For surgeries who are trying an agency free approach to GP recruitment, advertising is the logical choice, but it is important to understand your market. As a basic rule of thumb online advertising is far cheaper than print advertising and probably gets a wider readership and better results. When advertising online, however, it pays to do your homework. So where can you advertise your GP vacancy? How can you grade the various platforms in terms of their relevance, readership and value for money? Where would a doctor look if they were shopping for a new job?
Commercial Jobs Boards (such as Seek, Indeed, Adzuna) have the best overall nationwide readership but usually charge a fee to advertise. These jobs boards contain thousands of GP ads and at first glance, they appear be a great platform to advertise on. The problem is that approximately 70% of the jobs advertised on these boards are agency ads. Agencies believe that the measure of their recruitment market dominance is the number of recruitment ads they have listed. As such they will advertise as many jobs as they can afford. In a spot check I conducted of these jobs boards last year: Seek (who charge $300 per month) had listed 1266 GP vacancies, Adzuna ($99 per month) listed 1200 vacancies and Indeed (free) had over 5000 GP vacancies.
If you contact a number of agencies to find you a doctor, you can be sure that most of them will advertise your vacancy on one of these platforms. If you also decide to advertise yourself, your GP vacancy may be duplicated on these jobs boards several times over. It would be ironic if your advertising worked but the GP came to you via an agency, due to the profligacy of their advertising. Keep in mind that, whilst these jobs boards may get you plenty of exposure, they will probably be very frustrating for any GP trying to sift through them, due to the large number of duplications and the need to contact an agency for further details on 2 out of every 3 jobs.
Medical Industry Jobs Boards are a great place to advertise your vacancy as your ads are more accurately directed to your target audience and more likely to give you the results you need. Some of the more prominent ones are as follows.
Your local Primary Health Network should have their own website with a jobs board for advertising GP vacancies. Whilst the readership of this jobs board may be limited, any GP who responds to your ad will most likely be already living and working in the area. As such you should expect high quality results from your ads, and it is well worth going to the trouble of organising.
Rural Workforce Agencies are primarily setup to support General Practices in rural areas with their administrative, health and recruitment needs. They should all contain good quality, free jobs boards on their websites and are well worth investigating.
The Medical Journal of Australia hosts an excellent jobs board, and in terms of vacancies listed is a similar size to the RACGP. Advertising costs start at $305 per month but AMA members are eligible for a 50% discount.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has an excellent jobs board on their website. Advertising is free but available for members only so there are no recruitment agency advertisements. The ads appear to be up to date, full of detail and are searchable by location. Surgeries should consider the RACGP website an important component of their recruitment strategy. Their jobs board contain between 400 – 500 vacancies all year round, which we believe to be closer to the real number of advertised vacancies than those listed on the commercial jobs boards above.
If you are going to advertise your GP vacancy you should probably plan for a campaign of at least 6 months. The best results are likely to come from industry specific online jobs platforms which are better targeted, and in most cases, free from agency ads. Ironically, in terms of results, the cheapest online platforms, such as the RACGP can also be the best. It is also probably one of the first places a GP is going to look.
I would welcome your feedback on any other useful platforms that may be worth investigating.