MGMA Survey: In-house Recruiters Need Six Months to Recruit Primary Care Docs

John Commins, April 21, 2010

In-house physician recruiters need 180 days to fill positions for internal medicine or family practice physicians, according to the Medical Group Management Association's new In-House Recruitment Benchmarking Survey: 2010 Report Based on 2008 Data.

In addition, most specialties reported a drop in the cost and resources associated with filling these positions, which MGMA attributes to the economic downturn and a 30% increase in the use of Internet job boards as a primary recruiting tool.

MGMA and the Association of Staff Physician Recruiters produced the survey for the second year.

"The 2010 report shows in-house professionals were able to control cost and be effective, realizing a slight increase in the overall percentage of positions filled," said Shelley Tudor, co-chair of the ASPR Benchmarking Committee. "However, ASPR professionals are careful to point out that while days to fill a position may be lower, the survey does not capture the number of positions that go unfilled each year. Additionally, the days to fill a position in non-metropolitan areas (where the impact of the primary care shortage is greatest) are higher than those found in large population centers."

The MGMA survey focused on cost, duration, location, and frequency of physician searches, and physician turnover as reported by "in-house" physician recruiters.

In 2008, physician recruitment directors posted a nearly 6% increase in compensation; recruitment managers experienced close to 10% salary increases and those with a "physician recruiter" title reported a 1% salary increase.

Coupled with a nearly 10% increase in active searches, MGMA found that more than half of the survey respondents employed one or fewer in-house recruiters while 32% employed two or three recruiters.

The survey shows searches per full-time equivalent recruiter ranged from five to 15 per year depending on the size of the organization's metro area. Seven states had the most active searches: Wisconsin (11.2%), Minnesota (8.7%), Washington (8.4%), Pennsylvania (7.7%), Michigan (6.3%), North Carolina (6.2%), and Arizona (5%).

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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