6 Differences Between Recruiting Physicians & Advanced Practice Providers

Most practices and hospitals struggle to recruit both physicians and advanced practice providers. As the demand for high-level, qualified candidates increases, the competition for physicians, NPs, and PAs has increased as well. But while recruiting all three types of providers has become difficult, the challenges recruiters face when recruiting each type of provider is unique. To make matters more complicated, the way recruiters source and pursue these candidates need to be different, due to the differences between how, when, and where each type of provider engages in their job search.

Below are six major ways recruiting physicians is different from recruiting APCs, from where they can be found to how to communicate with them.

1. Sourcing Tools

When it comes to their job searches, many active physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants turn to internet job boards. Many will upload their CVs and resumes, in addition to applying directly to opportunities. The main difference is often which job boards these candidates use. Physicians tend to utilize physician-specific job boards, whereas many nurse practitioners and physician assistants turn to nursing and PA boards as well as standard job boards such as Careerbuilder and Indeed. Because of this, healthcare recruiters will need to expand the job boards and resume databases they utilize when search for APCs as well as physicians.

2. Communication Preferences

Whether it’s texting, emailing, or calling, physician candidates has different preferences than their mid-level counterparts. Physicians as a whole vastly prefer to be communicated with via email over any other form of communication. While some will prefer texts or phone calls, many prefer email – especially those of the baby boomer generation.

APCs, on the other hand, tend to prefer texting for communicating regarding opportunities, and will be far more responses via text than phone or email.

3. Recruitment Cycle

While the majority of physicians complete their training over the summers, most nurse practitioners and physician assistant candidates complete their training in the fall and winter. This difference in their training schedules means that nurses and PAs will have different recruitment cycles than physicians.

Additionally, APCs are less likely to sign annual or bi-annual contracts, making them more available throughout the year compared to prospective physician candidates. This will make it easier that recruiting physician during similar periods.

4. Time to Hire

Recruiting physicians and APCs are both difficult in this increasingly competitive healthcare recruitment market, but the time it takes to hire one over the other still varies. For physicians, the average time to hire is180 days, while for PAs and NPs it’s usually less than half that time.

Additionally, for primary care, hiring nurses and physician assistants is significantly easier, as the majority go into that field. While many NPs and PAs can sub-specialize in almost any specialty and work in any field with just the basic PA-C or MSN, most choose to go into outpatient primary care practices.

5. Social Media

While the vast majority of Americans are on at least one social media network, not all of them utilize social media in their job searches. Physicians, in particular, are far less likely to use the traditional social media networks, such as Linkedin, during their job searches. Instead, physicians are more likely to use physician-specific social media sites, such as Doximity and Sermo. Nurses and PAs, in contrast, are very active on sites such as Linkedin and use them heavily in their job searches.

6. Candidate Referrals

When it comes to their job search, many physicians still rely on word of mouth. Physicians rely heavily on their professional networks when looking for new opportunities, but the same cannot be said for APCs. Nurses and PAs are more likely to use conventional methods, such as job boards, to find new opportunities than to reach out to their professional networks. This can be seen in many organization’s referral programs, as the majority are geared towards physicians referring their colleagues.

Key Take Aways:

  • Recruitment cycles and time to hire for physicians and other providers are very different due to training schedules, contract lengths, and the inclusion of non-compete clauses.
  • Physicians engage in their job search in a different way than nurses or PAs, with the majority leaning on their professional networks instead of utilizing more conventional search methods.
  • When it comes to engaging with candidates, physicians and APCs differ in how they prefer to be contacted and where they engage with organizations online.
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