September 27 2018

What Does Your Online Presence Say about You as a Physician Candidate?

What Does Your Online Presence Say about You as a Physician Candidate?

If you are a physician searching for practice opportunities, you probably have a lot on your mind - is your CV up to date? Have you compiled your professional reference list? Are your license and certifications up to date?

You may or may not have given much thought to your social media profiles, but did you know that your social media presence can also factor into your job search? It may not be the most important factor in the process, but how you present yourself on social media could impact your job search positively, or negatively.

What Physician Recruiters Look For

Many physician recruiters indicate that they research candidates online primarily to verify that what the physician candidate has shared with the recruiter is true, check for any potential unknown background issues or inconsistencies, search for positive things about the physician to share with clients, and also to get a better idea of the physician's interests, personality, and family needs as they relate to and fit in with the client's practice opportunity.

Where Recruiters Search Online

When asked about their use of social media during the recruitment process, most recruiters stated that they search all candidates online - mainly a Google search, and also a search of LinkedIn, Facebook, Vitals, and Doximity. Some recruiters will search other sites such as Instagram and Twitter, but most will primarily focus on LinkedIn and Facebook.

However, recruiters aren't always successful finding candidate information online, which leaves additional questions sometimes. Many physicians are not found on social media sites, so there is one less way for the recruiter to engage with the physician and learn more about the candidate and help him or her find the best fit.

"I am happy when I find a physician I'm working with on LinkedIn," states Nolan Smith, recruiting principal for The Medicus Firm. "I do feel that when I make those [online] connections, that my professional relationship with the candidate becomes stronger and I'm able to better assist him or her."

Jared Vaughn, another recruiting principal for The Medicus Firm, also utilizes social media research frequently during the recruiting process. "I look for information to qualify the physician for a position.. or to confirm information that we have discussed. It's great when there are patient reviews/recommendations that speak to the physician's quality [of practice], personality, and skill set as well." 

Vaughn also noted the absence of many physician candidates on social media. "I’m honestly surprised in 2018 how few physicians are on social media, but that may be for the best for multiple reasons. It may help prevent the physician from having to try and answer medical questions from patients... and to a certain degree help protect the patient/doctor relationship," Vaughn adds.

Red Flags

Some recruiters admitted that sometimes they see things they don't want to see, when they research candidates on social media. Fortunately, this is not a common occurence. Red flags would include any inconsistency between what's presented on social media and what the candidate has represented via phone, email, or their CV. Also, negative patient reviews, or egregious background issues that were concealed or not revealed by the candidate can also pose a problem for candidates and recruiters representing them.

Each recruiter puts his or her reputation on the line with each physician candidate he or she represents and submits to a client employer. Therefore, it's paramount that recruiters have as much information as possible about the candidate so that they can accurately represent the job seeker to each employer.

Ultimately, social media provides an excellent mode of communication and engagement for recruiters to interact with their candidates and learn more about each physician in order to help provide the best professional fit and practice opportunity for the candidate and his or her family.


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