The test market of Online Job Tour® basically took place between 2004 through 2011 – this was after its invention and use for medical recruiting and through its patent application.
Of course, part of test marketing any product is challenging it to perform, even under perceived challenging conditions. So it was determined Online Job Tour® would be marketed to primarily rural, community hospitals, in locations that were considered to have possible negative stereotypes and were in locations that the general public might consider “remote.”
We Meet the Test in Rural Locations and their Hospitals!
In Dodge City, Kansas, our Online Job Tour® was instrumental in helping Western Plains Medical Complex recruit cardiologists and other specialty staff to open its regional Heart Center. After seeing Online Job Tour® draw physicians and professionals to his community for Lake Cumberland Regional Medical Center’s $100 million expansion that included new Spine and Heart centers, and a recently-added Cancer Center, in southeastern Kentucky, newly-hired John Pruitt, CEO for Valley View Medical Center in Fort Mohave, Arizona, hired us to build the new campus’s physician staff from the ground up. Hospital CEO Doug Arnold, after seeing Online Job Tour®’s compelling impact on physician recruitment to Northwest Regional Medical Center, in Clarksdale, Mississippi in the Mississippi Delta, hired us again when he was relocated to Midwest City Oklahoma’s Midwest Regional Medical Center – where he grew a physician and hospital staff to make that hospital the most profitable in its corporation. In Selma, Alabama, Online Job Tour® worked so well for Administrator Steve Mahan, that after he left that hospital for a position with another company at a newly-constructed hospital in Muskogee, Oklahoma, Online Job Tour® was hired again to “dominate the competition.” Online Job Tour® has additionally represented other hospitals in communities in rural Nevada, Kentucky, Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina, Houston, Texas and more.
We Do Not Think Rural Hospitals Struggle Only Due to their Locations
Our surveying repeatedly showed that a number of factors contribute to the challenge that rural community hospitals have with their recruiting – it is clear to us through empirical evidence, analysis of our client activity and discussions with employers and candidates, that it is not necessarily their rural locations that are the challenge.
Not Enough Information: We learned that jobseekers did not reply to rural hospital advertising and recruiting efforts not first because their locations were deemed unattractive, but because they could not get enough information.
Low Hospital Budgets: We learned that low budgets promoted our hospital clients could not hire experienced local physician recruiters and even their companies had former nurses as recruiting directors. While some could speak in medical terms to physicians, they had no professional sales training.
Corporations often subsidized poor recruiting materials and videos that simply did not answer questions jobseekers needed on hospital campuses and their locations.
We saw that our hospital client recruiters did not establish a repeatable protocol to measure results nor keep track of them, did not do a good job of pre-qualifying prospects, and were severely limited with funds, requiring hasty decisions regarding whom to choose to pay for an interview visit – often the recruiters would “take a chance” on hosting an unprepared, non-motivated prospect, mistaking their activity for achievement.
The inability to familiarize candidates with the hospital and the local area, and the hospital’s relationship with its community, were reasons they could not recruit successfully.
“All we need are candidates!” The common refrain from clients who hired us was all that was missing were the number of candidates and they could fill their jobs. Recruiting staff, with lack of training nor tools to sell and close candidates, would try to “hard close” them on compensation packages, with common refrains such as “what will it take…?” Selling on dollars and not selling the community and a lifestyle as part of it, was a risky proposition hospitals felt forced to do because of the slow trickle of prospects and the need to fill jobs.
Online Job Tour® helped to offset the lack of selling and closing knowledge of hospital and company recruiters by positioning content to help sell, while candidates were educated. By arriving fully educated, the client was in a better position to develop a relationship with candidates because there was more time.
Candidates arrived to interviews wanting to talk about contracts because they were already sold.
In some cases, the hospital administrator eliminated the physician liaison position and was able to recruit physicians using Online Job Tour®.
Poor Candidates: Compounding the challenge of not having enough information, and without truly experienced professionals with selling backgrounds for hospital recruiting, candidates are generally not very good at looking for careers. We repeatedly learned that they didn’t consider core issues that would allow them to effectively compare their options, but got confused with the details they were exposed to.
As soon as they learned the hospital was going to entertain them for an interview trip, they stopped researching, falsely presuming they would “learn all we need to know” on the limited interview trip. Candidates often were very poor while on the interviews – arriving unprepared in many ways and unprepared to ask questions to not just ascertain information, but collect it in order to compare on trips to other places.
We repeatedly saw that these hospitals more often tried to sell physicians on contracts than on buying into being a part of their communities.
Retention among many community hospitals was poor because candidates learned unflattering things after their commitment. Many hospitals hired foreign medical professionals who were incentivized by the U.S. Immigration Department to work in underserved areas, in exchange for a green card, and then they would move away after their commitment was fulfilled.
Online Job Tour® fully educates jobseekers, shares the client’s relationship with its area, and also shows the unique thumbprint of the community and what makes it unique. An advocate for the jobseeker, we guide them through the traditional categories needed to make solid, lasting choices, which includes initial commitments to interview so no time is wasted.
Third Party Recruiter Competition: Further complicating the hospital recruiting landscape, now that the Internet has grown to be the only forum through which jobseekers look for and investigate careers, third party recruiting companies essentially beat their hospital and healthcare employers to understanding how jobseekers look for careers, and have better positioned themselves to source the professionals. We could go into detail on this subject, but it is generally regarded today that many particularly rural hospital companies believe they have no choice but to utilize these expensive services, where they are still burdened with the challenge of selling their jobs because these services do little more than source prospects.
Poor Exposure: Rural hospitals “fly under the Internet radar” and the details that jobseekers need simply cannot be gathered in order to feel good enough to made decisions – this is a core necessity and a sales tenet that is missing, which damages a rural hospital’s ability to recruit.
Online Job Tour® not only covers core subjects jobseekers need, but our thesis-like review is more comprehensive than a combination of many sources if the jobseeker was highly motivated to research themselves (they almost never are, at least when initially considering their many options).
“Norman Rockwell,” and “Shangri-La!” Communities: The facts are that many rural communities are self sufficient and far more modern than physicians coming from metro and suburban fellowships think they are.
Online Job Tour® shows a lifestyle that appeals to a broad variety of physicians, whether they are considering starting or growing a family, want to stretch their dollar or maximize their earnings, or if they have certain hobbies and lifestyle interests.
Online Job Tour® taps into the things that we all want and hope for. We identify the recruiting assets of our client both locally and regionally, and our productions promote candidates imagining working with our clients and life in their service areas.
Online Job Tour® Truisms that we keep Proving:
The biggest mistake hospitals make when recruiting is forgetting that they must not just sell the candidate, but outsell their competitors – clients must learn to ask closing questions and be advocates for their candidates, and this is why we frame Online Job Tour® content, and direct people in videos, to address to candidates the awareness that they have choices.
The biggest reason jobseekers become uninterested in a job opportunity is because they never obtained enough information to make a decision in the first place. This is why our productions are loaded with details and comprehensive “researched-based” material. This is what also gives our clients an advantage over competition.
“People buy on emotion.” Invariably, a physician candidate will turn to their spouse near the end of their recruiting considerations, and exclaim, “I could work at any of these three hospitals at these places. Which do you think is best for us?” This is a “feel” question and not a fact question. Our productions are made with the intent to draw emotion and meet your candidates in their hearts, when they ask that crucial question.
The client must be an advocate that leads candidates, not follow them. Online Job Tour® sets the table for this. The selling process by our client start with "equipping" jobseekers and take prudent steps forward and close them by presenting strengths of our client matched vs. other employers while knowing their key interests. Our productions make candidates smarter, while putting our client’s best foot forward.
The spouse of the physician and their children must remain happy after the relocation. Online Job Tour® is produced to pre-sell a family on our client and their community prior to their decision to commit to any interview. Our surveys revealed that revisits to our productions draw candidates further toward our clients to close them, and client promote Online Job Tour® is a resource for them to refer to, through their time with them.