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How To Pursue Passive Physician Candidates

How to Pursue Passive Physician Candidates

How do you find the perfect candidate for a job when they aren’t even looking?  Traditional methods of recruiting, such as working job fairs, posting positions online, and creating a “careers” section on your website may work for active candidates.  However, many employed physicians simply do not have time to search due to the high demands of the medical profession.

Some estimate that over 70% of physicians are considered passive candidates.  In other words, while they are not actively attending job fairs, searching job boards, or submitting resumes, they would be interested in learning more if the right opportunity were to come along.  The challenge lies in reaching a healthcare candidate who is not trying to be found.  Below are four effective methods for finding the passive physician candidates.


One of the best ways to find passive candidates is by encouraging your current physicians to advocate for a career at your company.  Thus, it’s important to inform your staff of any and all open positions.  Assuming your company has created a positive working environment, your doctors will want their colleagues to share and benefit from their experience.  Your best and brightest will be able to recommend other top-performers from their network of friends and acquaintances.  In addition, establishing a referral program with financial incentives for each successful hire may encourage them to actively recruit their classmates and colleagues on your behalf.  Non-monetary rewards, such as extra vacation time, may also pique your employees’ interest.  In the end, a referred new hire is typically more loyal, more productive, and less likely to leave should they be lured by the competition.


When recruiting for a position, you will come in contact with many candidates.  It is inevitable that not every candidate may have all of the skills, experience or interest required.  Turn each conversation into an opportunity to not only gather information about the prospective candidate, but also gain more connections for other current or future opportunities.  Go ahead and ask your existing candidates if any of their colleagues would be a good fit for potential positions with your company in the future.  Asking for referrals will put you in touch with other passive candidates and create credibility through your common connection.  Of course, using an applicant tracking system, like Recruiting Management System (RMS), will make the input, management, and accessibility of all your candidate notes infinitely easier.  Many of the top US health systems use RMS to drive their recruiting processes for this reason.


Social media gives you and your company the opportunity to position yourselves as subject matter experts in your field.  Start by posting content that is of value to people you want to attract; for example, share articles and videos that are relevant to your industry.  As you post content on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, you will gain more followers over time.  Your posts will allow you to gradually shine the spotlight on your company culture and showcase your employees in an effort to build brand awareness and demonstrate to passive job seekers why your company is a great place to work.

On the flip side, social media will also give you the chance to follow and like the posts of other potential candidates.  You will have the opportunity to engage your followers, talk with them, and start on-going meaningful conversations.  These conversations create engagement that will help you identify potential passive candidates quicker.  While the people you encounter through social media may not be looking for a job today, you will have developed a sense of rapport with them over time.  They will already know your name and your company on a more personal level.  Therefore, when you are trying to fill a position, these passive candidates will now be open and eager to learn more.


Passive candidates are not scouring job boards looking for your position.  However, many physicians admit that they would likely click on a job posting that appeared next to online clinical content.  It may be difficult to determine the exact journal or association website to advertise on, but that’s where programmatic advertising comes into play.  Justin Hipps, VP of Programmatic & Email Strategy at HealthLink Dimensions, says that programmatic advertising “provides a way to deliver the right message, to the right candidate, at the right time and place.”  In other words, programmatic advertising is the automated posting of job ads that target your specific candidate profiles.   The better you know your potential candidate, the easier it will be to make sure that they see your job posting where and when they are online.  For example, by using advanced targeting capabilities through programmatic, you can find healthcare professionals, by specialty and geographic location and present job opportunities to them on brand-safe websites of your choice.


While you are probably not going to find these exceptional applicants attending your next job fair or posting their resume online, it is still possible to find and attract passive physician candidates.  Start with the people you know best, your own employees.  Allow your physicians to refer their friends and colleagues for open positions.  Consider rewarding them with a financial or even non-monetary incentive for successful hires.  But don’t stop with your employees; consider every candidate you meet as someone who can introduce you to a friend or acquaintance.  Network with these individuals and you just might find the perfect passive candidate.  Next, take the time to identify the interests of your potential candidates, tracking everything in your applicant tracking system.  Spend time online creating content on social media that will help them get to know you and your company on a more personal level.  Show them that your company is full of experts in their field and also that it’s a great place to work.  Finally, consider using programmatic advertising to deliver your message to the right candidate, at the right place, and at the precise time.

If you are struggling to source candidates in today’s difficult recruiting environment, HCP Navigator can help.  Check out our family of products and services proven to help healthcare recruiters find, track, and hire quality candidates.  You can get started right away with HealthcareJobFinder, the no-cost job board where jobs noticed.

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