What Makes a Highly Effective Physician Recruiter?

The current physician shortage is a real challenge facing healthcare organizations across the United States, especially those located in rural areas. According to a study cited by the American Medical Association (AMA), experts “estimate that by 2020 the nation will need from 85,000 to 200,000 more physicians than the existing pipeline can product,” according to a LinkedIn article by healthcare recruiter Kathy Jordan. With demand at an all time high, gaining a competitive advantage over fellow recruiters has never been more difficult. It’s critically important that your organization’s physician recruiters are as efficient and effective as possible. Between managing multiple searches, using technical tools and needing to engage prospective candidates on a daily basis, there are numerous complex demands that physicians need to handle gracefully, yet effectively.

Successful physician recruitment depends on having a defined process with a proven track record of success as well as hiring the recruiters that have the key traits and skills necessary to deliver find and place the best candidates available. Below, you’ll find our top 5 traits that physician recruiters absolutely need to have in order to be both successful and highly effective at their jobs:


Exceptional Communication Skills

As a recruiter, you’ll most likely be on the phone all the time and could be taking dozens of calls every day. Imagine receiving 50 or more applications for every open position and needing to communicate with every single application from the moment you receive their information through every stage in the recruiting process. Establishing a clear, consistent, courteous and timely process for communicating with applicants and hiring managers will help expedite the recruiting process overall, and communicating the process to all stakeholders involved in the recruiting process is important because it helps you avoid duplicate or conflicting communications to the same applicant. No one wants to run into the situation where two recruiters are communicating with the same applicant but saying completely opposite things. With proper communication and transparency, it’s possible to avoid this.



When it comes to physician recruiting, persistence is key. Recruiters hear the word “No” on a daily basis, as many candidates may not have immediate interest in their opportunities. It’s important to remember that, on average, it takes many No’s before a recruiter hears the word Yes. Successful recruiters persevere through rejection until they find success. It’s their willingness to continue to reach out despite constant rejection that makes them highly effective healthcare recruiters.


A Sales-Minded Attitude or Experience in Marketing or Sales

Recruiting and sales have a lot in common, which is why it can be particularly helpful for a healthcare recruiter to have experience in either marketing or sales. Physician recruiters have to do both. They market jobs the physicians and other allied health professionals, or they market physicians to healthcare organizations. In both instances, it’s a very sales oriented position that always requires being able to elegantly navigate through customer service process with clients. If you plan on becoming and recruiter and you have marketing, sales or customer service experience, be sure to highlight that information to the hiring manager throughout during your interview.


Dig Deep

As many recruiters know, simply finding a candidate who has the skills you’re looking for isn’t enough to ensure a successful placement. It take more than that. It’s important to look deeper to find candidates who are not only qualified for the job, but who also fit in well with the organization’s culture. This requires asking the right questions and no being afraid to dig deep throughout the interview process. The more you know about your candidate, the more confident you can be with your placement.


Creative when Advertising Jobs

Effective physician recruiters think outside the box when finding ways to source candidates. Collecting referrals from current employees and potential candidates is one strategy that has proven effective for physician recruiters. Simply put, talented people know other talented people, so asking for referrals from candidates and employees you know are successful will help you build a great list of people to work from who have already been vouched for by someone you know and trust.

Networking is also key. Attending recruiting events or planning your own is a great way to immerse yourself in the community of professionals that you’re targeting. You can set email notifications for local events that are relevant to the positions that you’re currently recruiting for. That way, you won’t miss out on networking opportunities that can really help you out with your next placement and each placement thereafter. It’s never going to be a bad thing to have a big network. The bigger your list of highly qualified prospective candidate is, the better.


Continuous Self Improvement

The best recruiters are never done learning and always find ways to further hone their skills. We’ve barely scratched the surface in this blog in terms of the traits that make a great physician recruiter. By reading similar blogs on our website, industry publications and blogs from industry thought leaders, you can always learn something new that you can leverage to be more successful in your career. Master your sources for candidates, communicate effectively, try new marketing tactics, test your actions and use what you’ve learned to improve your job ads. Above all, stay up-to-date on the latest recruiting news, trends and best practices to maintain an edge on your competition.

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