MGMA: Physician recruiters are filling vacancies more quickly, efficiently

Recruiters took 180 days to fill positions for internal medicine and family practice physicians in 2008, according to the Medical Group Management Association.

The MGMA’s report, “In-House Recruitment Benchmarking Survey: 2010 Report Based on 2008 Data,” showed that most specialties reported a decline in the cost and number of resources associated with filling these positions. Survey analysts have attributed this to the economic downturn and an increase (30 percent, according to this year’s report) in the use of Internet job boards as a primary recruitment method.

The MGMA collaborated with the Association of Staff Physician Recruiters on the survey.

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“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-chairman of the ASPR Benchmarking Committee. “However, ASPR is 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.”

The survey also showed that 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, she said.

The survey focused on cost, duration, location and frequency of physician searches, as well as physician turnover as reported by internal, or in-house, physician recruiters. The MGMA also reported on career trends for the recruiters.

Coupled with a reported 10 percent increase in active searches, MGMA researchers found that more than half of responding organizations employed one or fewer in-house recruiters, while 32 percent employed two to three. Thie survey also shows that searches per full-time equivalent (FTE) recruiter ranged from five to 15 per year, depending on the size of the organization’s metropolitan area.

Seven states comprised the most active search locales: Wisconsin (11.22 percent), Minnesota (8.69 percent), Washington (8.40 percent), Pennsylvania (7.73 percent), Michigan (6.34 percent), North Carolina (6.26 percent) and Arizona (5.13 percent).