I recently shared my thoughts on how healthcare recruiting has changed in the last 10 years. Looking back, it was surprising—even to me—just how drastic the shifts have been.
We can learn insights from the past, but the real strategy is looking forward to opportunities ahead.
Current & Forthcoming Challenges
- Same number of physicians in the talent pool.
- Increasing and aging patient population requiring more healthcare.
- Aging healthcare workforce (especially physicians) that are not replenishing at the rate necessary to take care of the U.S. population.
This is not news—the physician shortage has been on the table for some time. How recruiters meet and overcome these obstacles will morph as trends in both technology and marketing shift.
Here are a few things we know for sure:
Digital Continues To Reign
Digital tools—such as email, social media, and a strong web presence—will continue to be the go-to communication tactics. However, these tools have no advantage if the data you’re using is bunk. High-quality data is the underlying factor in effective communication execution and successful engagement.
With an audience identity management platform on your website, you can identify which physicians are viewing open positions. If Dr. Ziegler, a cardiologist from New Haven, CT, is spending a lot of time checking out open positions at Mount Sinai in New York, you can identify him as a “hand raiser,” ready for interaction.
The audience identity platform captures details about inquiring physicians like Dr. Ziegler, including full name, NPI number, current practice location, years of experience, and specialty. With this information, you can plan your next steps of communication (e.g. email, phone call) to gauge interest and compatibility. Or, if Dr. Ziegler doesn’t have the credentials or experience for the position, you know not to waste your time and effort.
High-quality data is the underlying factor in communication execution and successful physician engagement.
The data collected from website engagement should be added to your existing physician email list. A high-quality database should be first-party sourced and third-party verified to ensure you’re reaching the appropriate physicians and other candidates. It should also include physicians’ preferred email address. This is particularly important in physician recruitment, as candidates are oftentimes searching on the down low and do not want communications sent to their work email.
Speaking of other candidates, Advanced Practice Providers (APPs) such as physicians assistants and nurse practitioners are becoming more valuable given the challenges mentioned above, so incorporating them into your recruitment efforts should be standard moving forward.
Physicians Are Customers Too
Combining insights about website visitors with already-known physician details contained in your email list allows you to converse with your audience in a way that heightens the customer experience. Ultimately, physicians are customers too. They’re “buying in” to joining a hospital or health system.
Providing information about a health system’s attributes that benefit potential candidates not only helps pique interest, but enhances that experience.
For example, providers in physician-owned practices typically get less time off and less funding than health system-employed physicians in terms of CME opportunities. Loan forgiveness—often used to attract candidates to more rural settings—is becoming a selling point in larger, urban communities. Both are value-added perks that augment a physician’s journey to making a decision.
The physician recruitment landscape doesn’t have to be a battleground. Understanding the challenges and preparing for them will help you rise above your competitors—not go to war with them.