Podcast #47

Healthcare Recruitment Strategies to Grow Your Provider Pipeline

Due to nationwide staffing shortages, the healthcare industry continues to struggle with provider recruitment. An organization's ability to attract and retain skilled physicians and healthcare workers impacts its growth and the patient experience. The first step in developing a solid talent pipeline is creating a strong outreach program.

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Episode Highlights:

Lauren Leone

Lauren Leone: “When I get phone calls from current or prospective clients to say, ‘Hey, look, I need help recruiting providers,’ what I want to know before I’m willing to launch media channels for them is that they have a dedicated resource either in-house or through a third party that is in charge of provider recruitment and provider relations. “

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Announcer: Welcome to The Ignite Podcast, the only healthcare marketing podcast that digs into the digital strategies and tactics that help you accelerate growth. Each week, Cardinal’s experts explore innovative ways to build your digital presence and attract more patients. Buckle up for another episode of Ignite.

Alex Membrillo: What’s up, everybody? Thanks for having us back. This is going to be a fun week, a fun topic, and a fun episode because we don’t talk about this side of marketing very often. I’ve got Lauren Leone, our SVP of Healthcare Marketing. I need to stop introducing her because you hear from her every damn week, I know you know her. Today, we’re talking about provider recruitment. We’re going to talk about the things that marketing, in-house or agencies, can and more importantly cannot do to help you acquire more providers of clinicians, therapists, whatever it may be that you need.

Lauren, obviously every industry has had a staffing shortage so we’re getting pinged all the time by our clients, and otherwise A, can you help us recruit more clinicians, therapists, providers, mid-levels, whatever it may be? Where’s the first place your mind goes to when you get that request as part or not part of a patient recruitment?

Lauren Leone: When I get phone calls from current or prospective clients to say, “Hey, look, I need help recruiting providers,” what I want to know before I’m willing to launch media channels for them is that they have a dedicated resource either in-house or through a third party that is in charge of provider recruitment and provider relations. Someone who is calling on providers, who is on LinkedIn, sending one-to-one messages, if you think that without that individual or that type of internal support, that launching a PPC campaign for ‘therapists jobs near me’ is just going to be the magic bullet to getting applications in the door, it’s not.

If those things don’t exist, I’m challenging my clients or my prospective clients to go back and think about what they’re willing and able to do to stand up that program first, and then come back and give me a call when you’re ready to launch digital as a support.

Alex: Yes, they need a strong physical outreach team. Here at Cardinal through the pandemic, we grew 20 to 60-plus people. We had to bring on multiple recruiters to keep up marketing and inbound. It’s not going to generate enough. Let’s talk about the things that marketing can support. Finally, they get their outreach team, they’ve got a good recruiting system, liaisons, et cetera. What can marketing do to support them and get more applications in faster?

Lauren: What I say is that our role is to build the awareness of your brand so that when your recruiters are on LinkedIn sending private emails or picking up the phone and calling that that person is more willing to pick up the phone or to answer that message. There’s a recall of your brand to say, “I’ve heard of them, I’ve seen that they’re doing really cool things I am willing to take this phone call.” That is our job in the funnel.

Alex: Okay tactics, what would you employ to do that?

Lauren: First and foremost is getting your messaging strategy right. You should be thinking about your story, your audiences, and the assets for them just as significantly as you think about your patient recruitment. What are the stories I’m trying to tell? What are the value propositions of my organization? What makes me different? How do those translate into your website, your careers section of your website and how do those translate into video or text ads, and then where we’re deploying those is typically on social channels; LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram. If you have a younger demographic coming straight out of college or medical school maybe you’re on some other channels like TikTok, a little bit of paid search just in case people are searching for things like “a therapist job near me” although I’ll say that volume is low. It’s not going to be the primary channel.

Alex: Or the best candidates.

Lauren: Or the best candidates yes, and just as much video display at remarketing. We want to be where they’re spending their time.

Alex: Okay, so some display, Google Display Network. Can you buy provider information and put those data sets into any kind of upper funnel advertising? Is that a thing?

Lauren: Yes, there are DSPs that are specific to healthcare where we have access to provider NPIs so we can target if you have a very specific NPI list. If not, we can also just target generally by category. What’s really important to know is you’re working with already a relatively small pool because you’re going to be adding some geographic targeting on top of that. You’re going to have an expensive cost per thousand impression CPM, and this is a big-ticket decision so you should be willing to pay to get in front of those people.

Alex: Yes. Okay, so you can get really targeted in your advertising.

Lauren: Yes.

Alex: Then you talk about messaging and stuff. Let’s talk about what the creative needs to look like. They’re landing on a careers page. What do you like to see on the careers page because we run programs just to optimize those career pages. From a creative person, talk about everything that needs to be on there, what our programs look like not for self-promotion but for them to go do it.

Lauren: The number one thing and I bet half the people listening to this if they go look at their own careers page right now, it is a, “We’re hiring,” here’s a bulleted list of six jobs and a form to fill out. What about that is selling that individual on your organization? Think about exactly what you would do with your homepage or a landing page for patient acquisition and apply the same treatments. Come to the page, “Here’s who we are and what we’re about. Here’s some information around specific jobs.” If you can use a job management integration to actually show real-time information on open positions and the job descriptions and allow for applications that would be great. Then, what are the reasons why they should consider you? I want to see things like video testimonials from current employees on their experience being part of the organization. I want to see video content on the culture of the organization, whether that’s social events, walkthroughs of the facilities so that I know if you are a leader in patient experience or a leader in how you incorporate technology into the patient care rooms, I want to see those things so I feel excited about the prospect of getting hired by you.

Alex: Yes. A lot of groups will throw those on a careers page and it’s well and done but guess where candidates are also looking? Social media. What is that? How frequently do we need to be posting? Do you need new content?

Lauren: You should be producing that content at a minimum I would say looking at a quarterly program to keep that fresh. The landscape for recruitment is changing just like it is for a patient, it’s extremely competitive, so what are the latest and greatest perks that you can brag about whether it’s updating your maternity leave policy or implementing sign-on bonuses, keep those things updated on the page on a regular basis. Make sure if you do add new benefits that your videos are updated to include those things. That should be happening all the time. Then taking that one step further if you have the budget and the capacity through an agency or internally to run conversion rate optimization programs on your career site just like you would on your patient acquisition site to constantly be understanding how people are interacting with the page and what you could be doing to improve–

Alex: What are some things we would change where the forms are, where the videos– What–

Lauren: Understanding if the testimonial of a current employee speaking one on one to the camera is the first thing that they want to see or is it that they need to first know that a job that is applicable to them, is available, and then that’s the second thing. Really just tinkering with the order in which the content is presented and then looking at scroll depth to understand how far down are they getting and what is really affecting their decision-making. What is the last thing they’ve viewed that said, “Yes, I want to go ahead and hit the Apply Now button?”

Alex: Okay. A bit of self-promotion, go check out the Cardinal careers page and our social media feeds. We’re constantly posting stuff about the agency, in-house videos, and interviews with people. When I get on interviews with marketers and it’s not quite as competitive as clinicians obviously, but when I get on there, people are dying to work here. They feel like they know this place because they see our videos all the time. It’s actual employee videos around the office, the fun stuff we do. You kept mentioning maternity policy. Is ours not good enough for something? Why do you keep saying that?

Lauren: It’s just a hot topic in the world today, I think it’s something that organizations should be taking seriously.

Alex: Yes and it’s all kinds of little things; time off, mental health breaks, mental health days. A lot of people in the ABA space and therapists themselves are dealing with hard shit coming at them. Giving them all the mental space they can have is really important. A lot of turnover is happening in some of the behavioral and mental health clinician roles, anything you can do also to provide turnover rates if you’re better than industry or recruitment rates so they’re not overloaded I’ve heard on podcasts that that helps. We have not done that for anyone obviously, but–

Lauren: If you can talk about your retention rates of providers and show people that the current providers are happy and they want to stay, yes, why not brag about that?

Alex: Yes. Very cool. Another thing I got thinking and I don’t know if this is for provider recruitment, one way to recruit providers is to acquire their practice. I don’t know if this goes together but also the acquisition side, you want lots of provider testimonials from previously acquired groups to say it’s been a great fit, they still let me have a voice, I kept my own URL or domain please for marketing, that’s a pain, but that would be cool and I wonder if that should be part of the careers page, I guess it’s a separate thing.

Lauren: Yes, I think you’re thinking about an MSO who’s looking to build a website to attract additional acquisitions. Yes, you could treat it the same way, just the same as you would, you want to hire an additional BCBA or behavioral tech. If you’re an MSL looking to make acquisitions you want to have groups that you’ve most recently acquired talking about how great it’s been to get back to caring for patients and stop stressing about revenue cycle management and insurance bill backs and all of the stuff that they don’t sign up for.

Alex: What else comes to mind? Anything else we should talk about provider recruitment? One other thing that comes to mind for me is how do you judge our performance? How do you know if your provider recruitment– is there any KPI or it’s like a hire comes so far after the application that it’s impossible to track? How do you judge if we’re being successful on these campaigns?

Lauren: In the digital space in particular it is typically qualified landing page views, it’s just I want to get as much traffic to that page as possible and that’s where that page needs to do the job of selling that person. A more qualitative KPI would be something like the recruiters who are making the phone calls saying that they’re noticing higher answer rates, higher callback rates, or on LinkedIn, I’m noticing maybe an uplift in the response rate to my InMail messages, whatever it may be.

Alex: Time to hire on an open job rec has shrunk by a month and that’s because more people are taking the calls?

Lauren: If you’re doing a better job of selling them on the organization, hopefully, that’s the case.

Alex: Interesting you said landing page views and not applications.

Lauren: What we know to be true from a lot of testing is that digital, it’s such a high consideration decision, that there usually has to be at least one interaction with a human. If you think that running an ad, getting a click, and getting an application is how you’re going to measure success, I’m telling you right now that’s not what’s going to happen. If you turn those programs off because you don’t get a cost per acquisition target or cost for application target then you’re going to hurt yourself in the long run.

Alex: Qualified landing page views and then hope that you’re hiring more people six months down the road, six months fair?

Lauren: Yes.

Alex: It takes that long for all of these display and conversion creative tactics to have impact, do you think?

Lauren: Build the brand up now so that the word of mouth when people are looking or are considering taking your phone call that it’s really strong and the brand recall is there, but brand recall and brand lift takes time.

Alex: All right. Something I’ve been very concerned with, I’ve run out of new t-shirts for these podcasts so that’s something we’re going to have to talk about [inaudible 00:12:35].

Lauren: Cool t-shirts part of the retention maybe.

Alex: That helps, that’s right. I was on with the behavioral– an ABA clinic yesterday, I don’t get to talk to our clients very often, unfortunately, but this was cool and they had cool t-shirts and I was like, “That’s cool, I want to work there,” but I work here.

Lauren: We also have cool t-shirts.

Alex: [laughs] All right, thanks for listening in, thank you to Lauren, thank you to everybody that’s going to subscribe. Go and hit the damn button and leave us a review with your criticisms or comments or questions for Lauren. We’ll talk to you next week, hopefully, this was useful.

[background music]

Announcer: Thanks for listening to this episode of Ignite. Interested in keeping up with the latest trends in healthcare marketing, subscribe to our podcast and leave a rating and review. For more healthcare marketing tips, visit our blog at cardinaldigitalmarketing.com.

[00:13:33] [END OF AUDIO]

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