5 Must-Have Technologies for Physician Recruitment

Physician shortages mean surgery centers must improve their recruitment efforts as they draw from a dwindling pool of candidates. Allan Cacanindin, vice president of client marketing for Cejka Search, discusses five technologies that hospitals, surgery centers and practices should use to attract and efficiently hire tech-savvy physicians in today's competitive environment.

1. Mobile-friendly website. As the physician shortage grows and the demands on the individual physician increase, providers are unlikely to spend much of their workday sitting in front of a computer. As more physicians rely on their smart phones and tablets to read emails and access the internet, practices and hospitals must make sure their websites can be accessed on mobile devices. "If physicians can't access your website, you've lost them," Mr. Cacanindin says. This means IT personnel should stay abreast of changes in mobile technology to ensure the website adapts in time. For example, Apple is releasing a new mobile operating system in fall 2011, meaning website staff should already be working with the developer kit to understand how the website will appear under the new system.

Mr. Cacanindin says mobile-friendly websites should include an accessible section targeted specifically to physicians. Many hospital and practice websites are geared to the consumer, which may help generate revenue but does not necessarily help with recruitment. From the home page of your website, physicians should able to click a button that takes them to a physician-specific page. That page might include a list of current physicians at the facility, testimonials from providers and patients, an up-to-date list of offered technologies, details on the available EMR and any physician benefits.

2. Valid email lists and deployment. Email marketing is essential to direct physicians to a hospital or practice website, Mr. Cacanindin says. The problem is that as email marketing becomes more popular, physician inboxes are flooded with newsletters from many different organizations — some legitimate, some not. He says physician newsletters should be short and to-the-point, with subject lines that clearly advertise available positions within the facility or update the physician on recent organizational news. "Physicians today do not want to be sugar-coated," Mr. Cacanindin says. "They want to know the truth about what a position is, where it's located and all the different attributes that encompass the position."

He says busy physicians will not want to read long emails, so keep marketing newsletters short. "You really want to use email marketing to enhance marketing efforts and drive physicians to a centralized location," he says.

3. Physician-friendly Facebook page. Many hospitals are trying to bolster recruiting efforts through Facebook, but few know how to use the website for effective business networking, Mr. Cacanindin says. He says Facebook can be useful for hospitals and practices because it allows physician searches to "go viral". One physician might notice a job posting and pass it along to a colleague, and so on and so forth until the posting has reached a physician who would have otherwise overlooked the organization.

Mr. Cacanindin recommends that physician recruitment pages include testimonials from patients about the strength of the facility, as well as a "wall" that lets physicians interact with one another. Physicians are more likely to seriously consider an organization if they can speak with other providers about their experience with the facility, Mr. Cacanindin says. The hospital or practice administration should maintain administrative control over the Facebook page to make sure they can [quickly delete] or [protect their page from] inappropriate or derogatory comments.

4. Online interview technology. A hospital or practice can distinguish itself from other organizations by giving physicians the opportunity to meet "face-to-face" or "tour" the facility from a remote location. Hospital administrators can easily personalize their first encounter by speaking with a physician over video chat instead of on the phone. Interviewers can even show the physician around the facility by walking down the hall as they conduct the call. "It's a competitive market out there in terms of physician recruitment, and anything you can do to have a more personable experience or to 'roll out the red carpet' is indicative of the type of practice that physicians are looking for," Mr. Cacanindin says.

Video chat doesn't just personalize the call; it also demonstrates that the hospital or practice is comfortable with cutting-edge technology, Mr. Cacanindin says. "The fact that you want to meet the physician in person — even if it takes video chatting via Skype — demonstrates a level of tech acumen that most organizations won't dare touch," he says.

5. Online feedback tool. Hospitals should constantly try to improve their recruitment process by asking candidates for feedback, Mr. Cacanindin says. An online feedback tool such as SurveyMonkey is an easy, free way to collect opinions about the recruitment and interview process. "If the candidate isn't interested, in which part of the recruitment process did the recruitment efforts fail?" he says. He says the feedback can also help keep physicians satisfied after they join the organization. "There are probably some key indicators in the [recruitment survey] that would allow you to develop a retention plan specific to that physician," Mr. Cacanindin says. "What areas were of concern, and what did the physician feel could be more enhanced?"

He recommends that hospitals and practices present the feedback tool at the onset of the interview process. The organization should explain their dedication to improving the recruitment process and ask for the physician's help. "That's very engaging to a physician," Mr. Cacanindin says.

Learn more about Cejka Search.

Related Articles on ASC Recruitment:
Two Localities Use Different Approaches to Hire Gastroenterologists
Surgery Center Administrator Recruitment Checklist: 13 Questions to Ask Candidates
10 Statistics on Recruitment of Physicians in Common Surgery Center Specialties

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