As I discussed in last week’s column, let’s begin with the notion that most radiology gigs aren’t all that much different from one another in terms of compensation. Yes, you can hunt around in search of a few percentile points’ difference, and there are of course some outliers. Being ahead of the curve will certainly do a group no harm when it comes to attracting more/better applicants.
Comp aside, attracting and retaining folks you want to be in your group—or guild, since I’m also still talking about that cellphone-based game I mentioned last week—is going to depend a lot on factors less easily listed on a spreadsheet. The guild/group is going to have something of a personality. A culture, if you like.
Attracting the Right People
It isn’t just a matter of making folks want to join and stay with you. At least, it shouldn’t be. You’re going to want to make sure the right people are doing so. Letting the wrong ones in will be bad news for a number of reasons, which I have addressed in some of my columns in the past and thus won’t be revisited here. Suffice to say, the fit can be wrong from either side of the table.
Thus, it’s probably not to your long-term advantage to convince someone to join under false pretenses—and that means fooling yourself as well as the would-be newbie. Once one party or the other realizes that the fit isn’t so good, it’s going to be a countdown until a parting of the ways, at which point you’re back to square one and trying to recruit someone else. And, during that countdown, things are liable to be less than harmonious.
Which isn’t to say you should sell yourself short. By all means, you want to put yourself in the best possible light. So, when I have a vacancy in my guild (a rarity—which tells me I’m doing something right since our capacity is 50 members), I point out our strengths in a nice, succinct, bullet-point fashion. A few meaningful stats, things we’ve accomplished lately, and a word or three about the culture we maintain amongst ourselves.
The Wrong Way to Get Attention
What I don’t do is fudge numbers, suggest we’re doing things that we haven’t actually yet but hope to do someday, or entirely avoid subjects of interest. If a prospective member, rightly or wrongly, is convinced that he or she deserves to join a group with better stats or other factors other than what we offer, the last thing I want is for him or her to join us and immediately be dissatisfied. Even if I think he or she would be a real “get” for my group.
How/where do I hype our outfit? I “go where the money is,” as the saying goes. It’s the Information Age, after all. A little effort will turn up the right online forums. But if you just post in one or two spots and ignore the others, make a listing and never update it, or God forbid shirk all involvement and throw money at some random recruiter to do it for you—well, let’s just say less than 100% of seekers out there will ever be aware of your existence.