Shortage: it’s a word that can cultivate fear and uncertainty in varying degrees.
A shortage of avocados is something most people can handle relatively well. A shortage of physicians? Not as easily worked around.
But that’s what the United States is facing and will continue to grapple with over the next few years. Members of the Baby Boomer generation are living longer. An increasing number of individuals have insurance and are able to seek out healthcare. Yet, the number of physicians is dwindling.
The ability to recruit qualified healthcare providers is mission critical for health systems. Success depends on engaging the best physicians for the job through timely, relevant email messages.
Here are four questions to ask in order to ensure your next recruitment deployment delivers with dividends.
1. What Is The Physician’s Specialty And Level Of Experience?
Working with a database that contains granular insights into a physician’s credentials can help determine areas of expertise. If you’re recruiting for a cancer center that needs an oncologist who specializes in stem cell transplants, creating a targeted effort based on segments of specialty, years of experience, and number of procedures performed will ensure your recruitment emails reach appropriate physicians.
A high-quality database will also be able to provide even more precise information, such as CPT, ICD-9, prescription, and insurance claims data, further allowing for highly individualized deployments.
2. Where Does The Physician Currently Practice?
Geography and demographics both play a large role in physician recruitment. When placing physicians in metropolitan areas, there is obviously a bigger pool from which to draw. This means you have to narrow down other qualifying factors, such as level of education or even cultural considerations. Pockets of cities can become insular, so targeting candidates who speak Somali, for example, may become a consideration when seeking to fill positions in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
Amongst a physician shortage, the ability to recruit qualified healthcare providers is mission critical.
Another important question is, “Where does the physician want to practice?” A candidate doing her residency in one city may have no interest in staying there. Alumni details can be helpful in assessing where a physician yearns to return. The investment in medical school extends beyond time and money. It’s human nature to become attached to a community you spend so many years within.
3. Personal vs. Professional Inbox: Where Should You Send Materials?
Recruitment is clearly career-focused, but that doesn’t necessarily mean physicians want communications hitting their professional inboxes. Doctors increasingly prefer email over snail mail, so to avoid duplicate sends—one professional, one personal—make sure your database has the capability to suppress the non-preferred email address and substitute the preferred instead.
If you’re sending direct mail materials, home addresses are absolutely the way to go. Choosing to move to another practice or location is a private, sensitive matter; one not suited for office gossip.
4. Are You Using Your Recruiting Website To Its Full Potential?
In previous years, it was difficult to ascertain who was visiting your website unless you required users to log in. Advances in audience identity management technology now allow you to capture a physician’s name, NPI number, and browsing history without that cumbersome registration process. The same technology provides real-time, authenticated data, so you can be assured of utilizing the most up-to-date information.
This can be helpful in two ways:
- You can customize job descriptions and other pertinent information, both on the website and in email and direct mail communications.
- Cross-checking website data with email data might reveal surprising insights about physicians’ interests, allowing you to further tailor invitations to apply.
The physician recruitment arena is a progressively competitive market. By addressing these four questions, you can identify, target, and secure qualified physicians.