Hospital Recruiting is inherently Flawed; Online Job Tour® makes it Perfect

 The Hospital Recruitment Platform is inherently Flawed. Online Job Tour® makes it Perfect
Hospitals go to great lengths and expense to recruit, which can include hiring “experts” or coaches.  But any positive impression made by consultants and trendy ideas tail off quickly – and there are inherent reasons they don’t have staying power.  Here’s why they don’t work in hospitals, the isolated problem(s) with hospital recruiting which has been the same for decades, and how Online Job Tour makes a hospital’s recruiting perfect…and unlike with expensive consultants, keeps it that way.

What Sales (Recruiting) Consultants Do:  I know firsthand because I used to be one.  After a successful career in technology sales I got into sales training and then became a sales consultant.  Industries in which I was involved – financial services, commercial real estate and staffing, among many, pay premiums to have sales forces that effectively and efficiently sell their products and services.  

Sales consultants are generally hired to first train employees to develop a presentation for the product or service they represent, then they are trained on how to prospect and then deal with potential customers through selling the product or service (called “closing”).  The better consultants teach the finer points of growing the customer relationship to promote ancillary sales and support services for added revenue and to solidify the relationship, as well as ask for referrals, etc. Good consultants leave their clients with a method of measuring their work to judge their performance as well as mark areas for improvement. 

After a training program, the employer’s “sales professionals” should be able to prospect for business, have a “sales presentation” that is replicate-able that they can deliver, advance the sale and close target prospects, and measure their progress in order to continually improve.  But even the sales consultant, as good as he may be, leaves – and that expertise leaves with them.

“The Pressure is On” at Hospitals:  Hospitals today are under a great deal of stress to fill their open career and physician practice opportunities in a market where high-caliber practitioners are in short supply.  Statistics are coming out regarding the lost revenue to hospitals of unfilled jobs (most notably the Advisory Board Company, Inc., in Washington, DC produced their landmark report in May, 2008 on Physician Recruitment, which revealed hospitals lose $100,000 every month physician jobs remain open), so filling job openings efficiently is an important issue.  There’s competition.  It’s expensive.  And the new “black eye” emerging in hospitals is the problem of poor “retention” – in one major hospital company 50% of physicians recruited leave after 36 months – a stunning figure. 

  • The demographics don’t look great. Many areas and specialties will be in short supply for the foreseeable future.
  • The growth of “third party recruiters” and their staffing services has been explosive – nobody argues that professionals from this industry are actually online “intercepting” the same jobseekers their clients are targeting.
  • Hospitals are dealing with an entirely new “Internet career marketplace” in which they must advertise and communicate with jobseekers in this new “online culture.” 
  • Questions are arising about social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.) and their influence on career search and how much attention should be paid to it.

Challenges at Hospitals and Corporations Start with their Staffs:  When I got into medical recruiting, perhaps due to my background and specialization in improving selling processes, the most glaring issue I immediately saw in hospitals was their internal staff recruiters had little if any competitive sales experience or professional training.  And the people for whom they worked, whether HR Directors or regional recruiting directors, also did not come from professional selling.  In the last decade I have spoken to many and they have an aversion to selling and even look down upon the notion of it, choosing instead to be “facilitators” of the advertising and interview process.  It takes a certain breed of person to be a “sales professional.”  HR people are not cut from the same cloth and are generally 9-5 employees on salary whereas sales pros are heavily incentivized by commission and “live their jobs” – they are thick skinned.  They work based on the axiom that the greater the work effort and volume of it translates into greater pay.  They want to close deals and move to the next. “Time is money” them.  This is how it should be in a hospital that wants to be world class with its recruiting. 

But community hospitals and their corporations cannot afford to lure seasoned sales professionals from their $100,000+ jobs.  And in the mid to smaller markets, hospitals “pluck” a local resident from the community who ends up being a pleasant personality on the front lines of communication with doctorsnwithout any professional skills.

  • As a result, in hospitals there is no discernable “recruiting protocol” that keeps statistics on subjects such as “closing percentages” and “time to fill,” among other things that rookie sales professionals are immediately pressed about and judged on.  Staffs don’t have the background to recognize tools to make their jobs more effective and save money – and many don’t view their role as one which is required to find ways to improve.
  • This also partly explains why there continues to be an unusual “passive” approach to selling hospital and physician jobs – without a background in sales there is no conscious awareness of the competitive component; in other words, the need to not just sell jobseekers but outsell other employers jobseekers are considering.
  • Marketing people, expressly not recruiters, are also in charge of web content at hospitals.  This “disconnect” between marketing and recruiting promotes a void as all jobseekers are online now – marketing people sell the hospital’s services but to patients.  Generally speaking, “marketing” is vastly different than “sales.” 

“Rah-Rah Sessions by Recruiting “Consultants” and the new “Internet Coaches:” Many corporations spring for annual conventions with guest speakers.  The company reviews its statistics and passes out reports at these meetings.  Workshops are held to teach “techniques” and much of these meetings are designed to motivate their recruiting force.  At their worst hospitals, companies might spring for onsite recruiting consultants. 

  • The bottom line regarding the problems of recruiting is the people who deal with physician recruiting don’t like to hear “no” or face the prospect of getting rejected – they have an aversion to “selling.”

You can’t make a sheep into a wolf.  The techniques meant for wolves fade quickly when they are taught to sheep.

Hospitals Recruit the Same as They Always Have – the  “manual” recruiting process has repeated itself for decades: They advertise/post their jobs and call third party recruiters for the important openings – 90% of the time for physician recruiting the calls are made to recruiting contacts immediately (pre-Internet the employer advertised in various periodicals, and in the last decade there has been greater use of expensive third party recruiters – for many reasons, but also due to the importance of filling the jobs).  Hospital administrators unabashedly have numerous relationships now with recruiters out in the open, such as on LinkedIn – this says a great deal about their lack of confidence in their companies recruiting. 

Generally, when contact is made with a prospective candidate it starts a “passive” delivery of information in the form of hotlinks to various websites – you can’t get any more passive than giving jobseekers websites which they can easily find themselves.  Some employers produce DVDs and perhaps even streaming videos, which may show but age quickly – they are ultimately “teasers” – streaming videos are always very short on details.  Another problem today is the jobseeker culture has changed – jobseekers today do not want to sit on their hands and stare at a 10 minute video.

Any resumes that come to the employer – the majority are from third party recruiters working on a “contingency basis” (which means they do not get paid unless one of their referred candidates are hired) are reviewed by employers and ranked in order of preference.  Prospects are then called.  They are immediately invited to interview without any hint of exclusivity. Hospital recruiters get this veiled impression that they are “busy” with candidates when they are merely looking over CVs and making site visit itineraries.  The famous quote from John Wooden comes to mind: “Never mistake activity with achievement.” 

Prospective candidates and their spouses arrive for interviews “site unseen” and unprepared – this is where the hospital spends a great deal of time, money, and effort of many people, using this trip to try to “sell” them.  Thousands of dollars are spent as hospitals attempt to negotiate numerous landmines – again, these interviews are set up by passive “recruiters” that aren’t salespeople who generally allow the prospects to lead them, they speak in awkward clichés about their facilities and communities, and many don’t know the most basic techniques to pre-qualify, question, or be advocates for the jobseekers by being learned experts about important subjects which would otherwise promote a real relationship and serve to separate them from other employers.  After the expensive visit in which they did almost nothing to guide or maximize the process, the hospital recruiters don’t know how to close or ask open ended questions which presume competition and other factors the candidate may have raised in discussions in order to start closing.

And then the physician goes on five to ten more interviews elsewhere and forgets facts.

In fact, the physician may need to return one or two more times to get more information because there is simply not enough time during these logistically challenged, extended weekend interview trips to learn everything they need.

Few stats are kept by the hospital “recruiters” who set up these visits.  Almost every important job search is a headache and stressful.  They are all expensive. Spouses are generally separated on the trips and family members don’t go on them.  The weather can be poor, key people can miss meeting candidates, people may send conflicting messages, etc. There’s not enough time and a lot can go wrong – especially considering there are as many as three to four more candidates interviewing for one opening.  This is extremely stressful and “high stakes” when you consider the onsite interview trip itself, is the hospital’s expensive “sales attempt.”

It is not uncommon, after paying the recruiter fee, for a hospital to pay in excess of $50,000 to fill one specialty physician opening – the number can approach $100,000.

  • Hospitals still post “text-based” job postings, which do compel the market in job advertising – they don’t get enough response to their advertised jobs.  Their process therefore requires the use of outside recruiters 90% of the time for major positions (physician, particularly), and then putting huge expenses into interview trip – which is reserved only for the few selected prospects, “manual recruiting” takes a long time, and as stated earlier, in a major hospital company its retention rate of physicians after 36 months is 50% – which clearly suggests it leaves a lot to be desired and clearly, new employees arrive to their new jobs knowing little and with trepidations.    

On the other hand, Online Job Tour® Promotes a Perfect Hospital Recruitment Platform: First and foremost, the only way to offset hospital career advertising that lacks the ability to reach jobseekers is to understand they are all online and reach them on the Internet in a compelling way that also addresses their needs.  And the only way to offset recruiting personnel who are not sales professionals and have no professional sales experience is to provide them with a tool that offsets their shortcomings.

In the early 2000s, when I became involved in recruiting and generated dozens of clients I doubly recognized how the high speed “virtual” Internet would soon be commonplace as well as recognized the limitations of hospitals and “manual recruiting,” I invented Online Job Tour to maximize the hospital’s effort to attract, inform hard-to-recruit medical professionals while at the same time putting the hospital’s best foot forward and compete for them.  As a former sales professional and trainer, and then as a recruiter, I was aware of the value of time and the desire for “quality hires.”

Online Job Tour is a 24/7, mistake-free web-based “virtual interview visit experience” harnessing web and other technologies that is far more comprehensive than the real trip. Over a seven year test market we have perfected a hospital’s ability to present it as a tool for jobseekers to “immerse” themselves and their families into their review of the hospitals facilities and personnel as well as into the immediate and extended service area in order to get a clear, comfortable, complete awareness of what living and working will be like.

Why Online Job Tour is Clearly Better than Traditional “Manual” Recruiting:  Placed on a website and with an address that we choose to suit the hospital, Online Job Tour is made to be exhibited on job postings, in communications, on the hospital’s website, and to support every open career position in the hospital from specialty physicians to respiratory therapists.

  • With basic instruction by the hospital, jobseekers use Online Job Tour and are fully educated BEFORE any decision is made for interviews.  Ultimately hospitals using Online Job Tour fill their positions 19% faster – that’s an incredible one month sooner in five months. 
  • Online Job Tour also automatically “pre-qualifies” prospects automatically without the hospital personnel’s need to do it.  Those unterested beg out of the process before it starts, which wastes no time.
  • Online Job Tour placed on all job postings not only makes them into a “virtual job trip” but it is a “turnkey candidate producer” that produces bona fide candidates who are fully prepared and motivated for the advertised jobs.  This better ad response has proven to limit the need for third party recruiters.
  • Online Job Tour proactively influences the outcome automatically.  This not only limits mistakes by personnel, but they embrace Online Job Tour since the “sales component” is removed from their responsibility and allows them to facilitate interviews of the hospital’s selected candidates.
  • Simply by introducing a tool that gives prospective candidates such a compelling, in-depth and complete presentation gives the candidates the impression that local recruiters are de facto experts and puts conversations into the realm of being a “peer relationship” where they confide in them and are more revealing instead of viewing them as merely “interview schedulers.”
  • Online Job Tour allows the hospital staff to take advantage of their best traits – their genuine enthusiasm for their employer and community as well as being legitimate representations of the kind, generous community members and friends in the area who will be the neighbors and friends of these prospects should they become employees. 
  • A great deal of stress is removed from the hospital – who no longer has to use the interview visit to “make the sale.”  Instead, Online Job Tour does the informing and the selling before any talk of a trip – it has sales tenets built in, it leaves no stone unturned, makes no factual errors, and  pre-qualifies and sells – automatically and with no anxiety or miscommunication on either side – every time.
  • Now every single professional is provided with the far better “virtual trip.”  This dramatically shortens the time to fill of the search process as all candidates will arrive “pre sold” and relaxed to their interviews, and ready to sign after authenticating their interest during the interview trip.  Online Job Tour has proven to reduce a hospital’s overall need for interview trips by 33-40% a year. 
  • While other hospital competitors struggle with the old “manual approach” and have to worry about what their candidates remember, Online Job Tour’s client’s candidates continue to refer back to Online Job Tour throughout the process, which ensures they don’t forget important details and they remain motivated, and the hospital in the better position to compete for them.
  • Better informed and motivated candidates lead to higher closing percentages which also fill jobs faster.
  • By improving a hospital’s competitiveness automatically, Online Job Tour promotes hiring the higher caliber practitioners from the marketplace.
  • Better informed and motivated new employees result in far better employee and physician retention rates.
  • Our 2009 ROI Survey revealed hospitals saved $47,000 per physician placed using Online Job Tour, and in the same year physician jobseekers were surveyed:  89-100% preferred Online Job Tour on every question

Online Job Tour was invented and has been tested and refined after years in test market to “fit” what hospital staffs need after a realistic and candid evaluation of their personnel and process, and natural, unavoidable “manual”  shortcomings, by harnessing technology tools to offset and improve upon them, while at the same time fit the needs and preferences of today’s online jobseekers.

Here are some Online Job Tour samples:

75 bed Northeast Nevada Regional Hospital, Elko, NV:
90 bed Valley View Medical Center, Fort Mohave, AZ:
125 bed Carolina Pines Regional, Hartsville, SC:
200 bed Vaughan Regional MC, Selma, AL:
300+ bed Lake Cumberland Regional, Somerset, KY:

“What is better than bringing the hospital’s ideal, mistake free, virtual interview visit experience that is more comprehensive than the real trip, which all jobseekers can use at their convenience to consider the hospital’s careers?”

  • In today’s Internet culture and after a decade of research of web user behavior and their expectations, as well as direct involvement with dozens of hospitals and their recruiting staffs as well as jobseekers, we believe there is no better approach to “selling” prospective candidates than the patented Online Job Tour system of placing a far better “virtual interview visit experience” on a web platform in order for the employer to maximize their presentation and time while doubly providing target prospects with an experience that they prefer and contains the specific information they want in greater abundance than on the real trip.

I mentioned earlier that great sales consultants help clients establish a convincing and repeatable presentation of its goods and services as the first step to having a successful selling platform.   Online Job Tour sets up a Perfect Recruiting Protocol: 

  • Hospitals absolutely need to have a proactive, compelling “presentation” in today’s online culture given the intense competition for the best medical practitioners, for many reasons.  Online Job Tour’s patented system is based on categories jobseekers traditionally need and cannot be copied – offering a “federally-protected” competitive advantage. 
  • It is online – where jobseekers are, and gets the needed “emotional connection” for selling. 
  • You can’t beat Online Job Tour’s method of efficiently delivering the information which is provided BEFORE interviews even start.
  • Online Job Tour convinces and sells as it is produced in the manner that puts the hospital and its service area’s “best foot forward.” 
  • Web-based, Online Job Tour was made so it can be modified, and grow and change as the hospital and area change – unlike other sales products in hospital recruiting, it never gets old or needs to be replaced.  In many cases, hospitals spend a great deal on recruiting products which start aging from day one and are faced with the awkward choice of how long to keep using them.
  • Because all jobseekers see the same thing, it is far easier to deal with them and manage their candidacies, and build standardized questions for them to better evaluate them as well as the important feedback from spouses.
  • Hospitals require a sales tool that works and is reliable, on which they can begin to keep statistics which are more reliable due to Online Job Tour’s consistency.
  • Hospitals can survey their own clients and use feedback from them to alter or improve upon Online Job Tour; for instance, if the same complaint keeps surfacing, Online Job Tour can be modified to address that issue – this makes its orientation and design one where the hospital can keep their recruiting process “perfect.”

And also mentioned earlier, while consultants leave and so does their expertise and any results they may have promoted, Online Job Tour was developed to stay perfect and keep its incredible value to hospitals’ recruiting:  Because it can be updated and changed at any time, a hospital’s Online Job Tour can be improved upon.  More people, places, and features can be added.  Also, testimonials can be taken of new employees who successfully used Online Job Tour during their candidacy which adds to its credibility among the current candidates. 

  • Perhaps its greatest asset is that Online Job Tour is the only recuriting approach that never gets old or tired, but gets better and better. The investment in it is returned year after year – making it more valuable as time goes on, instead of less effective.

Hospitals Must Embrace leaving “manual recruiting” and respect that new technology makes recruiting easier and more effective, and is preferred by jobseekers – the alternative, the status quo which is continuing to “manually recruit,” while it eventually fills jobs, is too expensive, relies too much on others to sell for them, it takes too long, and not meeting jobseekers online where they search for careers loses the better candidates. Moreover, they must consciously be aware of their competitors and have tools that are better than theirs.  The closing percentage of visiting candidates is low, there are numerous “wasted” interview trips by prospects who aren’t interested within hours of their arrival and seeing the hospital and its area for the first time.  Retention in many hospitals is abysmal and the result of candidates not being fully educated and convinced, and is also a byproduct of the overuse of “contingency search” recruiters who “shotgun” the candidates they represent to multiple hospitals as the recruiters are more focused more on making a placement anywhere than with any specific hospital – and generally, the recruiters maintain their relationships with those professionals after the “placement” which leaves open the door for a physician who isn’t totally happy in 8 months to engage the services of the recruiter again.

More and more hospitals will be attracted to Online Job Tour as they analyze their costs and start to see they must improve and when they see what is possible by harnessing the Internet and technology to offset natural limitations on people, time, resources and as they begin to appreciate their need to compete in the new online employment marketplace where today’s jobseekers clearly prefer web solutions to many of their needs.

If you are interested in seeing samples of Online Job Tour, visit or consider calling our studio to learn more.


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