If you are a new practice owner, or a first time practice manager, it may be daunting to source your first locum. Whether you need to fill a gap left by a practitioner off sick, or filling an extra consult room to optimise your practice, there are a few different ways to go about finding the right locum for you.
In this article, we’ll assess the four best options to source talent based on -
#1 USE LOCUMS YOU’VE HIRED BEFORE
If you’ve used locums before, contact them to see if they’re available again. This does take time, and you may just end up hearing many “no, I’m sorry, already booked” replies.
HOW TO DO IT
If you’ve used someone to fill a gap, you’ll hopefully have a record of their details. Go through your records and networks and contact them to see if they’re available.
They’ve worked for you before, so you know they can deliver.
● The locum you’ve used before may not be available when you need them.
● You may need to spend a lot of time calling and asking people and still not find the right person.
● The paperwork and admin is your responsibility.
#2 ADVERTISING ONLINE AND OFFLINE
Many medical practitioners advertise their need for a locum via friends, colleagues, WhatsApp groups, Facebook and Gumtree.
HOW TO DO IT
Get in touch with your network in the medical profession and WhatsApp groups to find out if anyone knows of locums looking for work. Place ads on Facebook and Gumtree in the hopes of attracting locums.
● It doesn't need to cost you anything to try to find locums this way.
● Placing a paid ad on Facebook is affordable.
● It takes time to notify channels about your need, but more than anything, it takes a lot of time to respond to queries and vet and check interested locums
● If you advertise but are not clear on the regulations or proficient in the laws of South Africa,the chances of hiring a locum who is not qualified for the job are high. There may also be legal repercussions later down the line
#3 RECRUITMENT COMPANIES
Using a traditional recruitment company to find a locum for you is one of the better methods that takes the control from your hands at a price. It is expensive and the prep work to hand over to the agency can be time consuming.
HOW TO DO IT
It’s easy to find recruitment companies, but it’s not as easy to find the right one.You will need to find a reputable recruitment company that specialises in the medical field and really understands your needs, as this will prevent a lot of issues and make it easier for you to take a locum onboard.
● You as the sourcing practice, don’t have an employment relationship with the Locum; instead the agency takes on that role.
● You save time by not having to source locums yourself.
● If the agency specialises in the medical field, they are likely to have a good amount of locums you can choose from.
●Although an agency does the hard work of finding locums, you as the medical practitioner still need to take ultimate responsibility for selection of the locum, and there is still a lot of work to be done by you in order for this option to work. The only area you save time in is the actual sourcing of the best batch of locums.
● This option is expensive with fees as high as 30% of the locums fees charges as admin fees, and agencies charging locums admin fees as well.
● Contrary to popular belief, using an agency is still time consuming.
● Lack of control unless you provide a very good briefing upfront, which demands a lot of time.
● Recruitment agencies may be good at finding candidates that look good on paper,but that doesn’t mean they will be the right fit for your practice. If you plan to use the locum for a few months, the wrong fit could result in many unnecessary issues.
● Under ethical rules, you may only use a locum for a period of six months tops. This could be a problem when using a recruitment agency and it will likely become very expensive.
LocumBase is the independent online platform that connects medical practices and locums,simplifying the entire process, and which provides simple solutions to your most difficult challenges when searching for the right person to fill a gap.
What is LocumBase?
HOW TO DO IT
Go to the LocumBase website, view verified locums (the LB Community is growing all the time with new Locums signing up daily), book and confirm.
● Based on your needs, the system provides locum matches to save you time.
● All locums are verified using a comprehensive vetting process (HPCSA, SAPC, SANC registration numbers required by all locums) to give you peace of mind.
● There are no risks, as you can initially start up with a free trial.
● After your free trial, simply choose a package that’s right for your needs and fits your frequency of locum bookings.
● All interactions, follow-ups and payments are recorded on the LocumBase system so it’s easy to keep track of everything.
● LocumBase uses an automated invoicing system that simplifies the fee process.
● Email notifications keep you up to date with every detail of your booking.
● If a locum declines a booking request, the offer automatically becomes a Practice Offer where locums can apply directly to the Practice.
● Fees are nominal and monthly so that any medical practitioner can afford it.
● Find high quality matches in minutes.
● You have to sign up with your practice preferences before you can view locum profiles.
If we are to measure all four options based on a) convenience, b) affordability and c)locum
quality, LocumBase is the obvious choice. Sign up at www.locumbase.com and test out the platform