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Physician and Healthcare Job Board

Rethink Job Board Ads to Get Better Results

rethinking job board ads to get results

Your institution competes on job boards for the same positions, in the same general location, and frequently around the same salary range. How do you make your vacancy stand out and spark interest in a sea of similarities? Optimizing the post is critical to make your facility the first (hopefully the only) place candidates apply.

The cost to recruit can represent a major portion of an institution’s budget. In addition to the direct costs to advertise, hire, and onboard new staff, resources are drained in the process. When positions remain vacant, patient care can be affected. Overtime may be needed to fill staffing gaps, putting existing staff at risk for burnout. The faster you can make effective hires, the better the return on your recruitment investment and the fewer drains on critical resources.

The first step in recruitment is posting the vacancy, but so much competition and so little creative thinking may be slowing down your process before you begin. Job postings that drive applications require creating an ad that candidates want to read and respond to. If existing ads are garnering lackluster results, consider rethinking what, where, and how you post, but not from your point of view – from theirs.


What would attract you?

A recruiting getting top talent with a magnet

In healthcare, commonality means consistency: healthcare providers have the same minimum qualifications and facilities have the same departments. Your job posting is only one among hundreds or thousands that read exactly the same way; they ask for the same background, certifications and experience, and offer virtually the same wages and benefits.

Rethink every step of the posting process with an eye to what will attract a candidate, what information they want to have before applying, and how to turn an impersonal job posting into a personal connection. Here are some minor changes that could make a big difference.


Start with the title

What makes applicants look twice at some job postings can’t always work for healthcare. You can’t change an ER Physician’s job title to Triage Guru. You can amend the title to help it stand out among the crowd. ER Physician / Community Caregiver, or ER Physician / Triage Guru may inspire more than a passing glance. Whenever possible, add a bit of individuality and insight to the job title; you’ll find like-minded applicants will see themselves and apply quickly.


Don’t post the job – market the facility

The title catches their interest, and if candidates are qualified and in the market, there’s little need for them to pore through the details. They know they have what you need; they’re looking for you to tell them you have what they want. Every communication from your facility is a marketing opportunity – don’t miss out.

The work may be the same, but the facilities aren’t. Stop sub-heading job postings with ‘xx years’ experience required’ and start sub-heading them with ‘cutting-edge healthcare provider,’ or ‘caring for our community for 100 years.’ Offer candidates a reason to keep reading instead of another generic listing.

Include what makes your institution better than the rest, what you offer that makes healthcare workers want to stay, and how you serve the employees that serve your community. If you don’t have a sales mindset, ask your marketing department professionals to help.


Stop posting laundry lists

Be honest does that 2,000-word job description you copied and pasted to your posting inspire you? Do you even bother to read it? If you can’t stay awake to get to the good stuff (benefits and perks at the bottom when they should be at the top), why would they?

Everyone knows the list of requirements and ‘must-haves’ in their field. If you’re simply creating laundry lists, they’re moving on. The bulk of your posting should be selling the institution, not writing a list of demands. Stop listing the day-to-day duties and start listing the way we help the community, each other, and our careers. The less you say about responsibilities that they already know and perform and the more you say about how working at your facility benefits them, the community and the institution, the more responses you’ll receive.


Change the order

Start with the benefits and perks of the job (which is what candidates are skimming for anyway) to get them reading more. One short sentence about what you need should lead directly into what you have to offer. ‘Pediatric nurse wanted for facility that rewards staff with a wealth of benefits. You’ll enjoy x, y, z and more when you join our team.’  ‘Physician anesthesiologist needed at top rated institution. Take your career to the next level in our 5 Star Cardiac Care Department.’

Once you’ve attracted them with stature and benefits, they’re more likely to read through the short and succinct list of requirements and apply quickly. Make sure your posting attracts job seekers and doesn’t put them to sleep.


Make connections

What doctors value

The personal touch is critical to attracting talent. Nothing says you’re just another cog in the wheel more than an anonymous recruitment inbox. Many institutions have an application funnel in place that prescreens and/or directs candidates to the right recruitment professional discretely. The nameless recruiter is free to respond or ignore, which doesn’t inspire you to apply immediately.

By simply changing the email address to a personal account (recruiters can set up specific emails for specific jobs or job categories) with an actual name on it, you demonstrate to job seekers their value and your willingness to talk directly to them.

Even if you use an online applicant funnel, include a personal note prominently in the posting. ‘We’re excited to talk to you! Please send an email or text to when you apply so I can schedule your interview ASAP!’

Whatever the conditions in the talent market, your goal is to get the most applicants for every vacancy. When you start looking at the posting from the candidate’s point of view and tailor your posts accordingly, you’re better positioned to attract top talent in your area and beyond.

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About Riia O'Donnell

Riia O’Donnell has over 20 year’s hands-on experience in all aspects of the Human Resource function. Beginning as a recruiter, she grew to lead in all areas of HR, including employee training and development, legal compliance, benefits administration, compensation evaluation, and staff management. She has been a contributing writer for a wealth of HR, training, and small business websites for the past 7 years. Connect with Riia on Twitter at @RiiaOD.

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