Compensation and Housing Crisis Befalls Pediatrics Leadership Initiatives
Last week I had the honor of presenting with colleagues from Memorial Sloan- Kettering at the AAAP Regional Meeting in Philadelphia. We were focused on broader recruiting and retention strategies, however, it did not take long for the questions and conversations to zero in on the departmental challenges of meeting compensation and housing requests of current staff and physician leadership candidates. I thought it might be helpful to recap the conversation and invite you into a forward-looking conversation about the crisis. I assure you it is REAL. The large number of pediatric physician leaders set to retire with no succession plan, a Generation Y that is reluctant to lead, and trainee shortages will ensure that this crisis will remain with us for some time. So, what are your competitors doing?
1. Pediatric sections with longer-term stability are typically lagging behind the national compensation realities. Delays in correction will only expand the gaps and will likely cost you faculty. Institutions who have experienced greater turnover have been forced to address gaps in compensation and benefits at a much earlier date.
2. Institutional name and reputation in this economy are no longer able to offset a loss in W-2 compensation and benefits.
3. Creativity required. Let's say your offer is X and a candidate is asking for X plus $50,000. For the right leader, consider a three-year escalation period to X plus 50 versus hiding behind the surveys. This will minimize initial fiscal risk and it is a softer approach for dealing with internal compensation disparities. You have to ask yourself the tough question: What does another year or two without that leader look like?
4. Accept reality of market trends and improve compensation within your existing critical hire sections. Otherwise, you are at great risk of losing great talent.
5. Reduce candidate risk perceptions by offering guaranteed productivity bonuses for an initial period of time.
Current Housing Solutions (You must ask about and minimize housing as a concern EARLY!):
1. 6-12 month of furnished living space to allow existing home to remain on the market longer and avoid forced double mortgage.
2. Signing bonuses of $50,000 - $300,000 with 3 to 5-year forgiveness provision to offset expected real estate losses.
3. University or hospital legal involvement in the down payment portion of a candidate's home loan. The client would pay the interest on that portion of the loan and the loan would immediately become due and payable by the candidate should they choose to leave before payment of note is completed.
Many more creative solutions are at play, though the above practices seem to resonate with the members presently. We realize these are tough times for Departments of Pediatrics and their subspecialists, though I am hopeful that the market corrections currently taking place will play a key role in encouraging future medical school students and residents to choose a career pathway in pediatric surgical and subspecialty medicine.
If you are interested in spending some time discussing your organizations current recruiting and retention strategies, please call. We would be happy to come see you.
Pediatric Leadership Specialists
I encourage you to contact us for assistance with your internal recruitment strategies and leadership needs, we'd be happy to help.