Product Knowledge is King

By: Allison McCarthy, MBA | amccarthy@barlowmccarthy.com

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

Experience shows clearly that physician recruitment professionals need expertise in three different areas. These include:

  • Recruitment Process: How physicians express interest in and navigate through interviews.
  • Marketing/Sales: Creating messages that differentiate, promoting practice opportunities to various specialties and conversing with physician leads and candidates.
  • Product Knowledge: The features and benefits of the opportunity including the practice, organization, and community.

While product knowledge isn’t as vital to generating applicants for general openings, it is critical for soliciting physicians and advanced care providers.  These professionals expect their recruiters to be able to talk specifics.  Otherwise, credibility is lost, and the physician/ACP will quickly dismiss the opportunity and move on with their search.

Beyond capturing candidate attention, product knowledge also creates career value.  For example, product knowledge…

  • Builds enthusiasm – the more you know about what you have to offer, the more passionate you can talk about it. That enthusiasm not only comes through to others but also provides the boost needed for demanding workloads.
  • Improves questioning techniques – by learning everything you can about a position, you are more intuitive about candidate fit and can confidently address candidate questions.
  • Adds diversity to conversation – so that you can dialogue about several of its attributes and can minimize the focus on money.
  • Enhances influence – knowledge demonstrates expertise which can be used to persuade both internal stakeholders and candidates.
  • Brings satisfaction – with infinite things to learn about physicians and ACPs, the opportunity to keep learning and advancing is endless.

Several techniques can be used to enhance product knowledge:

  • Search Intake: Accepting whatever information is provided may be efficient but it is not necessarily effective. Investing in actual conversations with physician leaders, either via telephone or in person, offers the chance to ask more in-depth questions about the practice and the skills and attributes needed in the recruit.
  • Telephone Interviews and Site Visits: Listening in on the conversations taking place between physician interviewers and candidates is not just about ensuring everything goes well – it’s also an important learning opportunity.
  • Specialty Websites: Such sites can help gain familiarity with the latest diagnostic techniques and treatment tools used by specific specialists.
  • Role Playing: Using this technique with other physician recruiters, practice staff or service line leaders offers the chance to rehearse messages and learn additional key points.

Provider recruitment is so much more than just needing another hospitalist, ob/gyn or general surgeon.   Recruiters need to understand how each position works, the contribution it makes to patient care, and the value it brings to the health system.  These specifics will distinguish your search over others and enrich conversations with candidates.  Plus, your internal credibility and value will grow.