, including comics, novels, an animated TV series, and an original video animation.


Dr. Hannibal Lecter was introduced in the 1981 thriller novel Red Dragon as a forensic psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer.  Lecter does not fit any known psychological profile.  He has no conscience and tortured animals as a child, but does not exhibit any of the other criteria traditionally associated with psychopathy; psychiatrists refer to Lecter as a sociopath because they don't know what else to call him. Dr. Lecter is intellectually brilliant, cultured, and sophisticated, with refined tastes in art, music, and cuisine.  He is well-educated in anatomy, chemistry, and physics, and also speaks several languages, including Italian, German, Russian, Polish, French, Spanish, and, to some extent, Japanese.  He is deeply offended by rudeness and frequently kills people who have bad manners.

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Dr. Octopus (Otto Octavius) is a highly intelligent mad scientist and typically portrayed as a stocky, myopic man who utilizes four powerful, mechanical appendages and is obsessed with proving his own genius and destroying the superhero Spider-Man.  Otto became a brilliant and respected nuclear physicist, atomic research consultant, inventor, and lecturer. He designed a set of highly advanced mechanical arms controlled via a brain-computer interface to assist him with his research into atomic physics.  During an accidental radiation leak that ended in an explosion, the apparatus became fused to Otto Octavius' body. It was later revealed that the radiation (or possibly his own latent mutation) had mutated his brain so that he could control the movement of the arms with his thoughts alone.  Though Dr. Octopus himself is portly, in poor physical shape, and near-sighted, with his harness attached, he is physically more than a match for Spider-Man.

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Dr. Evil is Austin Powers' nemesis and routinely hatches schemes to terrorize and take over the world.  He is typically accompanied by Number Two: an eye-patch wearing goon who fronts his evil corporation (Virtucon Industries), his cat Mr. Bigglesworth, and his sidekick Mini-Me, a dwarf clone of himself.  He is an internationally-known criminal genius cryogenically frozen in 1967 and reawakened in 1997.  He went to evil medical school at age 18 and also attended the British Intelligence Academy with Austin and is angered that Austin won the "International Man of Mystery" award while he, the academy's best student, was overlooked.

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Orin Scrivello, DDS, is portrayed from the start as a troubled man who is likely insane, yet has managed to become a successful dentist.  He takes delight in his job, where he is free to abuse staff and customers alike without care.  "I am your dentist! And I enjoy the career that I picked. I'm your dentist! And I get off on the pain I inflict!" - Orin Scrivello, DDS

Well, there you have it!  Our top 5 picks for “doctor villains”.  Remember to have a fun and safe Halloween tomorrow!

Recruiting And Retention Trends For 2018

The healthcare landscape is constantly changing and if you’ve been recruiting the same way for a while now, or haven’t updated your compensation and benefits offering, chances are you’re missing out on some really great candidates.

Here are a few of the trends we see for recruiting and retention in 2018:


Employer Provided Healthcare Plans

Speaking of changing landscapes, the state of healthcare coverage in the US is changing at lightspeed.  With the ever-growing complexity, uncertainty, and hassle of getting their own insurance, employees are valuing an employer-offered health insurance plan more than they ever have before.  

Work/Life Balance

Employees are placing more of an emphasis on work/life balance.  Studies have shown that more manageable hours at work also tend to be more productive.  Asking an employee to put in 60 hours a week doesn’t make sense when it leaves them tired, in a negative mood, and wanting to find a job elsewhere.  

Paid Time Off

Tying into our previous work/life balance trend, this one seems obvious, but we’ve had multiple clients seeking to bring on a provider without any PTO during the first year.  In a market that is so competitive, offering anything less than 3-4 weeks PTO just means that candidate will get hired by the competition.  PTO shouldn’t be looked at as a luxury, but instead it should be seen as a quality-of-life necessity.  We all need to recharge our batteries, and employees will likely come back to work more energized and happier.

Give Employees More Control

Many companies are using employee portals to allow their employees access to information regarding their PTO, benefits, direct deposit, timesheets, etc.  Using a portal gives employees more control over their job and the benefits that come along with it.

These are just a few things to be thinking about as we head into a new year and try to recruit and retain employees whose priorities are changing all the time.

Spend Less On Recruiting And More On Providers

Wait, a recruiting firm is telling you to spend less on recruiting?  Well, kind of ...  What we really mean is: spend less on placement fees and use that extra budgeted money on provider salaries and other recruitment incentives, in order to make your opportunity stronger than your competitor’s.


Let’s say your practice is growing and you need to hire one new full-time physician provider each quarter.  Being that you’re busy growing your practice, you’ll need to hire a recruiter to find that perfect physician candidate each time.  The downside to using a recruiter is the expensive placement fees - or at least that used to be the downside.  

Historically, contingency recruiters charged a percentage of the new employee’s annual salary, typically 20%, which can vary wildly based on the physician’s specialty; but it’s pretty safe to say that $20k+ would be a common fee.  We think that number’s way too high, so we started our own contingency healthcare recruiting firm where we charge much less than “industry standard”.

We’re very upfront with our fees and they can be seen right here on our website’s services and fees page.  For example, our highest fee is our full-time physician placement fee at $8,500.  If you’ve budgeted for the low-end of the typical physician recruiter placement fee at $20k, that means you would now have $11,500 to put towards making your opportunity look even better.  Why not roll that money into the provider’s salary or offer a sign-on bonus?  Money isn’t everything, but it sure helps when you’re trying to recruit good physicians in a highly competitive healthcare market.

So, before you overpay a recruiting firm because their fees are “the norm”, why not try a more streamlined, cost efficient firm at the same time?  Contingency firms have no exclusivity rights (read your contract, but they shouldn’t), so if you end up paying the lower fee, use that extra money to make your provider opportunity’s compensation package even more attractive.

Contingency vs. Retained Recruiting

Not all recruiting firms are created equal.  One of the biggest differences is whether a firm works on a retained or a contingency business model.

So, what’s the difference between the two?  To put it simply, a retained recruiting firm must be paid to conduct your search whether they find your perfect candidate or not.  A contingency firm is only paid if a client decides to hire a candidate through them.

At Creative Healthcare Solutions, we are technically a contingency recruiting firm.  I say “technically” because two of the three partners behind the company come from a retained search background and wanted to incorporate what they know to be the advantages of that model into the accessibility and affordability of contingency recruitment.  In our firm, we truly believe our clients can have the best of both worlds and we’ve created a new model to provide that.

Many contingency recruiters believe in quantity over quality, but we prefer to do things differently.  Instead of blindly forwarding every resume in which a candidate looks good “on paper”, we take the time to have thoughtful conversations with every qualified applicant, so we can ensure they’re the right fit for the position on a deeper level and that their motivations and professional goals are aligned with our clients.  

We also invest time on the phone with our clients at the onset of every search.  We schedule an onboarding call with the hiring organization, so that we fully understand the opportunity, the company culture, and what makes an ideal employee.  We find that even a short call (that’s respectful to busy schedules) before we start recruiting can save hours later on in the process.  Having all the details and a clear understanding means we can do a better job screening candidates which, in turn, means clients only receive appropriate applications.

And our candidate presentations go beyond what most contingency recruiters provide.  In addition to the candidate’s resume or CV, we include an upfront summary with important information, such as whether they’re seeking full-time or part-time, how many years of experience they have, current licenses, certification status, communication style, etc.  

If you’ve ever struggled to decide between engaging a contingency or retained recruiter, we encourage you to consider using a hybrid of both.  At CHS, we provide retained quality services for the friendly prices and fee schedule of a contingency firm.