Physician recruitment and candidate sourcing have experienced a great transformation over the last decade. It used to be that paper-based direct mail campaigns were thought to be the most effective way to reach a large pool of physician candidates. Today, we have better tools available.
1. Cultivate a Digital Physician Sourcing Strategy
The most effective and efficient way to recruit physicians is through a comprehensive digital recruitment strategy. Whether you are hoping to jump-start your internal recruiting process or outsource with a search partner, the key to successful physician recruitment is ditching the paper and going digital.
Like the rest of us, physicians are digital carnivores who utilize their smartphones for everything from ordering dinner to managing their schedule and even fielding job offers. In fact, according to a National Institutes of Health report, 94% of doctors use their smartphones for work-related activities. An effective digital recruitment strategy reaches more candidates while targeting those that are best suited for your vacancy.
Let’s take a closer look at ways you can achieve greater success in sourcing physician candidates.
2. Cast a Wide Net
The first way to set your physician search up for success is to cast a wide net, while ensuring your outreach is targeted to a specific type of candidate. This “best of both worlds” approach allows you to reach the largest possible candidate pool yet only attract those who fit your organizational culture and have the experience, skills, and potential to succeed in the position.
The reality of physician recruitment is that only 11% of today’s physicians are actively seeking a new position. Sometimes, you can find your ideal candidate in this small pool. But most often, you’ll find the best candidates are those who aren’t actively looking for a new physician job. When you consider that 76% of physicians are passively or casually exploring new opportunities, knowing how to reach them significantly increases your chances of success. The key is to inspire intrigue in this larger group of passive job candidates.
3. Find Passive Physician Candidates
A significant number of physicians are actively using social media. Like you and I, doctors use networking sites to stay connected to things they are interested in and also as a source of information. This allows us to reach them across multiple platforms and to capture their attention in ways like never before.
Another key to a successful physician search is never relying too heavily on one sourcing methodology over another. Different outreach methods apply to different physicians, so it is vital to utilize a variety of approaches. These range from traditional and non-traditional job boards, well-crafted email targeting, social media interactions, Doximity, and other web-based tools.
A new and effective method of reaching candidates is through mass text messaging. A smart text campaign can quickly engage physician candidates and allow them to respond if interested. Text messaging is increasingly popular for reaching a large number of candidates and also as a tool for growing your candidate pipeline.
4 Key Takeaways for Physician Sourcing Methodologies:
- A digital strategy is far more effective than direct mail.
- Assemble the tools to reach candidates online.
- Don’t rely too heavily on one physician recruitment method. Variety wins.
- Add mass text to your repertoire and create effective text campaigns.
4. Don’t Underestimate the Importance of a Physician Job Description
How often are you scrolling through one of your favorite social media sites and not really paying attention? But then something catches your eye, and you “click” on it. The same logic applies when you are creating a job description. Remember, 76% of the physician candidate pool is only passively looking for new opportunities. You have to give passive candidates a reason to click on your outreach.
Ideally, you already know what type of physician is going to be successful in your organization. Studies show that physicians are placing more emphasis on finding a workplace aligned with their values and one that is a cultural fit. Your job description should be tailored to appeal to candidates who are already aligned with your corporate mission and values.
In a digital recruiting world, there aren’t a lot of chances to “stop the scroll,” so you have to make your message count every time. A guaranteed recipe for ineffectiveness is to use stale, corporate job descriptions that haven’t been updated. Let’s take a deeper dive into elements of the job description for maximum effectiveness.
Every physician job description has a job title, but that doesn’t mean it is effective. There are three critical pieces of information that can be included in a job title: physician specialty, location, and a brief selling point which is often compensation. When you are recruiting for a Cardiologist opening in Montana, the title should indicate the specialty, so you aren’t wasting a GI doctor’s time. But, you also want to include a hook. Your hook is the key to generating a click-through for more information. It can be schedule flexibility, leadership potential, compensation, or any other factor that can make this opportunity rise above the noise.
The body of your message must strike a balance between creating an engaging overview of the position, while also including the keywords that will drive search traffic. Strategically using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) means you are using words in the body of your job description that are relevant to things that your candidate would be searching online. As SEO has evolved, it is no longer as beneficial to repetitively use specific words as often as possible. The algorithms being utilized have evolved, placing more importance on similar words, concepts, and themes to enhance search performance. Start out by writing your job description without thinking about the relevant keywords. Then, research keywords that apply to your position and add them to the physician job description.
Leave Them Wanting More
Physician job descriptions should always include enough details to answer the most prevalent questions. But you don’t want to sacrifice intrigue. The physician job description is the first and best opportunity for a winning impression. The key is to blend essential details about the job with information that sells the organizational culture. Include things that describe the type of physician who will be successful in the position. Those are the candidates you want to reach, and you can speak to them through the job description. It is an intricate dance to include enough information to answer important questions, while leaving your candidate wanting more. As in the ballroom, this takes practice before you begin to see results.
Sell, Sell, Sell
The physician recruitment arena is more competitive than ever, meaning your position has to be appealing on several fronts. We have already alluded to culture and fit being more important for today’s physicians. The truth of the matter is that culture and fit should be just as important to you. After all, when you hire for fit, you are also hiring with long-term in mind. Keeping your physicians engaged leads to improved retention and fewer vacancies. Those are the attributes you should be selling through your job description. Sell the things that make your organization an attractive place to work. Do you have strong physician leadership or provide opportunities for research or telehealth scheduling?
Highlight things that make the community special. After all, you are recruiting the family as much as you are the doctor. Sell the local school system or proximity to the theater district downtown. Whatever it is that sets your area apart can be your hook. As you find more ways to help the candidate envision their work/life possibilities, you will see more responses from the right candidates.
Make it Easy to Respond
You have put in all the work to create a smart, engaging, physician job post and candidates are clicking through to learn more. Great, but you can just as quickly lose them by making it too cumbersome for them to get more information. As you know, physicians are extremely busy and often times impatient. Don’t force them into a time-consuming data collection exercise if they show interest in your vacancy. Ideally, you want to make it as simple as possible for them to learn more. Also, it pays to remember that most physicians are viewing your job ad on their phone, so long forms are often ineffective.
The only information you really need at this point is the best way to contact them, and the best time to reach them. You should also be sure to include the best number and email address for the lead physician recruiter. Give them the option to reach out at a time that is most convenient for them.
7 Key Elements of a Winning Physician Job Description:
- Throw out all of your old job descriptions and make them fresh.
- Use your job description to target specific physician qualities.
- The job title should include specialty, location, and have a hook.
- Use SEO to increase search traffic.
- Give them a reason to come to you for more information.
- Sell more than just the job.
- Keep it simple.
We have started laying the foundation for effective digital recruitment by outlining how to use the physician job description to target the right candidates. In our next installment, we will help you make the most of your social media outreach. This includes how to use social media to recruit physicians, highlighting your brand, and other strategies to increase the likelihood for physician recruitment success.
Contact Jackson Physician Search and learn more about how we have taken digital recruitment to the next level. Our team of experienced physician recruiters can support your search with the digital tools and technology that will allow you to find the right candidates for any specialty.