5 Big Mistakes You Make in a Physician Recruitment Direct Mail Campaign

Most physician recruiters know that the competition or active physician candidates is enormous. Within minutes of posting their CV online, physicians will find themselves on the receiving end of dozens of emails and phone calls from recruiters eager to speak with them about their opportunity. This intense competition can make it difficult for recruiters to stand out from the crowd in order to truly engage with a candidate. Because of this, many physician recruiters view the passive candidate as the gold standard. But how do you reach a candidate that isn’t already looking?

Direct mail has long been the go to for recruiters seeking out passive candidates. With over three-quarters of all physicians not actively looking at job boards or ads, this pool of untapped talent is huge and valuable. By utilizing direct mailings, and avoiding these five big mistakes, recruiters can reap the rewards of a direct mail recruitment campaign and fill their openings sooner.

Below are five big mistakes recruiters make when they venture into the world of direct mailings and how you can avoid making them.

1. Choosing the wrong list

A direct mail campaign is only as good as the list you’re using. Unfortunately, some recruiters don’t realize that not all lists are created equal and purchase their lists from less than reputable vendors. This often leads to mail pieces being undeliverable, sent to a physician’s place of work, or sent to the wrong person all together.

Some things to keep in mind when choosing a list vendor:

  • Make sure they’re reputable: Choose ones that get their data from a source such as the AMA or from specialty specific societies and associations
  • Ask about their guarantees: Do they guarantee a certain deliverability rate? Good list vendors stand by their data and will always guarantee you a high deliverability rate.
  • Find out if you can get granular: How targeted can you make you mailing? Find out if you can whittle down your list by experience, specialty and sub-specialty, location ties, and even specific medical schools or training programs.

2. Using the wrong format

It used to be that all physician recruitment mailings were in the form of “Dear Doctor” letters, but things have changed. Now, many recruiters are using postcards and fliers, in addition to the traditional “Dear Doctor” letters. Make sure to choose the right format for your mail piece by considering the list parameters, the position’s level of seniority, and your position’s unique benefits.

3. Failing to customize your copy

If you targeted your list to a specific type of candidate, it makes sense to target your copy to that same audience. Make sure to use you detailed candidate profile when selecting your list and choosing what aspects to highlight in your mail piece, creating new copy that will appeal to your chosen demographic’s likely preferences and priorities. Also make sure to consider the amount of space you have on your chosen format and try not to push too much information into a tiny space.

4. Picking the wrong images

Too many recruiters make the mistake of fronting all of their mail pieces with stock images of doctors holding stethoscopes. These images tell a prospective candidate nothing about the community or position, are unengaging, and all but scream “advertisement.” Instead, use images that highlight your location, quality of life, or state-of-the-art facilities that will give candidates an idea of what living and working in your community would be like.

5. Being too Safe

Some recruiters are guilty of the “rinse and repeat” approach to recruitment, and direct mail is no different. But sending out essentially the same mail piece again and again is unlikely to result in quite a bit of interest. Instead, recruiters should consider trying out new things, such as clever images and tag lines, integrating their direct mail piece with their digital recruitment arm (using a short-URL or QR code), and using A/B testing to see what copy/images work best. By stepping a little out of their comfort zone, recruiters can experiment with new tactics that could vastly improve their response rates and help fill their candidate pipelines.

Key Take Aways:

  • Physicians already know what a doctor with a stethoscope looks like, so leave those images off of your mail pieces. Instead, use pictures that highlight your community or facilities.
  • Your list is the most important part of your direct mail campaign. Make sure the data in it is accurate, from a reputable source, and backed up by a guarantee.
  • Make your direct mail pieces as targeted as possible by using segmented lists, customized copy, and images meant to engage your selected audience.
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