The Recruiting and Hiring Dance

Hunter Frint

When you think about an interview and good first impression one almost always thinks of it from the perspective of the interviewee, in the world of psychiatry it is somewhat the opposite.


The hiring process needs to be primarily looked at from the perspective of the hospitals that are hiring. When it comes to the recruitment dance, first impressions of the hiring hospital are imperative to matching a doctor with a new job.

So, how did it get to where it is more important for the interviewer to woo the potential job candidate? This is explained by the overwhelming need for psychiatric physicians in recent years. There is an undeniable shortage. Tim Leigh, president of Select Practice Opportunity, a firm that recruits only psychiatric physicians from all over the nation, has seen the shortage firsthand.

There are approximately 30,000 practicing psychiatrists in the United States. The average age of those practicing is 57 years old. Residency classes are turning out only 800 to 900 graduates that will practice and according to Leigh there are some 5,000 jobs posted on job boards for psychiatric positions in the United States.

Undercover Recruiter, a website that offers advice to recruiters, opens their page with, “Something that doesn’t get enough attention when thinking about recruitment is that, for the majority of people who attend an interview with your business it will be their only direct interaction with your company.”

Recently at Select Practice Opportunity there was a situation where a physician had two very different experiences with interviewing for a job. The doctor’s first interview was unwelcoming and made them feel uncomfortable. The second was a conversation where both parties were involved and showed high levels of interest in each other. Guess which job the physician took.

Letter from Tim Leigh to hiring hospitals:

Are you tired of the hiring dance?

This morning we heard from a candidate who had interviewed with a job the other day. This experienced candidate was excited about the option this job offered and looked forward to the meeting.

What happened next is what no one wants to hear; she was escorted into a meeting room, no one rose to greet her, everyone dove right into asking pointed questions related to their job. No warm fuzzes, no engagement about what the candidate was looking for, where she saw herself, what she felt like might be the best setting for her skills and experience – Just all about them. Then, “Oh yeah you can have the job if you want it.”

Now contrast that interview with the one for the job she is taking; they were excited to meet her, asked about her work experiences and goals, where she felt she could be used best in a behavioral health setting… Then told their story of which they were the importance of team and building a team of excellence. They made her feel wanted and valued.

The first, to me, is a good example of a group that is tired and bothered with the recruitment dance. As someone says today they had “low energy” and were just slogging through a meeting and oh yeah you can have the job if you want it!

Mommy always said first impressions were important. So the first time we speak with someone by phone, the first time we meet them face-to-face and how we leave a conversation can often lead to a successful recruitment and on-boarding or to complete failure.

We encourage you to look at your process and your energy level for the process; this can be very frustrating for everyone involved but the building of team and finding the right people make all the difference in success for the organization and most importantly outcomes for the patients. We can help, that’s all we do every day!


Tim Leigh

Leave a Reply