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Social Media: The Digital Key to Filling Your Physician Vacancy

Jackson Physician Search
August 12, 2021

Successful physician recruitment hinges on digital sourcing. The most effective way to reach potential job candidates and fill your physician vacancy is by connecting with them where they are spending the most time, and these days, that is most likely online. Physicians are no different from the rest of us; they scroll on social media, read articles, and surf the web, too. Developing an effective strategy to engage them in that arena is your key to finding the right candidate.

Finding Passive Candidates is Critical

While most physicians are not actively seeking new employment, many are curious about relevant opportunities and are willing to consider them. Candidates who are employed but still open to discussing a new position are referred to as passive physician candidates. When a physician is not actively seeking new employment, they are sensitive to the process remaining casual, and want to be in control of the outcome. If they are interested, they will seek more information. What they don’t want, however, is to feel pressured.

This is where social media recruiting can help you engage with physicians on their terms and in the online spaces where they are already active. Of course, the single largest pool of physician candidates continues to be those already in practice – and you’ll find over 1 million of them on Doximity. It would be challenging to find a more concentrated pool of physicians who are regularly visiting a website to network, search for clinical content, and peruse job postings.

Recently, Senior Search Consultant Emily Franty placed a Reproductive Endocrinologist in less than 60 days using Doximity DocMail and that search earned the Doximity “Hire of the Quarter.” The fact that Jackson Physician Search is the only physician recruitment firm where every recruiter has a Doximity license is a massive benefit for our clients.

Understanding Physician’s Online Behaviors

Social media is at the intersection of two key physician behaviors:

  1. Physicians are natural networkers. Throughout their many years of training and beyond, physicians continually expand their personal and professional networks. These are individuals they trust and rely on to learn about practice opportunities.
  2. Physicians are digital omnivores. Their hunger for connectivity keeps them constantly using multiple devices: laptops, tablets, smartphones, and even wearables. Technology keeps them connected 24/7, both personally and professionally.

Social networking platforms provide fertile ground for physicians to fully engage in peer-to-peer communication.

Use Your Brand to Gain Physicians’ Attention

Similar to how a consumer product brand generates loyalty and engagement, the same rule applies to healthcare organizations. Who you are as an organization, and what your values and culture represent are all part of your brand and serve as a drawing card to anyone who may consider joining your team. If you have never focused on cultivating a brand, you are missing out on a key factor that entices a physician to want to learn more about your job opportunity. Physicians today are much more likely to join organizations that they perceive as having a similar culture and values to their own.

Your healthcare organization should continually focus on ensuring that your brand is recognizable and highlights your values and culture. Like-minded physicians who are aligned with those values and concepts of managing patient care will gravitate to your message. It is critical to use your brand throughout the recruitment process but remember that it’s more than just a logo and tagline. A brand represents the embodiment of your staff, your values, and the quality of care you provide to your patients.

Once your brand is defined, sell it. Ensure that all staff members are aware of your brand and that they demonstrate it inside and outside of the facility. Consider creating a YouTube channel and post short, visual snippets demonstrating your facility, its brand, and the organizational culture. Video is a great medium to highlight the facility, especially now that virtual physician interviews have become so common.

Employ Physicians as Brand Ambassadors

Never discount the effectiveness of utilizing your staff as brand ambassadors. As mentioned before, physicians have spent their academic lives and careers building and maintaining a personal and professional network. So, when you have physicians who naturally embody your organizational culture, they can be the secret weapon you need to attract passive candidates who would welcome working in that type of environment with someone they trust and admire.

Physicians who are active on social media and other online communities may already be acting as “ambassadors,” albeit unintentionally. Help them be more intentional in their efforts by working with them to craft messaging on behalf of your organization. When they post to their network, you can effectively reach an audience that shares similar values and traits with your ambassadors.

Utilize Social Networking Communities

  1. Doximity – Arguably the best-known site for U.S. physicians and healthcare professionals, Doximity reports that over 80% of physicians in the U.S. and 90% of fourth-year medical school students are already members. Doximity has continually expanded its offerings, and now provides a telehealth portal that is utilized by more than 150 health systems.
  2. LinkedIn – While not dedicated to physicians, LinkedIn is a networking site for
    professionals, including executives, administrators, and others who
    can aid in your search for physicians. Posting your physician opportunities on LinkedIn will allow for added visibility.

Social Recruitment Takeaways

  • Engage with physicians where they are already spending time online.
  • Cultivate your corporate brand to attract candidates who are best suited to thrive in your organization.
  • Your successful physicians can be your best brand ambassadors!
  • There are many physician-centric online communities. Learn which ones are the best fit for your organization by measuring the effectiveness of your engagements with potential candidates.

In case you missed our previous installment about the importance of writing an effective job description, find it here. Coming soon, we will share tips and advice to help you maximize your email recruiting efforts with information about what lists to use, how to develop effective messaging, what data to track, and much more.

Jackson Physician Search can help you shape your digital recruitment and find the right physician candidates. We have the tools, technology, and team of experienced recruitment professionals to source quality candidates, even in the hardest-to-find specialty.

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