Physician recruitment has become very competitive because of the limited number of candidates available, due in large part to the growing physician shortage. To reach the top candidates, facilities must look beyond physicians that are actively looking for a change and find new approaches to reach passive candidates.
If facilities only target physicians who are actively searching for a job, they are missing out on a huge pool of potential candidates. According to The Medicus Firm’s 2019 Physician Practice Preference & Relocation Survey, only 11.75% of respondents said they wanted to make a career change while only 22.03% said they did not want to make a change. If facilities only target physicians who are actively searching for a new job, they are missing 66.22% of candidates who are open to making a change.
Posting vacancies on job boards will likely only reach those candidates who are actively looking. Facilities need to use different techniques to reach physicians who are willing to consider a new opportunity. The most effective ways to target these passive candidates are direct mail and email.
When asked if direct mail still works in today’s digital age, Jason Farr, one of The Medicus Firm’s Recruiting Senior VPs, shared a story about a direct mail campaign. “A candidate received one of our postcards, and he kept it on his desk for a while because he was open to making a change. He kept looking at the postcard over time and thinking about the opportunity until one day he reached out to us and we helped him make the move!” Mr. Farr said that he and his colleagues have many similar stories. The 6x9 postcard is the Medicus Firm's best-performing marketing piece.
Email is still a strong option to reach passive candidates, and it is less expensive than direct mail. Having an engaging subject line is critical for a successful email campaign. 35% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone 1. The subject line must relate to a passive candidate’s main concerns, and it must be under 50 characters so it can be viewed in its entirety on a mobile device. Email allows multiple campaigns with different subject lines and different delivery times so campaigns can be optimized for increased success.
Facilities must understand what is important to candidates for all marketing efforts to be successful. Physicians respond best to images showing the lifestyle of the area around the facility. Pictures of people enjoying outdoor activities and images focusing on quality of life perform better than stock images like doctors holding stethoscopes. Including details about salary, location, and work/life balance also increase the chances of success. Work/life balance is one of the top concerns of younger physicians 2. Marketing must have a clear call to action. Facilities need to make sure candidates know what to do next and they must make it easy for them to respond.
Some facilities believe that the cost involved with marketing vacancies is too high. However, when compared to the sprawling costs of physician vacancies, including continued loss of revenue for the facility and economic loss for the community, the investment in marketing is very small.
Connecting online and offline marketing efforts keeps the messaging consistent and increases recognition. A multichannel marketing approach that incorporates what is important to potential candidates will make the most successful physician recruitment campaign 3.
- How to Create Effective Physician Recruitment Emails in 5 Easy Steps, Ascendo Resources
- How to Create Effective Physician Recruitment Display Ads, New England Journal of Medicine
- 5 Tips to Improve Your Physician Recruitment Efforts, Geonetric