Is LinkedIn a good place to search for physician candidates? We think so. Why? Because research shows that more than 1 million physicians and nurses around the U.S. have profiles on the site, including 1,600 otolaryngologists and 1,200 brain surgeons. That’s fertile ground for a physician recruiter.
“When I talk to physicians about dipping their toes into the social media waters, I advise starting with LinkedIn,” says Kevin, Pho, M.D., social media’s leading physician voice and the founder or KevinMD.com. “[I tell them to] spend about 45 minutes or so and create a LinkedIn profile, which is essentially a digital translation of your CV.” Feel free to read Kevin’s “Why I Recommend LinkedIn to Physicians” article in its entirety.
As you’re well aware, it’s a tough market out there. Physicians can be notoriously passive job seekers, and the shortage of quality MDs is expected to increase dramatically over the next decade. So for all these reasons, we recommend you incorporate LinkedIn into your physician recruiting practice. Here are a few suggestions on what to do.
1. Build a Solid Profile
These days, anyone who does business with you is going to look up your LinkedIn profile. It’s an opportunity to put your best foot forward. So don’t just slap up a perfunctory profile, put a lot of thought into it and really present yourself as a consummate professional. You’re going to be giving out business cards to physician candidates at physician job fairs, and one of the first things they’ll do later on is look you up on LinkedIn.
Once you’ve got your profile up, start networking! First, reach out to everyone you’ve had a positive business connection with and add them as a contact. As your network grows, write personal recommendations for current or past colleagues and clients you respect. They’ll be sure to return the favor, and your profile will grow more compelling. You can also give and ask for professional endorsements. This is where LinkedIn is pure gold. After all, business is a word-of-mouth game, and what people think of your work speaks volumes.
2. Get Your Colleagues & Company on Board
If you’re a hospital, clinic, or physician recruiter search firm, you likely already have a company profile on LinkedIn (don’t tell us you don’t!). Now, it’s time to strengthen that profile. Again, make sure it’s a compelling profile that really showcases your organization’s mission and achievements. Moreover, your company profile should start positioning itself as a thought leader in the industry. Start blogging on industry topics, and encourage coworkers and employees to share the content to bring more views to your organization’s profile.
“The more views your company page has, the more company page followers. And followers become potential candidates,” says Forbes writer William Arruda, “One of my Fortune 500 healthcare industry clients told me that over 60% of their new hires in 2013 had been following the company page before they got hired.” For more on that, read his full article, “Win the Talent War by Getting People Using LinkedIn.”
3. Post Jobs
Whether your organization has LinkedIn followers or not, you may find it of value to post open positions on the site’s job board. A quick search on the site today shows that 188,159 jobs across the country are posted by some very prominent hospitals and clinics. If I’m a physician or resident considering my options for the future, LinkedIn would be a great place to start looking, if only to research the market. And if some dream opportunity caught my eye, I’d click through.
With that number of jobs posted, you might worry that the market is oversaturated. But job-seeking physician candidates can sort their search by company and location, which will narrow the numbers down considerably and help them find you.
4. Contribute to Group Conversations
As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of M.D.s with LinkedIn profiles. But many of them are not simply static users. They’re contributing to conversations and sharing information in group chats like Medical Doctor (MD) Network, Innovations in Health, and Networking for Business Professionals & Doctors.
Following these conversations, you’ll get a good idea of some of the issues and concerns facing physicians today, and that’s invaluable information for recruiters. If you understand their needs, you can obviously serve them better. Also, if you have helpful points or suggestions to contribute, it can be a good way to establish yourself, and your organization, as an industry leader. If physicians respect what you have to say in discussions, they may be more receptive to you down the road if you approach them about a position. It’s all about building relationships.
5. Sourcing & Introductions
That brings us to our final point. Naturally, if there are a high number of doctor CVs on LinkedIn, this gives you a great opportunity to browse resumes and reach out to those who appeal to you—both job-seeking candidates and passive, or employed, candidates. The key to success here is being thorough.
To ensure you’re not wasting anyone’s time, research the candidate carefully and ensure they have the skill-set, employment history (and if possible, temperament) you seek. Ideally, they’ll be close by as well (though some physicians may be willing to relocate). Tailor your job description carefully to the candidate’s profile as much as possible, while staying true to the opportunity. This way, you stand a better chance of catching his or her interest. If you have a free account, you can communicate with people in your network, and if you upgrade to a pro account for recruiters, you’ll have the ability to reach out beyond your existing connections.
On that note, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention our own pool of 10,000 job-seeking physician candidates available for physician recruiters at PhysEmp.com, where we have 50,000 unique visits to the site each month by physicians. And like LinkedIn, we do offer job-posting opportunities for those who are interested. (OK, we’re done tooting our own horn!)
It’s Who You Know
We hear it over and over again from physician recruiters—placing a candidate is so often about connections. As in any industry, it’s who you know. LinkedIn, like any other site, certainly isn’t perfect, and it won’t work for you all the time. That said, we believe it does hold some strong opportunities to help you fill your physician jobs, and we wish you the best of luck!