My Four Part Series for Employer Medical Recruiters, Part III

My Four Part Series for Employer Medical Recruiters,
Part III: On getting
the best possible selling tools to complement your efforts.
Employer medical recruiters and their efforts directly impact the lives of their patients and communities. It’s an incredible responsibility. Because of this, it there is a solemn and moral responsibility to be dedicated to continual improvement and professional growth. This four part series is focused on the four core components required for employer medical recruiters to fulfill this responsibility and excel.
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In Part I
, I made it clear that claiming you love your employer and your community, and showing up for work every day, and eventually filling your open jobs, is not enough!  Because your work impacts lives, you owe your employer and its patients that you must want to be the very best you can be, and continually push yourself by growing your knowledge and skills – you have to keep growing and improving in this dynamic market where there is intense competition. 
You made Foundation Commitment #1 about your career:
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“I understand that my work directly impacts the lives of people. I commit to take a silent moment of reflection on this fact before I begin work every day. I acknowledge that I am passionate about my career position and this will be my guiding motivator to continually improve – acceptance of the status quo is never acceptable because it is never an excuse for our patients and their families.”

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Part II:  This commitment led to your acknowledgement that growing your marketing and selling skills and committing to being a real “sales professional” is necessary. 

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  • You now know the difference between marketing and selling. 
  • You now understand the competitive component – that you must not only sell candidates, but OUTSELL your competitors. 
  • You understand that being efficient carves out tremendous waste, and actually improves your results.  Your sincere commitment to be a “pro” will lead to making Foundation commitment #2:

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“I will be a real pro and have a proactive impact on my results.  I am competing for candidates vs. other employers.  I commit to crafting marketing ideas and a selling protocol that separate my opportunities from others while maximizing time and quality.  My process will build my relationship with prospects in ‘steps’ and lead to a conclusion that is best for both sides.”

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At this point, you should be motivated and want to have an impact on your job because 1) your work impacts lives – you have a moral responsibility to be your best and never settle, and 2) you have the awareness that you are competing and need to continually develop a “professional marketing and sales process” in order to maximize your results. 
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Part III:  Now you must acquire and use the best possible tools to complement your efforts.  All great sales professionals have great selling tools to help promote their message and make their entire sales protocol more efficient and effective – better tools create the competitive advantages you MUST have. Like great athletes, they are always looking to get an advantage, from the equipment they invest in to how they practice and train (and all the great ones do).
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What is your “target market” of prospects?  You also clearly need to make sure that you identify your target market of prospects.  If you are in a community of 50,000 residents an hour or more from a big city, then you don’t want to target practitioners who want to live in metro area.  Unless you are in the position to draft a unique cooperative agreement with a group or another provider, that is, if your hospital is seeking a family practice addition, what you are competing against are all the other hospitals and communities like you – on this you build your sales presentation against all of them.
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Your First Tool:  What is your sales presentation going to be?
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Before you consider any selling tools or approaches, you must first identify your strengths, weaknesses, and what you are representing – from the perspective of other hospitals of your bed size or employers of your size and specialty. 
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For instance, are you a level two trauma center while other hospitals your size may be a three?  You may have two Cath Labs while others your size may have one.  You may have a pediatric unit when others may not.  What is your hospital’s reputation?  Do you have stats?  Are you part of a large corporation? Is it publically traded or non-profit?  Or are you a regional hospital in a system?  You need to be able to present the best argument and defense, of any questions regarding these and many other considerations you anticipate jobseekers have.
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  • There are the same considerations regarding your service area.  How do your schools rate in your region?  Are you a student of your economy and can you speak intelligently of employers, their plans, as well as government-sponsored growth initiatives?  Identify pluses, like having a regional airport, country clubs, and a recreational lake – not all towns your size have these.  Have you travelled to the communities of your competitors to evaluate them?
  • Remember that you have already made career “foundation commitments” now, and you are not a “community welcomer” who can only place a smile on your face, set up interview visits, and speak in clichés (you aren’t a waiter!), but you are committed to being a pro and a real sales professional – this is now the requirement of your position – people’s lives depend on YOU!
  • Preparing a “report” on your hospital and service area, and “tending to it,” are requisite to your success – because whatever tools or sales presentation you create, it will have to be one that constantly changes in order to be accurate and to keep you in command of the facts.
  • Eventually you will develop a list of survey questions which you will incorporate into your protocol as a Q/A piece that help you hone your presentation and skills. 
  • Eventually you must craft a list of local professionals and people of influence to incorporate into your presentation, particularly for onsite visits with candidates and their families.  Choreographing meetings and prepping these folks from all walks of life in your service area (business owners, teachers, economic development principals) to meet candidates, and practicing with them to “present” a thorough and compelling “sales presentation” while your competitors merely place physicians with a realtor who really has little command of the facts bona fide physician candidates need to know, and try to let the realtor do all the selling.

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A great pro is ultimately an advocate for your prospective candidates:  Being in real command of facts about your hospital and service area, and acute knowledge of them and the people involved, will promote your relationship to candidates as a REAL advocate for them, and not merely being their assistant, or a “waiter” who caters to them – where they won’t confide in you; thus, you will never be in the position to close them. 
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Although this kind of preparation may seem difficult to do, you have no choice because of your commitments.  Every call you make, and every doctor you are blessed to meet, requires you to be at your best, because you have to answer to families who are trusting you to get them the best possible physicians and practitioners, and not merely to fill open jobs.
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  • Developing a repeatable onsite candidate visit “protocol” that you can generally repeat is essential because it allows for you to judge yourself and measure your success.  A repeatable presentation that includes all of the information that jobseekers need allows you to relax and focus on relationship building rather than the “Chinese Fire Drill” of “what comes next,” and allows for improvisation with them and their families – this is advanced level sales where you are creating connections that will help separate you from competition.
  • Special Note:  As a former tech sales professional, sales manager, and sales consultant, as well as 8 years as Founder and President of Online Job Tour®, our team is “the pioneer” regarding reaching online jobseekers and crafting an approach to maximize recruiting medical professionals. I am available to speak to groups and recruiting organizations, as well as consulting with employers to help them craft an ideal recruiting environment. Please contact me through our website at www.onlinejobtour.com  

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On Technology:  I am an admitted geek regarding technology.  My very first blog is worth reading – I posted a piece on how the Internet got started and has grown.  Most people don’t know the Internet’s history.  I remember telling friends and relatives when I was young that someday music would not be on tapes or CDs but on bits of information on computers with no moving parts.  I remember when I saw the first cell phone, which was in a satchel and looked like a briefcase, thinking “they are going to get a lot smaller.”  Five years ago I was telling clients that one day they would be driving down the street and their “handheld computer device of some sort” would beep because it was in “Real Estate mode” – and now we have smart phones.
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The Internet:  As high-speed Internet was ushered into our lives through the early to late 2000s, we went from the “screeetch” of the fax sound while accessing the Internet by phone, when it took a number of minutes to download a single image, to now being frustrated when huge pages with rich content don’t load immediately.  As recruiters, we can forget that this 8 year period means today’s new physicians “grew up online.” 
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For a variety of reasons not for this blog, hospitals and other healthcare employers, and many of their recruiters, have not kept pace with how the Internet has created a new kind of consumer and jobseeker – with unique behavior and expectations.
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  • Today the Internet is no longer something we passively read, like the newspaper on a computer screen.  Instead, we now interact with it.  But hospitals did not really harness the power of high speed Internet to maximize their recruiting efforts (Our company’s invention fills this void, below).

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Your Sales Tool:  How are you going to “present” your sales presentation?
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Clearly, you need to appreciate the Internet as the bullhorn you must use to advertise your career openings – but only a rookie would make the mistake of stopping there.  Because career search has moved to the Internet – it is the “meeting place” where many jobs come together in a competing forum, with the virtual Internet there are ways to better promote your jobs and compete in an industry where there are limited candidates in many areas. 
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  • Referenced immediately above, many local and regional healthcare recruiting directors are older and look at the Internet as a forum to observe and not participate in; in other words, they look AT the Internet like they read a newspaper.  That’s not what the Internet is anymore; instead it is a place where users “interact with web content.”
  • This leads to their policy development and recruiting that doesn’t really “use” the Internet but merely “advertises on it,” like newspaper classifieds. 
  • The result is the overwhelming majority of hospitals wait until candidates are onsite – after the expense has been committed for the trip, all the time is committed by many people, and regretfully, possible better matches have already been turned down, to begin their selling effort.
     

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Our organization’s unique Invention: The “Recruitment Website:” Online Job Tour®: Patented by the US Department of Patents & Trademarks, I invented the Online Job Tour system – which is a “recruitment website” for employers which harnesses the virtual Internet to allow hospitals and medical employers to present to jobseekers and their families a “onsite interview visit experience” that is more comprehensive than the real trip – allowing for the “marketing/selling” effort to start immediately.
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Online Job Tour “brings the onsite visit to all jobseekers” in a phenomenal way that promotes authentic decisions of interest before any expensive interview visits are planned – in fact, your advertising is now not a newspaper ad, but a “virtual immersion experience” that attracts candidates who are already pre-qualified and motivated (unlike mere responders to ads who can only be curious because the ads don’t really provide enough information).
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When I invented Online Job Tour, I knew high speed Internet was going to be pervasive – but at the time (2001) just 40-50 million people had broadband (today the estimate is close to 2 billion!). 
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Why does Online Job Tour work?  During our multi-year test market with a large variety of hospitals and health employers, Online Job Tour has had a “transformative impact” of the recruitment efficiency and quality model for hospitals, offering the best for both sides: for hospitals, Online Job Tour is the ideal way to give jobseekers a “tour” that is similar to the real interview visit, covering all the “topics” that jobseekers generally need to know about, while also giving the employer the format to give the best possible sales presentation. For jobseekers, what is better than to be able to sit back on their own computer and “visit” a hospital and service area – in 30 minutes and at no real cost or major time commitment, they can learn more than if they visited over a weekend – and the entire family can experience the “virtual visit” as well by simply sharing the website address?
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Demonstrable Results:  Our 2009 ROI Survey analyzed the invention’s impact on three factors: time to fill an open physician job, the number of interview visits, and use of third party recruiters.  The result was a savings of $47,000 per placement when Online Job Tour supported the recruitment of the position, as opposed to “status quo” recruiting practiced at other hospitals.
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  • Special Note:  Would you like to learn more about Online Job Tour®, see some samples, and get an overview of its benefits?  Please visit www.onlinejobtour.com and then give our staff a call if you still have questions.

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Other Tools are out there – this is basically all of them:  Other tools that have been around since the Internet include streaming videos, DVDs, and some hospitals still mail brochures.  All have significant limitations, such as they generally only scratch the surface of important subject, and they get old and need to be replaced – since Online Job Tour is web-based, it can be updated so it never gets old, and we can offer the best combination of depth of content that really makes jobseekers think they have the information they need to make a decision, along with unlimited photos as well as videos and video testimonials.  While I have seen many recruitment videos, some nicer than others – the biggest issues I have is their depth of meaningful, useful information – many are made by people who don’t understand recruiting and what jobseekers need, they age very fast, and they don’t fit into the Internet anymore – what I mean by this is today’s Internet users are not passive observers who sit back and watch – they want to “interact” with web content and Online Job Tour gives them the “fix” they want, and it is a powerful “test drive” that employers can provide.
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What I most disagree with, and I term “quitting,” are the hospitals who merely, passively list a handful (the more the worse) of websites – as though a web-expert physician can’t easily find them anyway, but to rummage through the websites to pick what may be relevant for their needs as a prospective new employee at the hospital.  This “practice” does not promote the hospital doing anything proactive, it leaves the “sale” in the quality and content of someone else’s website and quality standard, and there is no proof doing this is any better than doing nothing.  It would be hard for any professional who has made a sincere commitment to answer to families to accept this unfortunate approach.
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  • The employer can do a great deal more possible BEFORE any visits are planned – these trips take a lot of manpower to put together and at a great expense.  And Online Job Tour can be used with ALL prospects to give everyone a very comprehensive virtual visit vs. the very few the hospital can afford to host.
  • Online Job Tour solves the critical sales conundrum where prospects can’t make a decision simply because they don’t have enough information; in fact, classic sales studies show that “lack of information” is a larger reason consumers don’t buy products.

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Special Note on “using” the Internet:  Whether or not you are in a position to invest in any of these options – you may not be the decision maker at your organization, and REGARDLESS OF YOUR AGE, you MUST find a way to get comfortable with the Internet if you are not: the biggest reason is your prospects remain the same age and get more and more web savvy, while you keep getting older.  Investing in technology tools is an important part of your business, so you really need to ditch the 5 year old cell phone and get a smart phone, and get a laptop or tablet computer – or both.
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Summary:  After identifying your target market, you need to have your “sales presentation” that promotes being a real advocate for candidates – you have already committed to being more than merely an “interview scheduler” who speaks in clichés who doesn’t influence the outcome.  You aren’t a waiter. You have committed to being an expert on issues candidates need to know.  You have not only started to think of choreographing candidate visits (in a general sense; naturally, candidates will have different or specific needs), but you have identified hospital and community principals willing to contribute to their efforts and you have begun preparing them to help you.  You need to develop a Q/A protocol that is incorporated into your position with questions to ask candidates and measure your success.
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You need a sales tool on which to “present” your presentation – I introduced you to Online Job Tour® as an advancement over other recruiting tools, but my greater message is you must “harness” the Internet by first finding ways to grow your comfort and skills with technology, but also because this is where your target market goes for career search – in order to be competitive in that arena.
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Here’s Your Foundation Commitment #3:  “I understand the importance of crafting a ‘sales presentation’ that is competitive and commit to using the best possible tools to complement my efforts and to create efficiency, maximize quality, and continually seek competitive advantages.”
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In my last part of this series, I’m going to help you put it all together with Teamwork and how to create an optimal recruiting protocol.  I look forward to sharing it with you!
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For more information about me or Online Job Tour®, visit our website at www.onlinejobtour.com or call our offices at 813-855-5185.

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