Stephanie Hutchens, Physician Recruiter at Valley Health Plan and President of the Mid-Atlantic Physician Recruiter Alliance, shares her insight on industry challenges, advertising open positions, and why she is thankful to be a part of this industry.
Where are you currently employed?
I am employed with Valley Health Plan, the local PHO for Sentara RMH Medical Center in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
How long have you been a physician recruiter?
I have been recruiting since 2005.
Which specialties do you feel are the hardest to fill?
Currently, anything in primary care is a challenge. I would then choose Dermatology, Psychiatry and Gastroenterology to round out the top four.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
I think the most challenging thing about recruitment is getting everyone on the same page. The industry joke is it’s like herding cats. Specifically, one of my biggest pet peeves (no pun intended) is when inconsistent messages are relayed during the on-site interview process. I work extra hard with certain groups to make sure this doesn’t happen.
What do you feel is the most effective way to advertise a new position?
I believe you need to develop a strong recruitment strategy that is specialty specific to the opportunity and consider a combination of sources to order to be competitive in the market.
Online advertising seems to be one of the most effective way to post a position, however to really target and reach a captive audience, you must consider adding branding tactics and other media sources (both in print and in person) to enhance your marketing and outreach efforts.
What is your favorite part of being a physician recruiter?
It’s hard to name just one thing that I enjoy about being a recruiter. I am often told how “lucky” I am to have a job that I love. I’ve grown very fond of this industry and am passionate about the people I get to interact with as well as learn from.
I enjoy matching providers with an opportunity and making a difference in our medical community. My focus lately is more on strategic planning, new business development and provider engagement which excites me.
It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t give credit to having such an amazing mentor and boss. The people that go to bat for you in this industry is undeniably invaluable. I would also like to credit our national association ASPR (Association of Staff Physician Recruiters) for their role in supporting and enhancing our careers. And finally, I don’t think I would be where I am today if it wasn’t for my peers in our regional association, MAPRA (Mid-Atlantic Physician Recruiter Alliance). The dedication, support, networking and collaboration among this group far exceeds anything I could have imagined. As we enter our 10th year as a membership organization, I am proud and honored to serve as their President.