Using Social Media for Recruiting in Healthcare: How Effective Is It?
Everyone, including healthcare recruiting professionals love to discover shiny new objects. We constantly crave the Next Big Thing. We get bored of stuff, even great stuff, much more quickly. If it's new, it MUST be better, faster, bigger, and cooler than whatever has been done in the past, right?
Often, "new" is equated with "new and improved." But as some companies have found, "new" is not always better. (Remember "New Coke"?)
Sometimes, an original product, or in our case, an original healthcare recruiting process is effective, and doesn't need to be re-invented. However, at times, a blend of old and new is in order. There is often a reason why a product or method has been utilized for many years, or even decades: because it works.
In the business of healthcare recruiting, the status quo has worked well for decades. Recruiting is not rocket science or brain surgery (even if you are recruiting brain surgeons), but it is grueling, hard work that requires hundreds of labor-intensive hours of interviewing candidates, reviewing CVs, posting jobs, scheduling interviews, following-up… the list of related tasks involved in filling just one position goes on and on.
There are no short-cuts in healthcare recruiting—there is no "easy button"—as much as we would love to discover one.
How Technology Has Changed Healthcare Recruiting
In the 2000s, the internet certainly streamlined communication in many ways and made the recruiting process more convenient, but now we're just expected to contact that many MORE candidates in less time. In addition to the "old school" methods of snail mail and phone calls, we now have emails, texting, and social media.
As a company, our goal at PracticeMatch is to help connect physicians with great employers and practice opportunities in the most effective and efficient way possible. We are always seeking new ways to improve the job search experience for candidates, as well as to increase our clients' success rate, efficiency, and effectiveness in all physician recruiting efforts.
For example, we researched text messaging as it relates to physician recruiting, launching a new app called TextMatch, which enables recruiters to text physicians directly about specific jobs that are a potential fit.
Also, our career fairs were so successful that we tested out virtual career fairs and found those to be successful for our clients, so we now offer those regularly as well, in addition to our onsite recruiting events nationwide.
Research Into Social Media & Healthcare Recruiting
Recently, we conducted a study on how to best leverage social media for the benefit of our clients and candidates.
Through market research, we found that continuing to grow our established presence on LinkedIn and Facebook may be the best way to help our clients and candidates, rather than developing a proprietary social media program for healthcare recruiting.
2018 Social Media and Recruiting Survey—Physicians Weigh In
In April of 2018, PracticeMatch surveyed 1,443 physicians regarding their social media habits in general, and as they relate to recruiting, personal, and professional activity. The findings were not all that surprising, but there were a few things that stood out to us.
- Thirty percent of physicians indicated that they do not feel social media is appropriate to utilize as a recruiting resource.
Additionally, only about half of physicians had been approached on social media about a job, and only about half of those replied. In other words, only about 25% of physicians had ever interacted on social media regarding a job opportunity .
By far, the clear winners in social media as far as regular, ongoing, frequent physician engagement are:
- and LinkedIn
This was surprising, as we expected the "physician-only" social media sites to own a much larger share of physician engagement online.
Physicians Get Their Daily Dose… of Facebook
Ninety percent of physicians use Facebook, according to our survey responses, and 70% of physicians use LinkedIn. And not only do physicians use these sites, they do so very regularly.
- Seventy percent of physicians who use Facebook do so DAILY
- Half of those daily Facebookers log on several times each day!
If you've ever been tasked with getting a hold of a physician, (as every recruiter reading this has), then you understand that several times a day is an extremely high rate of physician engagement.
Meanwhile, only about 25%-46% of physicians have ever used physician-specific sites such as:
- Sermo (24%)
- QuantiaMD (30%)
- or Doximity (46%).
Physician-only social media recruiting sites have about half the utilization rate of Facebook, at best. Plus, only about 6% of those who use Doximity log in regularly, physicians reported, compared to 76% of Facebook users.
Most physicians (75%) indicated that they use physician-specific sites a few times a year, to 2-3 times monthly, at the most.
What These Social Media Trends Mean for Physician Employers
In sum, networking individually, and as an organization, with physicians on Facebook and LinkedIn can be highly valuable in terms of connecting with physicians. Focus your dollars and recruitment effort where engagement is highest among physicians.
- Your organization should have an active presence on Facebook and LinkedIn, as physicians are engaging here most frequently in both personal and professional capacities.
- Additionally, most of your activity on these sites as an organization, and as an individual are FREE of charge.
Ideally, your inhouse recruiting team should be connecting with physicians directly on these sites, after meeting at career fairs, conferences, or after having a phone interview. However, encouraging employees to connect online with physicians also requires you (the employer) to put a social media policy in place that would prevent any inappropriate or undesirable personal content to be shared with potential candidates.
Conclusion to Our Social Media Recruiting Study:
A well-rounded physician recruitment strategy requires a comprehensive approach. We recommend that physician recruiters implement a strategy that includes email campaigns, cold calling, direct mail, social media, as well as incorporating newer technology such as text recruitment and banner advertising.
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