I estimate that in my role as editor of PracticeLink Magazine, I’ve read close to 2,000 physician recruitment ads. Through all that reading, I’ve picked up on four questions every physician recruiter should ask to help their next printed ad, postcard, banner ad or other collateral reach its full potential.
1. Is it consistent with your organization’s overall brand?
Conventional marketing wisdom says it takes seven times of seeing a message before someone will act on it. Don’t reset the clock on every touchpoint! Make it easy for busy physicians to identify that each of your touchpoints is, well, yours.
TRY: Use the same (or similarly treated) imagery throughout all your ads, direct mail, website and social media efforts. Put the images you’re using in your PracticeLink Magazine ads in your online job postings. Use the same photo from your LinkedIn profile on your email signature and recruiter profile page to create a consistent personal brand, too.
A funny or attractive ad that looks nothing like your other marketing efforts doesn’t effectively build your brand. Choose consistency.
2. Does it tell and show your location?
One of the benefits of print advertising is that it lets you affordably cast your recruitment net wide. With that wide net, you’ll reach candidates who are familiar with your facility, and candidates who aren’t.
The locals - the ones who know about you - want to know exactly where an opportunity is located. Don’t just tell them "Houston," tell them where in Houston.
The nonlocals will be interested in knowing what makes your area a good place to live, a place they should learn more about. Don’t just tell them "Morgantown," tell them "vibrant college town in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia."
TRY: Provide both color and precision about your location. Ads that only offer one risk looking too vague ("Near the ocean!") or too specific ("123 Main St.").
To communicate with both audiences, I might describe an opportunity in my city this way:
Practice in a Southern city with a Midwestern feel!
Hospitalist opportunity at Community Health in the heart of Hospital Curve in downtown Louisville, Kentucky.
3. Does it tell physicians what’s different about your organization?
Think about your most successful hires to date. What was it about those candidates that first attracted them to your organization? What was it about the facility that made them take the job? Is it your hospital’s leadership, your location, the quality of life you offer?
TRY: Brainstorm the reasons why physicians start with your organization - and why they stay. How can you communicate those differentiators in your next ad?
4. Does it tell candidates what to do next?
Adding clear, direct instructions to your marketing material can result in action, not just brand awareness. Providing your name and email address is the bare minimum.
TRY: List the specific specialties for which you’re recruiting. Include some creative yet easy ways for candidates to respond, such as: