AAOS Now

Published 5/1/2015
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John Gramer

Digital Engagement for Physician Recruiting

With the explosive growth of digital media, an age-old tool for recruiting has been taken to a whole new level. Networking in today’s digital world offers a medical practice exponential reach beyond just its personal group of alumni and peers. It also enables the practice to build a strong employer brand and gain a competitive edge in the “war for talent” for a fraction of the cost.

The following four guidelines can help medical practices successfully engage with physicians and other healthcare professionals they may want to hire.

Build a strong foundation
The staples for recruiting and brand-building are the practice’s website and its presence on websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and job boards. Social channels should have pages for both the practice and the individuals within it. All channels should be optimized for search engines by including key search terms. In addition, linking them to one another will increase traffic, and having the same look and feel will support the practice’s brand.

Be sure all websites convey the same messages. For instance, as part of his or her LinkedIn profile, each employee should consistently describe the practice and why it’s a great place to receive care and work.

Connect from the inside out
A digital network grows exponentially when all employees are connected to the practice’s pages and to one another. Encourage employees to follow your practice’s Twitter page, as well as co-workers’ individual Twitter pages, and to connect on LinkedIn and other social media sites.

Make a list of all of the associations, academic institutions, news outlets, respected orthopaedic bloggers and any other community or industry resources that might be valuable networking links. Follow, friend, and connect with them online; many will return the connection.

Ask patients, suppliers, and partners to connect with the practice as well. Their presence and participation will create a personal touch that can set the practice apart. This is also a great way to retain patients and attract new ones.

Captivate with great content
Once the infrastructure and connections are in place, what really determines success is the quality of content. Be consistent in frequency, and use a variety of formats, such as photo images, illustrations, and video, to attract readers.

Job descriptions should be clear but also “sell” the practice and position in an accurate manner. Video job posts are great for breaking through the clutter.

Highlight the practice culture with personal stories. Recognize people for their service, awards, or community involvement.

Create content that demonstrates leadership within the specialties represented within the practice. Comment on research and new methods of treatment.

Demonstrate strong ties within the medical community. Include posts about speaking engagements, conference participation, and partnerships with local medical centers and hospitals.

Influence through sharing
Likes are good, but more important is encouraging connections to share the information and talk about the practice! Although what an individual will say can’t be controlled, properly managing and frequently updating an online presence will enable a practice to quickly overshadow any negative comments with positive news and commentary.

Following these guidelines will help an orthopaedic practice create a recruiting strategy that builds positive employer brand awareness with orthopaedic specialists at all stages of their careers. With only 4 percent of physicians actively engaged in a job search at any given time, connecting with them early, often, and in a way that makes a positive impression, will help an orthopaedic practice gain a competitive advantage in a tight labor market.

John Gramer is the president of Cejka Search, a leading physician, advanced practice, allied health and healthcare executive search firm for more than 30 years. He can be reached at jgramer@cejkasearch.com