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April 1, 2021

Pointers for searching a candidate database

Because you’re a recruiter, I’m sure one of the tools in your toolbox is a candidate database.

Through my years of physician recruitment experience, I’ve learned some tips I would like to share with you about utilizing your database to its fullest. While I’m using the PracticeLink Active Candidate Database in my example, many of these ideas can be applied to any database you use.

One might think searching a candidate database for a physician need is a one-search-and-done thing. That is not - or at least should not - be the case. There are many ways to manipulate the search criteria to find candidates. For example, you could get 20 candidates using a basic search by state, but you could find additional candidates by searching for home state, current state, states licensed and other criteria.

For the sake of this article, we are searching for a family physician for an opportunity located in Northern Ohio.


Conduct multiple searches for a physician candidate

I would start my search for family physicians currently living in Ohio, and even target candidates living within a certain radius of a specific ZIP code. I would then send out a broadcast email by selecting the candidates - typically the "All" button - writing the email and sending. In PracticeLink’s system, a broadcast email is always blind copied so the candidates do not know how many other people received the message, and they can also be personalized by utilizing mail merge codes. That way you can send a broadcast email to one or 100 candidates and only type the message once. Saving the email allows you to use it in the future, too.

But I would not stop my search there. Next, I would search for family physicians whose geographic preference is Ohio. There could be candidates not living in-state where the position is, but who may want to practice there. During this step, make sure to look for the option to exclude candidates you have previously emailed. Within the PracticeLink platform, this is called "Previously Emailed," and you would mark "No." This crucial step will remove any candidates who appeared in a past search you have already emailed.

Use these tips when searching a candidate database to find the best prospects.

Next, I would search for family physicians who were originally from Ohio - again, making sure I mark "No" in the "Previously Emailed" field. Remember, after each search I am sending a broadcast email to those candidates.

You could even search for family physicians who are licensed In Ohio. You get the idea?

Our opportunity in Ohio is up near Lake Erie, so this is a great opportunity to take advantage of a "Keyword Search" field. The PracticeLink Candidate Database includes fields for hobbies and personal interests. Do a keyword search for fishing, boating, water skiing, kayaking and similar terms related to area activities - again, always marking the "Previously Emailed" field as "No."

One last step would be to search the database for any physicians currently in - or with a geographic preference of - the nearest neighboring state or states. Or search for candidates interested in states with the same geographical feel as the state for which you are recruiting.


Avoid assumptions

I also want to stress not to make decisions for the candidate. Each one has their own reasons and preferences as part of their physician job search. Years ago, when I was recruiting, I came across a candidate who was currently living in Hawaii, but he was originally from a small town in Ohio. I spoke with him, and he was interested in a job in his hometown. I forwarded his CV to the practice. They didn’t call him. I reached out to the practice to let them know the candidate was waiting to hear from them, and they mentioned they couldn’t understand why someone would want to leave Hawaii for Ohio. I reminded them it wasn’t for them to understand, that the candidate wanted to come back home. They did end up hiring the physician.


Know when to take the next step

One last tip: Our goal is to make phone contact with interested candidates. Utilizing the broadcast emailing feature helps you target with whom to start a phone campaign. A week after your broadcast email, you will want to look at your email statistics, paying attention to the candidates who opened your email or even who clicked through your email. If they were interested enough to read the email, you will want to call them.

Thoroughly utilizing a candidate database to source physician candidates hand-in-hand with broadcast email allows you to recruit smart. Many recruiters often wear multiple hats, so anything that can save you time and effort is a plus. The PracticeLink Recruitment Management System does just that - built for you to recruit smarter.

Finding a doctor is hard, but PracticeLink makes it easier!



Sarah Armstrong is a Sale Representative at PracticeLink and has been with the company for 23 years. Prior to joining PracticeLink. Sarah spent 10 years as an in-house recruiter and was instrumental in organizing the Ohio recruiter’s group, which is now the Ohio Network of Physician Recruiters, and was elected the first President.

Read PracticeLink articles from Sarah Armstrong

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