DISCOVER THE POWER OF ADVERTISING
General Practitioner recruitment can be a long and protracted exercise, regardless of where you are located in Australia. Practice Managers could be forgiven for wondering where all the doctors have gone. With the rapid development in the tech space in recent years, surely there is an easier way to recruit GPs!
The answer lies in a better understanding of the supply and demand dynamics in the industry, developing an appropriate recruitment strategy and rediscovering the lost art of advertising.
As at the end of 2018 there were 35,943 Registered GPs in Australia, working in 9,600 medical practices, caring for a population of 25,120,237 people, living in 15,264 towns, villages & suburbs, across 7,692,000 square kilometres of our vast beautiful country.
In terms of average national distribution, that’s one surgery every 801 square km, employing 3.74 GPs, each of whom live within a 28.3 km commuting distance of the surgery. Assuming an average job incumbency of 7 years, a GP is expected to leave the surgery and need replacing every 22.4 months. The question is, where will the new doctor come from?
In Remote parts of Australia (RA4 - RA5), which makes up 96% of our entire landmass, there are simply no spare doctors living within each surgery's catchment area and there is little hope of recruiting a replacement doctor without convincing someone to relocate from elsewhere in Australia. GP recruitment can be extraordinarily difficult and easily take over 12 months to achieve.
Fortunately for the 97% of Australian surgeries that are located within Major Cities and Regional Areas (RA1 – RA3) the statistics are much more favourable. Within the same national average catchment area of 801 square km, there are an average of 23.6 GPs living within commuting distance of each surgery, and at least 3.4 of them will come onto the jobs market each year. The problem, however, is that there are also 6.4 surgeries within the same catchment area, that the doctor can chose from, and at least half of them will have a vacancy. Recruitment times vary significantly, depending on your location but are generally between 3-9 months.
DEVELOP A RECRUITMENT STRATEGY
If you have recently lost a doctor, cashflow and continuity of patient care can suddenly become pressing concerns and the recruitment of a new GP becomes a matter of urgency. In these circumstances it makes strong financial sense to develop a recruitment strategy that uses all of the resources at your disposal to recruit a GP in the shortest possible timeframe. So how long will it take to recruit a new GP?
To estimate your recruitment timeframe, we recommend you conduct some market research in your local area. How many GPs live within commuting distance of your surgery? How many are likely to be on the jobs market? How many other surgeries in your area are advertising vacancies? How favourably does your surgery compare to them? Can you create a more effective or attractive advertisement? Are you up to date with what doctors are looking for in a surgery?
Once you are familiar with GP supply & demand in your area the key elements of your recruitment strategy should include the following.
Approaching GPs in your local area
Recruiting a local GP is always the best option as you will probably already know them, in person or by reputation, and they will hopefully come with their own patient base.
Engaging the services of recruitment agencies
This is also an important step and whilst agency fees can be quite significant, they accurately reflect the difficulty in recruitment of GPs in general and the costs can be absorbed within a few months. To forgo a GP offered by an agency due to the cost involved is often false economy, unless you are convinced that the doctor is unlikely to stay.
Advertise your vacancy
Advertising is an important third step that is often under-utilised by surgeries but if done effectively can significantly expedite the recruitment proves and offers the benefit of enormous cost savings. Your advertising costs should be recouped within 1-2 weeks of commencement of your new GP.
WHY SHOULD I ADVERTISE?
Advertising is the art of communicating the existence of your vacancy to GPs and to capture their interest in your surgery. It forms the foundation of almost all GP recruitment and very few job placements occur without it in some form. To date advertising has largely been overlooked by surgeries as being far too expensive or difficult to organise and, in the past, this has certainly been the case.
In today's brave new digital world, however, most recruitment advertising is conducted online, and it can be a very powerful and cost-effective recruitment tool. Recruitment agencies rely heavily on advertising and they account for over 70% of all online GP recruitment advertising, which is a testament to their faith in the medium and a core element of their recruitment strategy. This begs the question: Why would you effectively engage an agency to advertise for you when you can advertise on the same platforms yourself, for a fraction of the cost?
The switch to online advertising in recent years has become a big game changer for surgeries, who can now conduct their advertising far more easily, cheaply and effectively than ever before. With some professional assistance in writing your ad and guidance on its placement, advertising can be a very valuable tool in your recruitment strategy.
In fact, failure to advertise would be a missed opportunity to expedite the recruitment process and save up to 90% of your recruitment costs.
Any marketing professional would readily agree that advertising is a fickle business and deciding where to target your advertising is an art in itself. In fact, a whole industry has been spawned across the world with the aim of better profiling consumers so that ads can be targeted more effectively. Whilst we do not subscribe to this approach, you need to advertise on as many of the most relevant platforms as possible, in order to ensure doctors can find your vacancy.
When deciding where to advertise it is important to put yourself in the doctor’s shoes and consider where they are most likely to go looking for new job opportunities. Follow our link for more information on Where to Advertise Your Vacancy which include the most important advertising platforms such as: search engines, social media, medical industry jobs boards and commercial jobs boards.
Yeomans Medical provide a comprehensive advertising service. We can offer guidance on where to advertise your vacancy, help with writing an effective and informative advertisement and even host your ad for you. We will ensure your vacancy can be found on all of the most important online platforms, where doctors are most likely to be looking, and in the most cost-effective way available.
Our Yeomans Medical Jobs Board is available for surgeries to use. It provides a platform for a very detailed advertisement and the ability to link your other ads back to it. Our ads are second to none in the industry for their quality of presentation, richness of content, range of distribution and value for money. They are carefully targeted to reach qualified general practitioners across a wide range of the most relevant search engines, jobs boards, websites and social media platforms.
Our Advertising Packages offer fantastic value for money. For a one-off modest fee our ads will continue to run for as long as it takes to secure your next doctor. Our ads are supplemented with booster ads to raise the profile of your advertisement on search engines and social media, to ensure doctors consider your vacancy before your competitors.
If you would like to start organising your advertisement or have further inquiries dont hesitate to get in touch with us on the contact details below. We would be happy to help.