The Importance of Online Reviews in Physician Recruitment

In our current society, online reviews and ratings play a huge role in what we watch, where we eat, and what hotels we stay in on vacation. But we don’t just use online reviews for the social aspects of our lives, we use them in our professional lives as well. This is especially true when it comes to a candidate’s job search. With so many organizations looking to recruit top quality physicians, the best physician candidates have plenty of options to choose from when picking their next opportunity.

So how do these physician candidates decide which opportunities to pursue? Many of them go online and research prospective organizations, where an organization’s recruitment brand and online reputation are on display.

The Rise of Online Review Sites

Online review sites, like Glassdoor and, allow current and former employees to leave anonymous reviews and ratings for organizations, giving candidates a peek into the inner workings of your organization. On these sites, negative reviews from individuals who have worked for your organization can cause prospective candidates to withdraw interest in working for you early on in the interview process – or even prevent them from applying in the first place.

But it’s not just your organization physician candidates are looking at during the physician recruitment process. Candidates further along in the process, especially those who have completed their phone interviews and site visits, also visit sites like Vitals and Healthgrades to get a better feel for what the practice culture and the other physicians in a practice might be like. On these sites, patients can rate their providers on factors ranging from office management (like wait times) to quality of care (such as whether they trust their physician’s diagnosis). Negative reviews here can be just as damaging as those on the organization as a whole as quality physicians want to work with the best in their field. Having patients complain about poor administration and questionable care can cause candidates to view their prospective colleagues in a negative light.

Organization & Physician Reputation Management

So what can you do about these negative reviews? Some sites offer services for online reputation management specifically for the health care space, but it’s often best to take care of managing your own online reputation.

Here are some great tips to mitigate the damage and manage your recruitment brand when encountering a review:

  • Make sure to check review sites regularly so that reviews and comments are reviewed regularly
  • When you come across a negative review of your organization or one of your physicians, thank the reviewer for taking the time to post and flip it around to create a positive conversation
  • Respond to the positive reviews as well as the negative ones, providing a balanced experience of your organization’s brand and the quality of your physicians
  • Consult with your Human Resources department as well as your legal team to ensure that you are in compliance when responding to reviews (responding to reviews with personal information – health or otherwise – could land you in hot water)

Key Take Aways:

  • Prospective candidates will often research your organization during the physician recruitment process and will likely come across a negative review or two that can damage your recruitment brand
  • Make sure to regularly check the review sites for any new posts from employees or patients and respond to them in a positive manner
  • Consult your HR department and legal team regarding what you can post, what you can’t, and which reviews you shouldn’t respond to
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