Expert Physician Recruiting in a web culture influenced by the growing mobile market

Healthcare and physician recruiting is an  expensive “business” and hospitals will start becoming attracted to technology-based products that make them more efficient and effective as organizations are tightening their belts.  Studies clearly show financial benefits of getting physician starting sooner.  Corporations are now focusing on “efficiency” practices to streamline operations, and that needs to happen on the recruiting side. And with the continues documented shortages in a variety of areas, recruiting today can no longer be viewed as an administrative function but a very competitive one. The advantage will be with the employers who take prudent and common sense steps that run against the old, “standard industry operating recruiting process” and use better recruiting strategy and material that attract and compel, outsell, and recruits more efficiently, while hiring the better practitioners than their competition.

The iPhone's popularity is driving the web to the smart phone
The smart phone – especially the iPhone’s popularity, is driving the computer to our hands

Today’s web content is moving to “mobile:” Driving web content design is the smart phone along with the proliferation of video content and broadband speed, and their accessibility, which continue to enamor consumers.  With Apple recently announcing record earnings due to iPhone sales (emphasis on phone – that is, the smart phone), and with its market lead in mobile device software, the market of web design (as seen in the growth of Apps and the most popular social media tools) is more influenced on the mobile side of the marketplace. The reality is that the iPhone has driven the computer device to our hands – in a manner of speaking.

The mobile web is also video now:  If you are a lead executive, informed, and you can afford it, you own the iPhone. And you are buying the next one.  And you must be tech savvy if you lead recruiting, so you are engaged in social media which is dominated by video (Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, etc., and the leader, Facebook, can’t get out of the way of continuous streams of video on your feed).

Web content is made for "quick checks" with pizzazz & for advertising
Mobile content is made for “quick checks” to keep users moving through advertising
  • Mobile content is “built” for “quick checks;” that is, quickly checking your messages in whatever form you receive them from work, home, and friends, and from breaking sports scores and news sources.
  • Commercial organizations are finding it challenging to generate revenue on mobile, prompting design agencies need to create content that can cram commercials and ads into the structure of the content.
  • Our attention spans are being designed to be shorter online, especially on mobile,  because companies need to keep users moving through advertising.

The latest mobile content design trends aren’t conducive to permanent placement recruiting: All sales professionals understand no matter what product or service you are selling, you must “reach” your prospects emotionally, and they must feel comfortable that they have the information that they need in order to make a decision.   Especially with jobseekers that are nervous and face crucial, life-changing choices, a very substantial review and comparison process is needed. This flies against the “mobile world” of web content.  With the 2 minute videos with talking cats and digital content that is in vogue right now for mobile devices, which is designed to incorporate advertising, the challenge to employers is to stay away from the “temptations” of sites that may offer pizzazz and hype but don’t provide deep, required information for analysis that plays an advocate’s role to support the jobseeker’s needs, in order to get educated on core subjects they require, and want,  in their career search process. So where do you start when considering making changes to your recruiting materials?

How can employers negotiate through the influence of mobile trends in web design and maintain optimized recruiting practices and tools for jobseekers?

First, when it comes to making decisions on web content for recruiting purposes, employers must understand the differences between their marketing and recruiting departments.   Recruiting, is in its essence “sales,” which includes qualifying prospects, competing, selling jobs, seeking referrals, hustling to meet start dates – even working to quicken start dates. This is entirely different than “marketing” a hospital’s services, branding, or promoting its local charity work – which is directed to its patient area. The people, and mentalities, are also different, and the pay is different with recruiters/closers often being compensated based on performance bonuses and meeting placement deadlines, and other commission-oriented incentives.  While web designers hired by marketing departments can take the trending content design concepts and incorporate them because they think it will impress their client by looking like it fits into current commercial designs,  recruiters who put their prospects’ needs first to sell them, and want a sales tool to accommodate those needs and would balk.  The quick checks and quickie videos work in the branding and consumer markets. They don’t satisfy jobseekers and their needs, nor compete for them.  So marketing and recruiting are entirely different.

Do these look like marketers? Recruiters are sales pros/closers - there's a big difference
Do these look like marketers? Recruiters are sales pros/closers – there’s a big difference
  • A marketing director may find mobile design concepts compelling because they appeal to their instincts to attract and brand and create “buzz,” but these things that work in marketing a hospital’s services to patients – they contribute to the biggest complaint we have heard from jobseekers in the last decade since the Internet took over the marketplace: “there is not enough information.”

So what will work effectively? Designing recruiting content demands first focusing on the needs of jobseekers – this is a selling tenet – not necessarily a marketing one: As the best in-house recruiters know, the first step to attracting a doctor starts with understanding the basics of his or her situation, knowledge of the marketplace, a physician’s options and choices, pre-qualifying their needs, and understanding your organization’s positives and negatives vs. competitors, which can depend on many factors which include the needs and wants of the specific physicians and their families, the time in their careers (their age), what they value – many factors. Experience is also important – dealing with doctors over a decade (like we have) leads an in-house recruiter to know candidates much prefer to be “led” by advocates being proactive about their immediate needs and immediate and long-term career interests vs. following them with a clipboard.  “Leading them” to make their decision is necessary to manage the process.  Getting them the information they need is essential while competing, while selling the assets of the employer. Even pulling back on enthusiasm is sometime necessary to make sure the physician is making the right decisions for both sides. The “x-factor” is everyone’s need to educate the marketplace on their people, culture, facilities and the areas they serve – and do it in a manner that is efficient and out-competes, and that’s where a sales tool/recruiting material comes in.

All great sales professionals/recruiters rely on a world-class selling tool
All great sales professionals rely on a world-class selling tool

Acknowledging today’s need for a recruiting tool (“sales tool”): Agreeing that technology can enable a company’s recruiters to be in many places at once is the first step to appreciation the benefits of a sales tool. A recruiting tool is needed if the employer wants to compete and maximize its recruiting operations.  For starters, in today’s world where jobseekers are online, there is a need to deal with multiple prospects who have different and complex needs on core subjects simultaneously, and for efficiency. But the tool must be something that is credible and substantial – remembering the sales tenet that prospects must be given information that fully answers their core questions – the more questions answered and subjects covered, the more time is saved and the less “work” is needed by the recruiter to take the time to “fill in the (primarily knowledge-educating) gaps.”

  • All top sales professionals in almost all industries (certainly my prior tech sales and Wall Street brokerage industries) leverage a sales presentation or tool of some kind. It is the sales professional’s hallmark, their “leave behind;” it works in their absence, legitimizes their efforts, saves time, and pre-qualifies their prospects and keeps the selling process manageable.

The most powerful in-house physician recruiter is one with experience, is well-trained and uses a tool that is an exemplar of their knowledge and supports the ultimate needs of the jobseeker, often acting as a tool that guides prospects through the selling process. All world class sales professionals have a “go-to” sales tool.

Back to web content: Can technology provide an optimal sales tool for employer recruiting? Absolutely, but content today that is being influenced by mobile trends need to be avoided.  Web content that is ultimately an employer’s sales tool works when: jobseekers’ needs are met and they must also be emotionally compelled (again, these are core selling/recruiting tenets).

A 100% digital career preview, this Online Job Tour for St. Jude's-affiliated Niswonger Children's Hospital can be viewed at
A 100% digital career preview, this Online Job Tour for St. Jude’s-affiliated Niswonger Children’s Hospital can be viewed at
CHS’s Seven Rivers Regional Medical Center Online Job Tour – from charming Crystal River, Florida, is at

Special Note:  Both Online Job Tours have a mobile version which are automatically activated when accessed with a smart phone.

Introducing Online Job Tour® and its accompanying mobile version: For more than a decade after I invented it and filed for a patent when I was a private physician recruiter in 2003, Online Job Tour (finally patented in 2012) has proven to improve hospital and physician recruiting in a variety of ways as an online presentation system designed to replicate the real interview trip that hospitals traditionally use to “sell” their facilities and service areas to finalist candidates – but without the time limits, expense, and many inconveniences and logistical challenges of travel and setting meetings, etc.

More than a dozen physicians - among 50 community leaders, are featured in Online Job Tour productions
More than a dozen physicians – among 50 community leaders, are featured in Online Job Tour productions – far more than candidates meet on the real interview
Expert Randy Ratliff takes IPMC jobseekers flyin fishing in the hospital's Online Job Tour - what would take all day - including discussions of strategy plus fish takes, and making a new friend, is more easier facilitated in Online Job Tour
Expert Randy Ratliff takes job seekers fly fishing in one of our productions – what would take all day – including discussions of strategy and making a new friend, is more easier facilitated in Online Job Tour

Extremely comprehensive, the real interview visit cannot cover 5% of an Online Job Tour production, which can exceed 400 pages with 4,000 photos and more than 100 videos. Also changing the entire dynamic of the candidate evaluation process, because all prospects are fully and better educated in hours instead of a few making multiple trips over as long as a year, all prospects can be considered simultaneously because all who express interest in the client’s career are fully knowledgeable and have a holistic understanding of living and working at the client’s location – equal to knowledge the employer would pay for multiple trips.

  • In hours, instead of months to a year over multiple, expensive interview visits that interrupt the work flow of many team members and physicians who must take time out, candidates and their entire families holistically understand working and living with our clients after using Online Job Tour.

Jobseekers can RELAX and learn everything they need with a deliberate and comfortable “tour” format:  Unlike the frenetic, “entertainment-orientation” of today’s new design in the mobile arena – which again is produced by commercial agencies to incorporate advertising, Online Job Tour is “touring;” it keeps jobseekers on a deliberate protocol that they want – they want the information first, while Online Job Tours certainly entertain and compel.  We do not have the need to create content that includes advertising so we can stay focused on efficiently driving to the jobseeker the information they need to ultimately be able to make decisions. Online Job Tour is the “ultimate sales tool” for the in-house recruiter as it guides prospects through a tour of all relevant topics, allowing the recruiter a number of time, categorizing, pre-qualifying luxuries and instead of spending time educating, the recruiter can focus on the relationship with candidates, closing them, and choosing from a better and larger group of motivated candidates. Many benefits include:

  • Client advertising gets dramatically improved response.
  • Also important in sales is the competitive component. Candidates note they prefer our clients over competitors because Online Job Tour better prepares them so there are fewer unknowns – this moves our clients hire on their preferred lists.
  • Unlike the recruiter, Online Job Tour is on 24/7 and can be shown to an unlimited number of candidates at the same time.
  • It shared with extended family members who are usually shut out from considerations.
  • Spouses enjoy Online Job Tour because they are usually separated from the candidate for much of the real visit – if they are indeed invited by the employer.
  • Particularly rural hospitals were focused on in our test market have never-before-seen results regarding candidate satisfaction as many small communities are not professionally represented online.
  • Our clients are getting more and more candidates willing to accept career openings, and in many cases regarding spouses who don’t need to take any physical trip to our clients, who commit to signing.
  • Closing % of visiting candidates is dramatically improved.
  • Time-to-fill open jobs is shortened considerably.
  • Clients have noted higher better caliber and more qualified practitioners.
  • Online Job Tour saves wasted trips; that is, jobseekers who use it may determine the service area of the hospital isn’t what they want, so the employer doesn’t waste the time, effort and money to host candidates who, once they show up, go through the motions but wastes everyone’s’ time and delays the hire.
  • Candidates arrive far more prepared for interviews, and all new hires are far more committed to the long term career because there are no “unknowns” like many who move to a new home without learning “everything” about a community.
  • On-boarding is easier and only requires credentialing and no “welcome wagon”-type of community education.
  • Our stats show far better retention (less turnover) – candidates are ultimately better educated and therefore better able to make firm career commitments.
  • Online Job Tour is US-patented, so our clients have phenomenal advantages over competitors who still must rely on the traditional process of providing a patchwork of websites they hope jobseekers will research, and expensive trips to sell their towns, and they deal with fewer candidates due to personnel and logistical limitations that our web tool doesn’t have.

What about the influence of mobile? I didn’t forget!  In fact, I designed the first mobile version of Online Job Tour for a smart phone in 2006 and because I believed the iPhone in particular would be a “game changer,” we re-tooled our mobile design within six months of the release of the first iPhone in 2008. After almost eight years researching our mobile version, it is an abbreviated version of our large productions that motivates jobseekers and their families to use the production on their full screen devices (tablets, laptops and desktops).  The look and feel of our mobile versions are similar to many mobile sites and their content style, and the videos are optimized for the iPhone – principally because our target market (primarily physicians) have iPhones, but without clutter or designs inadvertently influenced by commercial needs to incorporate advertising and banners, video ads, etc.  Our mobile version can be viewed on Android and Samsung mobile software-driven devices, among others.

  • Because more and more prospects are first viewing Online Job Tour on their smart phones, ultimately our mobile pieces are extremely elegant. Because jobseekers ultimately want to get details for their career search, the mobile versions help to transition them to the full site versions that they can enjoy on larger screen devices – although prospects can choose to view the “full site” on their phones.

In the end, Online Job Tour is providing a compelling advantage as the sales tool for our clients’ recruiting teams, made ideally in an era where web content is moving to mobile, but accommodates the true needs of jobseekers who must feel “fulfilled” in obtaining the information they need. Online Job Tour keeps everything manageable and comfortable for the user because it is designed as a “tour.”

Commercial groups influenced by mobile design trends who develop recruiting content to impress marketing folks will fall  way short in meeting needs for recruiting
Commercial groups influenced by mobile design trends who develop recruiting content to impress marketing folks will fall way short in meeting needs for recruiting

While many hospital companies will fall into the temptation of the “pizzazz” of mobile content trends and fall short with poor recruiting investments, through years of test marketing we have already negotiated the issues relating to user expectations of content, the tools they use to access the web (including mobile), and have a proven tool that significantly improves healthcare recruiting, empowers our in-house recruiter clients, and helps our employer clients stand far apart from their competitors in a tough marketplace.

Carl Brickman

For more information on Online Job Tour, please contact me at 813-992-2299 (that’s my iPhone!) Carl Brickman is Founder and Creative Director of Promo Web Innovations, Inc., in Tampa, FL. After a sales career in which he broke his technology company’s production records, Carl was a sales consultant for a Wall Street brokerage and a major commercial real estate company. He decided to get into the field of physician recruiting in 2001 after his father died during a hospital operation, when he invented Online Job Tour.


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