By John Gramer, President, Cejka Search
Today’s recruitment market is vastly different than it was just five years ago. The shortage of physician talent abounds and demand for healthcare services is on the rise. In addition, healthcare reform focused on well care and value-based reimbursements is making the ability to employ the right types of physicians more important than ever. At the same time, digital communication channels have exploded and transformed the way physicians want to receive information.
With so much change occurring in the healthcare industry, facilities need to keep current and innovative in their physician recruitment strategies. Here are a few ideas on how to overcome the unique recruitment challenges presented by today’s tight labor market.
If you are not effectively using social/digital channels, you are at a stark disadvantage. 75% of physicians placed by Cejka Search, were in some way touched by our social/digital media outreach. The key to effectively using social channels is to understand the differences of each and customize your content and approach to appropriately engage with your audience. For example, Facebook is a truly “social” vehicle that requires a personal approach and lower frequency to show respect for an individual’s personal space. Whereas Twitter is a more informative, newsfeed-type channel that benefits from higher frequency and short, pithy headlines followed by useful content. An effective social/digital recruitment strategy will help you build relationships with physicians at all stages of their career and keep you top of mind when they are ready to consider a job change.
Your website must be a hub of useful information. A recruitment-focused website should centrally house all of the information that is pertinent to your potential employees. So whether your social posts include insight on your specialties, videos that demonstrate your culture, news announcements, philanthropic events or career opportunities, they all need to link back and drive traffic to your website. This allows you to capitalize on the opportunity by offering potential employees who reach your website ways to stay engaged with your organization. It also improves your search engine optimization (SEO), how high you appear on the results page when someone searches your name or a pertinent phrase, such as “top orthopaedic surgeons” for example.
Transparency is the new norm for all communications. Withinsight into your organization readily available online, whether from your employees, community physicians, or patients, transparency is a must. Your potential employees must have a consistent experience from the moment they learn about you online, to the job description you present, and throughout the interviewing and onboarding process. This requires taking a holistic approach to every candidate touch point, from leadership LinkedIn profiles to new employee orientation; from recruitment ads to the credentialing process; from job descriptions to hiring contracts. Meeting expectations by “walking the talk” will reinforce a strong employer brand among physicians in your marketplace.
Speed is a competitive advantage. In a candidate’s market with lots of options to choose from, being highly responsive will keep you in the running for top physicians. As a guideline, respond to applicants within 24 hours even if it is simply an email to confirm receipt of their CV or resume. While thoroughness is important, be sure that interviews are selective and scheduled in fairly close sequence to one another. Standardized hiring processes that are automated where appropriate help to keep these moving along. During the interview and credentialing process, maintain contact with the candidate to keep their level of interest high. Provide prompt feedback to physicians, even those who did not make the cut. Physicians are closely networked and a positive recruitment experience for all will boost your credibility as an employer.
Recruiting physician talent has become increasingly complex, with no reprieve in sight. But with the right recruitment agents, holistic recruitment strategy, and sound use of technology, forward-thinking healthcare organizations will gain the physician talent they need to effectively compete in a changing healthcare market.