The healthcare landscape is changing and the physician recruitment landscaping is changing along with it. As numerous media outlets have reported, 2014 was the year when the job market finally turned the corner.
Of course physician employment has been on the rise for several years now, while the decline of private practice assignments continues. Recent job market data also confirms what recruiting experts have being saying for some time: The power has shifted into the hands of the candidates.
More than half of physicians (52.6%) are now employed by a hospital or medical group, according to the 2014 Survey of America’s Physicians conducted for The Physicians Foundation by Merritt Hawkins. This rise has been very dramatic over the past several years. In fact, another study found that that nearly two-thirds or 64% of physicians would recommend employment by a hospital or medical group over self-employment to their fellow physicians (Medscape’s 2014 Employed Doctors Report).
Demand for primary care physicians and hospitalists remains strong
Demand for physicians providing inpatient care also remains strong. After family physicians and general internists, hospitalists ranked third among the top 20 search assignments. Other sites of service, including community health centers, urgent care centers, free-standing emergency departments and retail clinics are also employing physicians. According to the Merritt Hawkins survey, for the eighth consecutive year family physicians are number one on the list of most requested specialties for recruiting assignments—so the increased demand for primary care physicians will continue.
More noise means more competition for candidates
The optimistic job market means candidates are bound to have contact with more companies and more recruiters. You can stand out, with smarter physician recruitment. Do your research more thoroughly and reach out to more targeted candidates. And when you reach out, focus on what physician candidates have to gain from a relationship with you.
Focus on passive candidates
There’s great news for physician recruiters: When the job outlook improves, the idea of changing roles becomes more comfortable. This means physician recruiters must put more focus on passive candidates. Although the majority of physicians are not actively seeking new employment, surveys say most physicians are at least curious about relevant job opportunities and are open to discussing them. Of course, the single largest pool of physician candidates continues to be those already in practice—over 700,000 physicians—and you’ll find more than half of them on Doximity. If you’re only focusing on active physician candidates, you’re missing out on some 86 percent of the US physician labor pool!
Put technology and social sourcing to work
Never forget the influence of technology, especially advanced networking tools. Combined with state-of-the-art Internet marketing techniques, technology is changing the face of recruiting. The mobile platform continues to be a critical tool. As many as nine in ten healthcare providers are using smartphones, and nearly as many have adopted tablets. What’s more, physicians these days often use more than two screens. Mobile devices speed the rate of access to job information, social media chatter, and communication with recruiters. If you don’t have a mobile recruitment strategy, you need one stat. Social sourcing and sourcing candidates over the web is also critical to your success. Use your Doximity network to remain top-of-mind with candidates and promote your physician recruiter brand in every communiqué.
The Merritt Hawkins survey also reflects that 55.6% of physicians are pessimistic about the current state of the medical profession. On the bright side, that’s down from 68.2% just a few years ago. Physicians from Generation X and Y are much more optimistic about the medical field—so remember to think long-term while you’re building relationships with candidates. A candidate who is in his or her second year of medical school could be your top hire down the road.
If the power of recruiting has shifted to the candidate, your traditional recruiting tactics are bound to lose their effect. How have your physician recruitment strategies changed for 2015? Share your insights with us. If you're not using Doximity Talent Finder, schedule a free demo today.