“I am in discussions with my CFO and CEO about finding ways to implement some of these insightful recruitment strategies since our conversation last month. What additional strategies do you have for me?” Laura, the CMO, once again, posed this question, half-jokingly, referring to the five key strategies described to her and presented in a previous article (see Successful Recruitment: 5 Key Strategies). In that article, I explained to Laura the following five key strategies for successful recruitment:
Establish a supportive community at your agency
Address staff burnout
Make training available for your staff
Provide opportunity for growth
In this current article, I am going to describe five additional key strategies for successful recruitment.
1. Help inspire
As Medical Director, one of my main investments is not just in recruiting, rather in recruiting the right staff. One distinguished and brilliant physician, whom I know well, and who comes to me with the highest recommendations, initially turned down my offer despite my efforts, working with my CFO to help accommodate all his requests. Two months later, I was in DC, presenting at a national conference, on how to best care for the justice-involved individuals with mental illness. The same physician was in attendance, and after my talk, he approached me and stated, “That was inspiring. I am reconsidering and I would like to accept your offer to work with you and take the opportunity to learn forensic psychiatry.” A few weeks later, a successful recruitment took place that was catalyzed by inspiration. There are several ways we can help inspire potential staff and recruit them to our agencies. It can also start by first inspiring our current staff and using the five strategies I described in a previous article (see Successful Recruitment: 5 Key Strategies).
2. Promote excellence
“Who likes to work in a second-class agency? And who would not love to work for a reputable one,” asked Sabine, in a rhetorical tone. The promotion of excellence is a key strategy to recruitment, and we do not need to be Harvard or to have a billion-dollar endowment for us to us make this investment. As Aristotle once said, “With regard to excellence, it is not enough to know, but we must try to have and use it.”
Promoting excellence will require leadership, not just management; coaching, not just administration, and mentorship, not just supervision. It also requires space to reflect and be introspective and one that fosters courage in staff, to be able to say, “I made a mistake” and articulate a plan to do things better next time. Once we create such an environment that promotes excellence, our success rate in recruitment will increase exponentially because “word of mouth” is one of the most powerful marketing tools, though often underutilized.
3. Help keep the end in mind
Once “in the trenches,” it may become easy to lose focus, to forget the big picture, and to lose a sense of purpose. Helping to keep the end in mind can help prevent all of this. Many employees still apply or accept working at an agency because of its vision or mission, and it is our responsibility as leaders to always help keep the end—the vision and mission—alive for them. The promotion of our vision and mission could also be emphasized in a more tactful way in our job postings, during our recruitment efforts, and during onboarding processes. As the behavioral psychologist, Daniel Coleman explained in his book, Thinking Fast and Slow, “We make decisions and we attempt to justify them later.”
4. Stand out
This may mean standing for a cause, taking a public stance, becoming a pioneer, or specialized in something. Some form of innovation is key, and more importantly, it needs to be something you and the rest of your executive team truly believe in and would wake up in the morning to do with the same level of passion, even if you were not being paid to do it. Special interests in justice-involved individuals with mental illness, adolescent addiction, justice-involved adolescents with mental illness, and integrated care for justice-involved individuals with mental illness are some examples of ways you can easily chose to stand out. While the easy thing to do is to be a “Jack of all trades, master of none,” your recruitment strategies will be more successful by ensuring that your agency stands out, which will invite to join those who believe in the same cause or who have the similar interests.
5. Get involved in your community
“All politics are local,” is more than just a slogan, it is a reality. Being involved in your community speaks to your agency’s commitment and the way you live out your mission and vision, and it is a sure way to promote inspiration. As your agency becomes involved in your community, remember to make it public. If no one hears about it, it did not happen. Get involved in your community, because it is part of what you stand for. Why not make it public, let others know about it, so those who also share your vision can also join hands with you?
“I am in discussion with my CFO and CEO about finding ways to implement some of these insightful recruitment strategies since our conversation last month. What additional strategies do you have for me?” Laura, the CMO, once again, posed this question, half-jokingly, referring to the five key strategies previously described to her.
Laura has already taken steps to start implementing some of these strategies. What about you? When would you like to start implementing at least one of these ten key strategies? Contact us and let us know how we can help.
For more in this series of articles, check below!
Dr. Sidor is quadruple board certified in psychiatry, with board certification in General adult, Child and adolescent, Addiction, and Forensic, psychiatry. He also has additional training in public psychiatry, in several treatment modalities, in addition to his teaching, supervision, mentorship, coaching, and management, experience. Some of his passions are public speaking, leadership, entrepreneurship, and research, in addition to program development and project management. His overall goal is to empower all health care professionals throughout the United States and globally, towards ensuring the continuity of excellent patient care, while balancing the need to take care of themselves. Dr. Sidor is the main instructor for the SWEET Institute, and he is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University. He is also the past-Medical Director for CASES (Center for Alternative Sentencing and employment Services), and he speaks and writes fluently in six (4) languages—French, English, Spanish, Creole, and has intermediate proficiency in Portuguese and Italian.
Marc-Francois Smitz, Sophie Witter, Christophe Lemiere, Patrick Hoang-Vu Eozenou, Tomas Lievens, Rashid U. Zaman, Kay Engelhardt, Xiaohui Hou, Jerson Laks, Understanding Health Workers’ Job Preferences to Improve Rural Retention in Timor-Leste: Findings from a Discrete Choice Experiment, PLOS ONE, 2016, 11, 11, e0165940.
Maria Gardiner, Hugh Kearns, Marika Tiggemann, Effectiveness of cognitive behavioural coaching in improving the well-being and retention of rural general practitioners, Australian Journal of Rural Health, 2013, 21, 3, 183.
Anthony Scott, Julia Witt, John Humphreys, Catherine Joyce, Guyonne Kalb, Sung-Hee Jeon, Matthew McGrail, Getting doctors into the bush: General Practitioners' preferences for rural location, Social Science & Medicine, 2013, 96, 33.
Mylene Lagarde, Duane Blaauw, John Cairns, Cost-effectiveness analysis of human resources policy interventions to address the shortage of nurses in rural South Africa, Social Science & Medicine, 2012, 75, 5, 801.
Solomon P, Salvatori P, Berry S. Perceptions of important retention and recruitment factors by therapists in northwestern Ontario. J Rural Health. 2001;17:278-285.