How mobile devices can help a physician land a job
■ A practical look at information technology issues and usage
A device most physicians have on hand could give them a leg up on their job search: a smartphone or tablet computer.
Those in the physician recruitment and staffing business say mobile devices, which are used by about 85% of doctors, are accelerating the physician hiring process. The devices speed the rate of access to job information, social media chatter about possible positions, and communication with potential partners or employers, making it all happen more quickly than in the days of sending paper CVs or even the more current practice of emailing information from a desktop computer.
“The parts of the process that get you to the face-to-face can happen in a lot more efficient and user-friendly fashion [with mobile devices] than they ever could,” said Ralph Henderson, president of health care staffing for AMN Healthcare.
A recent survey by AMN Healthcare Services, a recruiting and job placement firm, found that 32% of clinicians (41% of physicians) used their mobile phone or tablet for job or health care-related content in 2011, up from 12% in 2010 (37% for physicians). Meanwhile, 17% of clinicians are using mobile job alert apps to give themselves instant access to the latest positions advertised. Many companies are starting to look at some of these mobile tools as a way of making the hiring process an easier experience for everyone involved.
Employment experts say there are many ways a smartphone can assist in a job search.
Job alerts. Many job sites have downloadable apps that will send push notifications of jobs that match the job seeker’s criteria. Job seekers can click on the notification and get the full job description.
Setting up specific alerts on job sites will help make searches more efficient because alerts can be tailored to weed out the positions physicians don’t want, said Michael Corbett, vice president of marketing for HealtheCareers, a health care and medical job site. The more specific a person is when setting up an alert, the more relevant the notifications will be. Corbett said 14% of the traffic to HealtheCareers is driven by mobile devices, and 31% of that traffic comes from clicking on job alerts.
“On average, they view one job and spend approximately five minutes on the site,” Corbett said. “That tells us they are using the job alerts to vet the position via their mobile device.”
Henderson said tailored alerts make it easier for physicians who already are employed to conduct job searches in a more passive fashion. Many physicians aren’t actively looking for jobs but would consider a move if the right opportunity came along. Notifications can give them a good idea of what jobs are out there without them taking time out of their day to search.
Social media apps. In 2011, one in three job seekers used social media for their job search, according to the AMN survey. Mobile social media apps make it easier for physicians to stay connected to their networking activities, which also could include a potential employer. Many companies post job listings on their various social media channels. Accessing these sites through a mobile device can help keep a job search more discreet for those who don’t want their colleagues to know they are looking, Corbett said.
Mobile job listings. Many companies have launched mobile job sites where potential employees not only can view jobs but also apply for them straight from their mobile phones. Experts say it’s a good way to vet the jobs when the job seeker has a free moment, then save it for when they have access to a computer and time to craft a cover letter and resume carefully.
Organizing contacts. Apps that allow doctors to send or receive contact information to another phone will make it easier to store and organize contacts made in person. Some apps allow the users to scan business cards and put the information directly into their device’s contact file and add any relevant notes to those files.
Video chatting. Though it may seem far-fetched, Henderson said many companies and recruiters are conducting first interviews through mobile apps such as Skype or Apple’s FaceTime. Some companies allow applicants to opt in to being contacted through methods such as texting and video chatting to make contacts more convenient, he said.
Though mobile apps make it easier to look for a job, they also make it easier for employers to obtain a larger pool of applicants. Business expert and author Grant Cardone said many mobile methods of job search could be just one more way for a candidate to be filtered out of a pool of potential candidates. Job seekers must still focus on making connections with a hiring executive.
“Don’t depend on mobile to get you a job,” Cardone said. “Devices are just devices. Get yourself in front of decision makers.”