Top 10 Mistakes in Physician Recruiting

As you know, physician recruiting is a highly competitive field—especially with the nation’s growing shortage of doctors. So to ensure your success in 2016 and beyond, here are some common pitfalls you’ll want to avoid.

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1. A Narrow Strategy

If your annual recruiting strategy focuses on one main channel of research or outreach, it’s a good idea to broaden your approach. You might be doing well as is, but there may be other, more valuable avenues to explore that would yield even greater results. A strong, multi-platform recruiting campaign will include avenues like online advertising, social media, job fairs, email marketing, print advertising, and outreach through online databases or profiles.

2. A Lengthy Hiring Process

We all know physician recruiting takes a long time, but it’s important to ensure you’re not drawing things out any longer than is absolutely necessary. Are you quick to respond and follow through on messages or info received from candidates? If you inadvertently show a lack of interest by not responding quickly, you may lose the candidate.

3. A One-Size-Fits-All Approach

Avoid using a one-size-fits-all approach to physician recruiting. Hiring a Family Practice physician is an entirely different story than hiring, say, a neurosurgeon. Before you reach out to a potential candidate, be sure you are very familiar with their field, beyond average salaries. Getting to know the challenges, rewards, and concerns of these professionals means you’ll be able to better communicate with them and tailor your outreach in a way that resonates with them.

4. Lacklustre Job Posts

Let’s face it, if you’re not invested in your job posts, prospective physician candidates won’t be either. The more detail you provide, the better. Always include the city, salary, company perks, community appeal, and other details in your advertisement. Being as specific as possible (especially with location) means your ads are more likely to be read. For more tips on the matter read this helpful post: How to Write Magnetic Physician Recruiting Ads.

5. Complicated or Buggy Online Application

How easy do you make it for prospective candidates to apply for your job? Are your online forms easy to fill out, or are you losing people along the way? Many people will abandon if there are glitches, or if you ask for a CV upfront, and then require candidates to enter the exact same info in a new form. Troubleshoot your forms to ensure candidates can apply with ease.

6. A Passive Recruiting Style

Are you guilty of the “post-and-pray” approach? That’s where you post your open jobs on your site, or a career site, and expect the resumes to come rolling in. While job ads are a very important part of a physician recruiting campaign, they shouldn’t be your only tactic. You want to have both passive and active tactics. Physician databases, for instance, allow you to proactively search for and reach out to candidates.

7. Ignoring Your Gut

Everyone’s been there. The candidate looks perfect for your opportunity, but he did say that one worrying thing about his wife being attached to their current location, or their daughter being promoted to senior class president. Those are huge indicators that your candidate may decide to stay put. If you get a sinking feeling he or she might back out at the last minute due to personal reasons, chances are they will. Don’t ignore your intuition.

8. Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

Just as it’s true that too many cooks can spoil a soup, too many parties involved in the hiring process can gum up the works. Naturally, it’s crucial to include key stakeholders in the interviewing process, but it’s equally important to keep things streamlined. Have you ever tried to pick out a movie with 10 people in the movie store? If so, you’ll know how challenging it can be to have multiple parties making a decision based on information and preference. Obviously, there’s a lot more at stake in physician recruiting, but you should still try to ensure the interviews are held by key decision-makers only.

9. Not Being Candidate-Centric

Recruiters often reach out to a candidate with language that sells their opportunity. That’s great; you want to pique the candidate’s interest. But one of the ways you can do that is by making the opportunity about the candidate. It’s a subtle shift.  So instead of just “We’re looking for” and “Our hospital or clinic offers,” try to work in some statements that are about the candidate, such as, “If you’re the kind of candidate who….” or “I think you’ll really like the fact that we…” Linguistically bringing the physician into the hospital can bring you one step closer to literally bringing him or her there.

10. Not Recognizing Your Strengths

Each year, do you make a point of reviewing what worked well for you, recruiting-wise, and what was less effective? This can feel like busy-work, but it’s helpful in refining your strategy, year upon year. If you’ve been spending 20 percent of your recruiting hours doing something that hasn’t paid off, perhaps it’s time to redirect those hours elsewhere, where they’ll yield greater fruit.

Did we miss any common physician recruiting mistakes? If so, please feel free to add your thoughts to the comments section below. And with that, happy recruiting!

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