How and Why Direct Mail Remains a Key Component of Candidate Sourcing in Physician Recruitment
Email and digital marketing are vital components to any physician sourcing campaign. However, direct mail marketing, in the form of personal letter campaigns, is still an effective method to include in a multi-faceted physician sourcing and recruitment campaign.
Many facilities and firms seek ways to cut overhead in physician recruitment, and direct mail sourcing often seems like a most effective way to cut costs. However, if executed properly and utilized strategically, direct mail candidate marketing remains a very productive way to source candidates, particularly those who are more passive, and may not be actively perusing job boards or researching employers online. The Medicus Firm strongly recommends utilizing direct mail sourcing campaigns in addition to digital efforts for optimum success in candidate sourcing. In any given year, a large percentage of physicians placed with clients of The Medicus Firm were ultimately sourced via direct mail campaign.
Why has direct mail marketing been abandoned by some recruiting firms and health systems? It's partly due to misinformation in the industry, as well as a lack of results garnered from improperly executed campaigns.
MYTH #1 - Direct Mail does not yield any physician candidate responses. Despite what some firms may advise, direct mail marketing really works, especially when strategically deployed. More than 37 percent of TMF physicians placed with our clients in any given year were sourced via direct mail marketing. This is because direct mail often yields a high quality of well-matched, well-qualified candidates who are more passively considering a change, or who may not even realize they were open to a job change until they receive the letter. Qualtiy of candidates is more important than quantity, as only one well-qualified, interested physician is needed to fill each open search. Direct mail provides value because of it provides a physcial representation that can be quickly viewed and placed somewhere accessible to be be viewed again at a more convenient time. Due to the volume of messages received in email, it's far more likely for it to be missed or dismissed.
MYTH #2 - Email is the only sourcing campaign needed. Email is an excellent tool for contacting candidates. However, emails can so easily be deleted, ignored, and lost in a sea of hundreds of other emails. Many physician candidates receive 50-100+ emails per day! Meanwhile, they receive far fewer personal letters and cards about job opportunities. The marketing pendulum has swung so far towards digital methods, that now it's more rare to receive snail mail, which makes it stand out more than ever. Additionally, many physicians are not reachable via email because they've previously unsubscribed to other solicitiations or have their inbox set up to catch spam, possibly never checking their spam/junk folder. That's why TMF recommends utilizing a combination of digital sourcing with direct mail.
MYTH #3 - It's easier and cheaper for an employer to send out their own direct mail to achieve results. Full service retained firms such as TMF have a plethora of resources, contacts, and staff to deploy the most effective and sophisticated marketing campaigns on behalf of clients. Conducting a mail campaign is fairly labor intensive. By outsourcing your recruitment and candidate marketing/sourcing through a search firm, you benefit from the full-time marketing and recruiting staff that will design your campaign professionally and be prepared to reply to responses in a way that will more likely result in candidate activity for your search. So the effort to do it in-house to save money is possible, the results may not be what is desired. TMF has name recognition, which has conditioned the candidate pool to open direct mail from us.
There have been cases of firms charging clients for mail campaigns that do not actually deploy. However at TMF, we maintain deliverability reports, postage reciepts and other tracking methods to make sure our clients understand exactly what has been undertaken on their behalf as to avoid any confusion.
If you have any additional questions regarding candidate sourcing, physician search, or strategies for your recruiting needs, please contact us for more details about how we can design a comprehensive approach for you.