Physician Recruitment: The Right Tools for Reaching Residents

By: Tony Barlow, Managing Consultant |

“I think you can have a ridiculously enormous and complex data set, but if you have the right tools and methodology then it’s not a problem.” – Aaron Koblin

When recruiting residents, identifying the right methods and timing to reach them when they are ready to make a decision can be a challenge. While tools for communication have exponentially improved in recent years, the art of making contact with these residents has only gotten more challenging.

Let’s be honest; over time your messaging has gotten easier to ignore. This is just a sign of the times. Your calls go unanswered and your emails go unread. Many of today’s residents communicate via text message, but cold texting residents still feels a bit like an invasion of privacy. So what is the answer?

In our opinion the key to sourcing residents is persistence, but not annoyance. There is definitely a fine line here, and most recruiters have been burned on both sides of the line. If you don’t message enough, you miss the optimal time when a resident is ready to make a decision. If you message too much, you may lose a prospect who needs time to think and process.

We have also found that mixing contact methods can be helpful. Combining email messages, phone calls, email marketing messages, and even communication with program leaders can be effective. Just make sure you remain visible.

Let’s talk email. While it can be easy to ignore, email is still one of the best tools for messaging to residents. Experimenting with subject lines, message timing, and message content is important. You want to be sure you are casting a wide net while also focusing on the candidates that are most likely to connect with your opportunity.

Another key to email messaging is to filter your list. Depending on where you get your lists, you may have a national pool of candidates. Filtering your list and focusing your message on candidates who are familiar with your area is a fantastic way to hone in and find your best candidates. Communicating with the rest of the list is still important, but it will require a different message.

In the end choosing the right tools and using them correctly can make a huge difference in how many residents you connect with each year. A good strategy is extremely important. But, blindly blasting your candidates or not communicating enough can hurt chances of connecting with the right prospect for your needs.

If all of this seems a bit overwhelming the team at Barlow/McCarthy would love to help. Our Email Messaging sourcing service may be a great fit. Let us work the prospects on your behalf. We manage the lists, create the messages based on your specific needs, and help prioritize the responses to send you the best leads. For more details on how we can help send me an email at