Competition for good candidates forces many physician practices to reduce time to partnership today. The typical two-year wait is dangerously short already – that’s not much time to evaluate a new associate as a potential partner. But the market often demands recruiting practices to promise a fast track.
However long a recruit must wait, don’t make partnership automatic – only promise eligibility. Then follow these principles when deciding whether to "promote" your associate:
· Use frequent evaluation and discussions to gauge your new associate’s progress to partner suitability.
· Recognize that clinical skills don’t equal owner/leader skills. Determine if the candidate has qualities like judgment, decision-making skills and trustworthiness.
· Watch for major differences in philosophy.
· Regardless of the length of time to partnership you promise, base the start date on your fiscal year rather than employment anniversary date. That avoids having to produce a mid-year set of books to arrive at buy-in and income amounts.