How Much is That Unfilled Search Costing Your Organization?

Throughout 2020, the national unemployment rate has hovered anywhere from 10.3 percent to 14.7 percent - the highest average and largest increase in US history since January 1948, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Despite the pandemic and soaring unemployment, healthcare and academic institutions have remained largely operational and continue to hire throughout the year, especially for "mission critical" searches - e.g. the clinical and leadership roles which are absolutely necessary to keep the organization running effectively.

If in this current market, you have a position that has remained open for any length of time, something may be inherently wrong with the search or the recruitment process that is preventing you from filling the role.

The good news is, there are solutions. The first step is to identify where and how the search has stalled. Your leadership team, along with your HR/internal recruiting team may be able to identify and address the search issues with a comprehensive audit of the open position and recruitment process. If the search continues to remain unfilled after an internal assessment, it may help to engage a professional recruiting consultant to help you troubleshoot your unfilled search.

There are several issues which often prevent a healthcare executive or physician leadership search from being filled, and in a market such as 2020, it's likely not because there aren't any qualified candidates.

  • Expectations / qualifications too high or unrealistic - this fix could be as simple as reviewing, updating and rewriting the job description to be clearer and more applicable to the current leadership duties needed. Or, there may need to be a more intensive job audit or staffing analysis conducted.
  • Search and/or interview processes are broken – this could be due to the recruitment process not being clearly defined, or perhaps the selection committee wasn’t well prepared or informed prior to starting recruitment. Particularly in our current virtual environment, it is critical to train, re-train, and over communicate with each stakeholder on expectations for interviews whether virtual or in-person.
  • Compensation is out-of-line with expectations or candidate qualifications - 2020 has brought many compensation challenges within organizations. However, if your open position is truly mission critical, compensation must still be market competitive. The solution includes both comparing compensation to market data and advocating internally to gain support for funding the position.This may require reviewing the job duties and job description to ensure the position needs support the proforma for the position.

Each day that goes by with your position unfilled costs your organization revenue potential and growth opportunities.  Open positions can also negatively impact current employee morale, as most often they are carrying the work in addition to their own during vacancies.

Therefore, by “not paying a fee” for a professional recruiting consultant, organizations actually pay much more in lost revenue and lagging growth over the course of the months during the search. Additionally, during the search, much of your internal resources and employees’ time are being spent on recruiting activities or on filling in for the missing role, instead of leading the company with their own roles and responsibilities.

If there is a search in your organization that has remained open for longer than three or four months, pause to assess the situation. Additionally, partnering with an experienced, industry-specific recruiting consultant at this critical point can provide value and save your organization a great deal of time and money long term.

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