SI Review: June 2011

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Center Stage

Experience Counts

Keeping longtime recruiters engaged with clients works for The Medicus Firm

This month’s Center Stage features The Medicus Firm, which has around 65 employees between its Atlanta and Dallas offices. The company has appeared on lists of “Best Places to Work in Texas” for three consecutive years and has appeared on the Best of Staffing 2011 Client list published by the Inavero Institute, based on net promoter score from clients. We interviewed Jim Stone, president of The Medicus Firm.

Q: Can you briefly describe what The Medicus Firm does?

A: We partner with hospitals and physician groups across the United States to help them recruit physicians and premium mid-levels, nurse practitioners, PAs, CRNAs.

Q: What helps set The Medicus Firm apart from other staffing firms?

A: One is the experience of our recruiters. Our average physician recruiter has more than nine years’ worth of experience recruiting doctors. We feel that experience enables them the opportunity to provide consultation at the commencement of the search that makes the difference for our clients. So it’s being able to share with clients what we’ve seen over our years and years and years of physician recruiting experience to help them turn the corner on the difficult searches.

Another differentiator is that we have our most experienced personnel actually executing on behalf of our clients. A lot of companies have this hierarchy where recruiters move up and slowly lose touch with direct client interaction. We have tried to flip that upside down and make sure our most experienced people are the ones most directly influencing the success of our clients. So that’s been a big change.

The depth of partnership that we strive for with our clients is definitely something that’s unique. We have our recruiters partnered with fewer clients than what you typically see in our space. We want to have them working on more searches for fewer clients.

Lastly, our recruiters also work in defined regions which promotes greater success and greater accountability from the recruiter to the hospital or that region because they know their success, long-term is going to be directly influenced by how they perform.

Q: What helped you become a “Best Place to Work in Texas?”

A: It starts with hiring. We’re extremely mindful of our culture and we work hard to make sure that all of our hires understand and are prepared to add to our culture not to undermine it. We’ve had a lot of very experienced, very talented recruiters who we’ve interviewed and passed on over the years because we didn’t feel like they were going to fit within the culture.

Q: What do you do in terms of innovation?

A: Most firms in our space still rely pretty heavily on direct mail and job boards as their sole sources of candidate sourcing, and these are obviously components of what we do. But [our] personalized electronic mail and proprietary database generate huge success — as does old-fashioned cold calling.

We’re also very aggressive with the final year physician residents and fellows. As an example, right now we’re knee deep in the 2012 graduating class and it’s early 2011. They won’t be getting out until summer of 2012, but we’re already on them.

As far as the Inavero award, I think that goes back to our initial mission when we started the company, which is not very MBA-ish, but we felt like if we did a good job of taking care of our clients and treating them right — and we did a good job of taking good care of the people who worked here — that the growth would come. As a result, for our first eight years in this business we never set any annual goals and yet the growth kept coming.

Q: What are The Medicus Firm’s future plans?

A: We feel like we’re in a very fortunate position right now in that we’ve emerged from a fairly soft market relatively unscathed.

Just as we were doing our merger in June of ’09 [Medicus formed from the merging in 2009 of Medicus Partners LP, of Dallas, and The MD Firm Inc., of Atlanta] we saw the market really start to soften in August of ’09 … and it’s just now starting to turn. The good news is that we still have the same experienced staff that we had going into the soft spot, so I think that really bodes well for the future.

Our objective in the short term is to continue to grow the company, to continue to do a good job on behalf of the clients who have engaged us and to see where that takes us. We have a goal to double our revenue in the next 5 years and we are confident that can be done.

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