Mastering Your Physician Recruitment Message

By: Allison McCarthy, MBA

[box]“Unless you can demonstrate your benefits, all you are left to compete with is price.” ― Jeffrey Fry[/box]

Read any physician recruitment posting and tell me, quick, what’s the benefit?  If it doesn’t jump off the page, then it’s likely describing the position’s features.  And, features alone don’t grab attention.

Steve Jobs knew this better than anyone. He didn’t sell computers; he sold a new experience, a different way of thinking. When he introduced the iPod, he didn’t sell a music player; he gave the world a new way to experience music.  Of course, Jobs sold the iPod’s features, such as a 2.5-inch display with 320-by-240 pixel resolution and extras like a clock, calendar and notepad, but he never led with features.

Truth is, when you lead with features, you make your prospect work too hard to get to the answer.  If [X], then [Y].  If [this feature], then [this benefit].  In most cases, you lose your prospect somewhere between X and Y.  Therefore, it’s in your best interest to draw the connection for them. The question is how?

The first step to making that connection is discerning the difference.  A feature is a statement that highlights what is being offered in a practice opportunity.  A benefit answers the question, “What’s in it for me?” The best way to get to the benefit of a feature is to focus on results. What will the physician gain? Consider the following, which is quite typical for a physician recruitment posting.

“Physician Group” is currently seeking a BC/BE Family Medicine Physician to practice in an outpatient-only setting at a successful and proven practice in “Location.” This is an excellent opportunity for an FM Physician to come into a busy practice with an already established patient base.

So, what’s in it for a physician? Out-patient-only speaks to a manageable schedule and balanced work life. Proven practice may confirm a high-functioning team and recognized mentors. Established patient base means quick ramp-up, productivity and, ultimately, financial rewards. Wouldn’t this posting grab more attention if those phrases were used?

Leading with the benefit triggers the emotion that compels action. Following the benefit with a feature validates the decision to act.  As a next step, take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side, list the features of your practice opportunity.  On the other side, list the corresponding benefits to a prospect. When you post that open position, insert your benefit statements. You may be listing a great position, but if you can’t communicate the rewards, it doesn’t matter.

In the wise words of Steve Jobs, “Master the Message.”

If you would like to continue this conversation with Allison, you can reach her at