How to Use Your Past Open Positions for Sourcing Physician Candidates

When a new position opens up in your organizations, many recruiters begin the process of sourcing physician candidates by starting from scratch. They’ll utilize email, job boards, and direct mail to source candidates for each new position, but many times they already have the perfect candidate hidden in their internal database. Especially in larger organizations, new positions will open  up in the same specialty at different practices regularly, and just because a candidate wasn’t the right fit for one practice opportunity doesn’t mean they would be a perfect fit for your current opening.

But how can recruiters find these candidates, especially if the last opening they had for a specific specialty was over a year ago? Below are six easy steps to help you use past open positions and applicants to source candidates for your new positions.

Step 1: Make Sure You Use a Good ATS

It’s hard to know what past candidates may be a good fit for a current position if you don’t have a robust applicant tracking system. A good ATS tracks a candidate’s movement through the recruitment process for each open position, allowing you to add notes, history, and documents you need to decide whether to reach back out to a past candidate.

Additionally, a good ATS can automate certain tasks that keep candidates from following through the cracks, such as automatically emailing a candidate when they are no longer under consideration. This will make candidates more receptive to you reaching back out to them in the future about positions.

Step 2: Research Past Similar Open Positions

Whether you’re recruiting for a private practice, medical group, hospital, or major health system, you’ve likely recruited for a similar position to the one before you in the past. Whether it’s been six months or three years, past positions may have had applicants that didn’t have the right experience or skills for the position, but may be a perfect fit for your new opportunity. Search for positions that are for the same specialty, with a similar practice structure, and in a similar location, increasing your likelihood of finding a good match.

Step 3: Analyze Past Applicants & Applicant Notes

Once you find the similar positions you’ve filled, begin to go through the past applicants carefully. Note the differences in the two positions and sort through the rejected candidates with those in mind. Oftentimes, most positions will have fantastic candidates that were your second or third choice for a past position, making it easier to pinpoint who to reach out to first.

For other candidates, make sure to note how much experience to add to each candidate’s resume due to time passed since their application and check to see if any of their licenses or certifications were due to expire in the time since they applied.  It may be that a candidate had insufficient experience or hadn’t obtained their board certification at the time, but have the perfect credentials now that some time has passed.

Step 4: Reach Out to Qualified Candidates

After you’ve found the candidates that may be a good fit for your current position, it’s time to reach out! You’re ATS should have stored their mobile number and email address, giving you at least two options for reaching out. Let them know that a similar opportunity has opened up with your organization and that you thought they would be a good fit. While some will be happy in their positions, many will be more than open to helping you with step number five.

Step 5: Request Referrals from Past Candidates

Some past candidates may not be interested in a position with your organization at this time, but that doesn’t mean their colleagues wouldn’t be. Feel free to ask them if they can refer anyone who may be interested and send them an email with all of the details of the position to forward to their colleagues. These past candidates likely have similarly qualified colleagues who may be looking for a change.

Step 6: Stay Engaged with Past Candidates

Keeping former candidates engaged can mean the difference between you being able to place them (or a colleague down the line) and losing them forever. Using tools such as marketing automation software and social media, you’ll be able to regularly share unique, useful content with past candidates down the line.

Key Take Aways:

  • Every past candidate can be a future placement or the source of a referral for one. Make sure to keep detailed records of past candidates that may be a good fit for a future opportunity.
  • Use a quality ATS in order to maintain detailed records of contact information, skills, and experience on each candidate which will make it easier to discern which candidates will be a good fit for any open positions.
  • Stay engaged with past candidates through email and social media, maintaining the relationship and increasing the likelihood that a candidate will be receptive to you reaching out to them regarding future opportunities.
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