In-house Hospital Recruiting’s 3 Biggest Mistakes

Carl Brickman is the Creative Director at Promo Web Innovations, Inc., located in Tampa, the exclusive provider of Online Job Tour®, a 2012-patented hospital recruiting innovation which we refined over a 7 year test market with primarily rural and mid-market hospitals in 15 states.  Through that time we have become intimately aware of the personnel, practice and logistical and uncontrollable shortcomings of traditional in-house healthcare recruiting (physician and staff). Our sole focus is empowering hospital company clients who acknowledge the huge financial benefits possible by maximizing their recruiting efforts with advanced technology and motivated, proactive in-house staff.

Mistake #1:  Many hospital corporations do not have a truly “competitive approach” to their recruiting

Many “leaders” of recruiting, either at the corporate or individual hospital level, do not view their positions as being the head of an extremely competitive team as opposed to believing their job is more of an administrative, process-driven one.  Numerous times I have been told by Directors of Recruiting, as well as by HR and Marketing leaders placed over recruiting “I don’t believe in selling (our jobs).” With the shortage of physicians and many different types of hospital staff positions, this passive, “let them sell themselves” orientation is dangerous regarding the company’s development of a strategic, effective, lasting protocol that will continually land the very best professionals and in a timely, thorough manner with good retention numbers, much less having any plan to track results.

  • Having the understanding that your organization not only has to compel and sell the candidate but also out-sell as many as 5-6 other places, sets in motion an orientation that directs everything; specifically an approach that is mindful of what other organizations are doing to compete for the same candidates as you are and never being totally satisfied with results.

This is a big subject.  Basically, those organizations who are aggressive in their approach and question their protocol, tools, technology, probe their candidates, etc., better learn how they stack up vs. other organizations.  A competitive approach also breeds having an interest in detailed record keeping regarding results – from time-to-fill statistics, costs, use (or over-use) of third party recruiting candidate sourcing companies, retention statistics, and more.  Incentivized in-house staff recruiters want stats kept to monitor their results because their pay and bonuses are based on pre-set strategic goals and accountability. 

  • The best in-house recruiters are bred from the competitive background of professional sales, particularly commission-based selling and dealing with high-caliber consumers with incomes like physicians have, where the more success they have, the more money they make (and better professionals are hired faster with better long term outcomes). Many multi-year, in-house recruiting professionals do not have extensive annual breakdowns of their personal statistics to determine their effectiveness and ability to examine ways to improve – this is more proof the organization has not identified accountability based on a “persistent vs. a passive” recruiting approach.
  • By no means is it a requirement that an in-house recruiter have a prior successful professional sales career, but it helps because they are familiar with using their efforts to close business and they are comfortable in an incentive-based job.  Any person willing to work hard and be paid and rewarded for their results, who wants to be in a position that holds them accountable and pays them what they are worth, would be at least a good “raw” fit for in-house physician recruiting (just as most third party recruiters are commission-based).

Mistake #2: In-house recruiters follow vs. lead candidates

In what is an extension of the passive approach above, that in-house recruiter who almost immediately attempts to get the physician or candidate to commit to an interview without any exclusivity or pre-educating, who does little more than set a visit itinerary while keeping no detailed statistics, who then with a clip board follows the candidate, who arrived on-site unprepared and unable to acquire the necessary information they need to make a decision. This is not professional selling and in the famous words of John Wooden, hospitals and their recruiting staff have to stop “mistaking activity for achievement.”

  • The in-house recruiter can go a long way to influence the outcome by acting as a “go-to” person who is an encyclopedia of knowledge on all the topics the candidate needs to understand in order to make a decision – a trusted ally candidates confide in and take seriously, especially vs. competing hospitals who are doing this “run of the mill” coddling of candidates, which with extremely intelligent candidates insults them by not being an advocate of their candidacy by being prepared.

Hospitals must make the choice to enlist proactive in-house recruiters who want to do far more than be “busy bodies” who are satisfied with a day of coordinating interview trips who have few skills or tools that advance the process or influence the recruiting outcome. 

Mistake #3:  Many in-house hospital staff have no proprietary recruiting tools and many resist change and technology

The “new frontier” in healthcare recruiting has been revealed in studies which show how much money hospitals lose by having UNFILLED physician jobs – a Merritt-Hawking study in 2006 and then the Advisory Board Company, Inc. in 2008, they reviewed that each month lost equals $150,000-200,000 lost, and combined with poor retention numbers, companies often face restarting very expensive processes.

All superior sales professionals have a “go-to” sales tool and other resources designed – as in any competitive sales environment, are designed to compete, do a better job than competitors, and influence the outcome; these tools are often used as leverage by sales people to offset their own limitations.  In sales, and arguably more so with physician recruitment when a specialist can have a huge impact on a hospital’s patients, it’s perfectly acceptable to have a powerful tool that serves to help the recruiter, the hospital, and the candidate come to decisions better and faster.

  • Online Job Tour has already proven to be a phenomenal tool that not only influences outcomes but promotes faster placements.  Whether you consider our work or any other, it is important to investigate proven ways to improve results and make faster and better placements by better informing and competing for candidates.

Hospitals must invest in a tool their staff can believe and lean on for many reasons.  The new focus born through technology and how jobseekers are online, are online resources that impact and make the process more efficient, and provide a consistency in the delivery of the message that transcends the talent of the recruiters and instead promotes a “protocol” where the team focuses hustling and working to improve efficiency and the numbers.

  • More technology needs for in-house recruiters:  Technology should be used to attract proprietary candidates when possible during this time when hospitals are “over-relying” on outside sources to provide candidates – who are being exposed to numerous jobs by opportunistic vendors.  The latest computer and mobile tools, as well as social media, need to be engaged and investigated because they are the “playground” of your prospective candidates and their families.  Resisting involvement in Social Media – to both brand the organization as well as to develop and grow direct and referral relationships, and not having the latest wireless technology tools, ultimately costs more money to the hospital than the investment in providing them to the in-house recruiting staff.

Carl Brickman can be reached at OnlineJobTour.com as well as on Facebook at OnlineJobTour and Twitter @OnlineJobTour.
Studio Phone: 813-855-5185

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