Today’s physician recruitment environment is incredibly competitive. This is caused by many factors including increased demand due to an aging population and the pending retirement of up to 30% of our active doctors.
It is important for healthcare administrators to develop and maintain a successful physician recruitment plan. Make sure you are familiar with the top ten components that every successful physician recruitment plan should contain.
Develop and Promote Your Brand
How your organization is perceived by those on the outside is what constitutes your brand. It starts with a clear, concise organizational vision and the values that drive the decisions that are made. An important factor in recruiting physicians to your organization is how much they relate to your values and workplace culture. Your brand messaging is their first exposure to that culture.
Don’t Neglect Your Corporate Website
Once you understand the importance of brand management, ensuring that your website supports that brand is a logical next step. Having a website that looks professional, is easy to use, and allows candidates to navigate your open positions and even apply online is critical. Also, either through internal IT sources or a corporate partner, being able to understand web traffic data and analytics allows you to determine the effectiveness of your web presence and ways to improve it.
Cultivate Your Best Recruitment Team
We’ve already addressed how important your brand is to physician candidates, it is equally important to ensure that the individuals who are part of the recruitment process embody the values and cultures of your entire organization. Never underestimate the value of brand ambassadors and the connection they can make with a candidate.
Recruit Passive Candidates
If you limit your candidate pool to just candidates who are actively looking for a position, you are missing out on a much larger group of potential physician hires. Passive candidates are described as currently working, but are casually keeping their eyes open for new or better opportunities. These candidates can be reached by utilizing digital recruitment strategies found here.
Utilize the Power of Social Media
In today’s connected world, one of your best recruitment tools is an effective social media strategy. Effective utilization of social media is an extension of your brand strategy. Specific social media platforms, like Doximity and LinkedIn, can be leveraged to reach both active and passive candidates.
Maximize Email Marketing
One of the most efficient components of your recruitment plan is your email marketing strategy. In addition to a professional appearance and quality content, you want the information presented to be of interest to your audience. Additionally, utilizing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform gives you access to improved data and tracking resources that can be utilized to improve results.
Hire for Fit
Physician burnout is occurring at higher rates than ever before and is a contributor to increased turnover rates and the overall physician shortage. In a LinkedIn survey, 70% of respondents said they wouldn’t work at an organization with bad workplace culture. Physicians want to work in an environment that embodies and is aligned with their values. Understanding the type of physician that can be successful within your organizational culture allows you to recruit and ultimately hire physicians who fit.
Create Memorable Site Visits
Successful recruitment means setting yourself apart from the other organizations that are in the process of recruiting your candidate. Even large healthcare systems make the mistake of relying on reputation and not putting forth the effort to create a memorable site visit. The site visit is your opportunity to convince the candidate that your organization is the best fit. Tailoring site visit activities to the physician AND their family, by highlighting what they are interested in, will help seal the deal. Generic meet and greets will never compete with planned outings that demonstrate that you have done your homework.
Another mistake healthcare organizations make is treating a physician vacancy as a one-off occurrence. Instead, subscribing to a continuous recruitment philosophy allows you to keep your potential candidate pipeline full at all times. Maintaining relationships with physician candidates means that when you have a vacancy that interests them, you are not forced to start from scratch. Continuously recruiting candidates also keeps you in position to quickly adjust to unforeseen issues during the hiring process.
Understand the Value of Retention
Much of what has been outlined above is directly related to improving retention as much as it has been about recruitment. When you recruit and hire for fit, you are also fostering an environment that breeds retention. When your physicians are aligned with the culture and values of an organization, they are less inclined to suffer from burnout and are significantly more engaged. According to Gallup, physicians who are more engaged in their work environment generate more inpatient and outpatient referrals than those who are not engaged.
There are no magic steps to immediately improve your physician recruitment results. What your organization can do right now is benchmark your recruitment process to ensure that you fully understand what is and what isn’t working. Taking the time to understand the key metrics like time-to-fill, acceptance rates, retention rates, and more will give you the insight to make the necessary changes and improve your process.
If you need a trusted partner to help your organization recruit and retain physicians, contact Jackson Physician Search and tap into our team of industry experts.
According to a 2018 Association of Physician Recruiters’ (ASPR) survey, 40% of physician vacancies in 2017 went unfilled.
Culture is defined as “values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that employees share and exhibit on a daily basis in their work and in the community”.