Today I am in Manchester, Vermont (at least until 4pm), presenting at the annual conference of the Northeast Physician Recruiter Association. My talk is on the importance of brand experience, particularly online brand experience, in physician recruitment. The question I plan to pose to the group is:
“When a candidate visits your website, what do they learn about how your organization values physicians? More generally, what does that experience convey about how you value employees overall?”
My plan is to look at a number of areas including my single largest pet peeve: the “Find a Physician” section of the hospital website. We’ll also look at the hospital press room (how are physicians marketed via media relations), hospital marketing (how are physicians represented in advertising and marketing), referring physician marketing and the “For Health Professionals” section of the hospital website, and the organization’s use of social media (physician blogs, Twitter, etc.). In these areas, and many others, whether the organization knows it or not, it is communicating its values related to physicians.
Below is a screen shot I took from a Physician Finder for a hospital (I blocked the name of the physician). This is fairly typical of what I see from organizations around the country. Is this really any way to select or market a physician? And if I’m a physician viewing this, what does it say to me about the effort the hospital is making to market its physicians? In my opinion the photo is a basic requirement. Really what is needed is a corresponding video that introduces the visitor to the physician. Anything less than a video and you’re not doing enough to market one of your most valuable assets.
Some things to think about in relation to physician recruitment and the signals you are sending through your online presence and marketing:
- Do you have a Guide to Medical Experts within your press room or on your website? Your organization is teaming with medical experts, and they should be promoted to the press.
- Have you registered your physicians with Profnet (and other services) as expert sources for health reporters?
- Do you have videos of your physicians talking about their areas of specialty? Are these videos available to consumers and referring physicians?
- When you hire new physicians do you send out a press release, a targeted mailing, feature them on your website, profile them in internal and external newsletters, or produce an introductory video?
- Is your internal newsletter available on your website so visitors and job candidates can review and get a feel for your organization’s culture?
Needless to say, there’s a lot that can be done in this area. Tomorrow I will post my presentation on this blog via my SlideShare account.