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Why Aren’t The Best Physician Candidates On Traditional Job Boards?

Why Aren’t The Best Physician Candidates On Traditional Job Boards?

As a recruiter, there are times when your client is unhappy with your performance. And you’re not alone: even the most seasoned in-house staff will experience a drop-off in their hiring numbers, so it’s important to adapt to the changing needs of your industry. Whether it means conducting a comprehensive analysis of your sourcing methods, or embracing the shiny, new tactics of the modern recruiting hivemind, it’s a part of every successful recruiter’s routine to refine their strategy on a month-to-month (or sometimes even week-to-week) basis. Some of your effectiveness is being lost on process-based issues you’re aware of, and through the evolution of your business, you will inevitably make those structural changes needed to survive. But the biggest mistake a recruiter can make is often the one that seems the most inconsequential: the recruiter’s reliance on traditional job boards. Why, you ask? Because many of the best healthcare provider candidates don’t use them. Some in-house recruits are guilty of relying on job boards too heavily, so it’s no surprise they end up settling for less than they hoped for in some of their searches. But why would the PracticeLinks, Indeeds, and Career Builders of the world not be able to provide the whole candidate picture? The answer lies with the most overlooked category in a recruiter’s vocabulary: the passive candidate.

Today’s hiring standards are driven by misguided opinions about what metrics to watch, or what sourcing tools to use from pre-interview and post-hire when the simple fact is that passive candidates are much more likely to fit the distinct requirements of the role you’re hiring for. This is evidenced by several key determinants (outlined below) that you should be considering when outlining your next hiring strategy.

In the past, many clients couldn’t be convinced of the merits of new staffing methods. Budgets were notoriously too tight, and the data-supported evidence for divergent methods was few and far between, resulting in many unsatisfied clients. Now, the case for using alternative tools to secure passive HCP candidates is much stronger, and there’s plenty of evidence to back it up.

By definition, passive candidates are normally those who are happily employed, or who aren’t actively looking for employment but would be open to a better offer. They are often quite successful and productive in their current role, and thus, are much less likely to be on a traditional job board. In contrast, the active candidate on job boards is often a resident or fellow, years away from entering the workforce…Other active candidates have visa requirements an employer may not be able to satisfy or something in their professional background that could make credentialing difficult. And even in the case of strong active candidates without any logistical barriers; those candidates are often inundated with responses soon after joining a job board and become unresponsive to new inquiries. Finding a passive candidate–one successful in their current practice that is geographically motivated for your community–is a perfect storm of experience, high demand, and low time-to-hire. Put yourself in the shoes of a passive candidate to understand why they can be the best fit for your next search…

You’re a hospitalist, five years out of training, and you’re really hitting your professional stride. Unfortunately, you chose to go into practice in NYC, far from your hometown of Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. You were excited by all the attractions of the big city, but lower compensation, higher work demands, and ridiculous housing costs are taking their toll. You can’t remember the last time you and your significant other actually went to a show, one of the big draws that brought you to NYC in the first place. Practicing medicine was supposed to be lucrative, but you’re having a hard time making ends meet while trying to pay off your student loan debts.

After a particularly busy week, you get a call from a friend who went to work in Elkhart Lake. It turns out they are hiring. Though you haven’t been on a job board for years, you are suddenly in the market to make a change. You are now a passive candidate on the road to better things.

Six months later you are back in Elkhart Lake. You have reconnected with the community quickly, requiring very little time to get settled into the comforting backdrop of your hometown. The town is incredibly appreciative of their health care providers, investing in a brand new, state-of-the-art health & wellness facility just down the street from your new apartment. Your level of comfort and morale being high, you have nothing standing in the way of keeping your job unfinished and without your best effort. Eventually, your powerful performance will pay off in the form of your status as a virtuous, celebrated young figure in the Elkhart Lake healthcare community. Employees rave about your bedside manner; citizens of Elkhart refer you to their closest friends, and physicians are impressed by your depth of knowledge. Between the lower cost of living, higher compensation, and additional time at home, practicing medicine is starting to match the dream that kept you working through medical school. Everyone gets what they want, and multiple parties see positive outcomes from the relocation. That’s the story of the passive candidate. That’s the reason why looking beyond job boards for candidates can pay massive dividends.

Looking at the healthcare industry as a whole: in the era of rapid tech innovation and increased competition, healthcare companies are still seeing a growth in revenue, which is evidenced by an annualized increase of 7.3% in the industry since 2013 (IBISWorld Industry Report). This growth pattern is still projected to trend upward, but it’s largely dependent on a few key factors: increases in industry employment (4.8% annualized growth since 2013), the placement of temporary workers, and improvements in the overall labor market. We’ve determined that the biggest change a recruiter can make is in their tools of recruitment, and there are a lot of alternatives out there that make traditional job boards obsolete.

While the value of niche sourcing tools cannot be overstated, there are tons of new all-in-one recruiting tools popping up that yield a much higher success rate than rely on traditional job boards alone, for their ability to pick out more passive candidates and streamline the hiring process for recruiters of any kind. The shift in recruiting to being more data-driven, and thus, having stronger candidates, is a necessity in such an evolving industry.

Tools like Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are great for identifying and tracking some of the best passive candidates in your target area. ATS can eliminate wasted time on manual data entry, streamline the recruiting process end-to-end, and enable you to move faster and work smarter. Experts forecast the ATS market in the US to grow at a CAGR of 7.58% during the period 2016-2020 (HTF Market Intelligence)…to ensure the service’s continued growth into 2024, they might want to expand their ‘passive candidate’ search capabilities (hint, hint). Other Applicant Tracking Systems are focused on enhancing the interview and hiring process, undoing recruiting bottlenecks, and enabling hiring departments to become well-oiled data-driven machines in a matter of months.

With the rise of the ‘recruiter’ role, CRM software has also become an essential tool for engaging, attracting and nurturing candidates end-to-end. The role of this software is to help companies maintain a consistency in their hires from the ‘Careers’ page and up. Each tool can be used to optimize steps like scheduling automation, video interviewing, employee referrals, and integrations with ATSs and HRISs. For in-house recruiters, this technology can be used to build your database for passive candidates.

Social resources like the LinkedIn Recruiter are a great way to gain referrals for clinical. The Facebook Graph search is another useful staffing resource for bolstering your niche network if used tactfully.

As you may have noticed, most clients are aware that their existing recruitment processes are outdated, and they know exactly what needs to be fixed—they just need help implementing those practices and scaling them up quickly. If the healthcare industry clings to old methods of recruiting incentives, the staffing deficit will come home to hurt their organization in a big way. By 2030, the US will have a deficit of as many as 104,900 doctors. And what’s worse: there could be a shortage of as many 61,800 specialists, including emergency medicine and anesthesiology, in that same time frame. (HR Magazine 2017) If we follow common sense, we have to assume that the recruiting population does not have direct control over the total supply of HCPs in the workforce, but the data suggests that they can have an impact on how the shortage affects their organization.

Again, healthcare job boards will always be a key resource helping HCP candidates and employers find one another, but it’s only one part of the equation every successful healthcare recruiter needs to solve on a day-to-day basis.

Finally, in the most shameless case of self-promotion of 2019, we’d be remiss not to mention our own services at HCP Navigator. We’ve just enhanced our series of recruiting and hiring tools designed to facilitate the end-to-end experience: PracticeAlert is our niche tool for candidates to find physician jobs in their locations of choice; is where employers can get their jobs noticed at no charge; and our in-house RMS Tracking System is a focus-tested, hyper-modernized recruitment tool. Unlike “big box” applicant tracking systems, RMS “thinks” like an in-house recruiter. It was designed by experienced recruiters to meet our clients’ needs, and as a result, has become one of the most efficient and intuitive designs in the marketplace.

As a recruiter, you aren’t always going to be 200% prepared on every job you recruit for, but with the right balance of tools and processes, you’ll be finding the best possible candidate a lot more frequently than those who are scrolling through the traditional job boards, sending the same 100 emails and acting surprised when they’re at a virtual dead-end. The best candidates are out there, you’ll just have to be open to finding the hidden treasure.  At HCP Navigator, our state-of-the-art healthcare-specific products will help you uncover this treasure, with more precise recruiting filters, more powerful ATS tools, and more fine-tuned job search algorithms to pinpoint the ideal candidate. Try us today by clicking here.

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