Passive Recruiting – Comparing Methods of Healthcare Recruiting – Part 2

In Physical Therapy Articles, Recruiting by Steve Passmore, DPT1 Comment

In the previous article, I discussed several key methods of recruiting. I believe there are two broad categories of recruiting techniques – passive recruiting and active recruiting. In the previous article, we contrasted a mix of popular active and passive techniques: email, direct mail, internet job sites, and newspaper ads.

It is important to pre-plan a recruiting sequence. As discussed before, there is NO best method to recruit. You have to evaluate your program and determine techniques that would reach your target audience. Below, I have defined active and passive techniques. Most clinics will need to consider a mix of both types to achieve success.

Part 2 of this series will discuss passive techniques; while Part 3 will discuss the active techniques. First, let’s define and list some passive and active techniques.

Passive Recruiting

Passive recruiting requires a lower level of interaction from the recruiter/employer. Passive recruiting methods include such things as: Internet job boards, newspaper ads, journal ads, status in community (e.g. hospitals are visible healthcare institutions), expertise in community (you are recognized as the leader in the area), social Internet sites (e.g. Facebook), and professional newsletters.

Active Recruiting

Active recruiting requires a higher level of ongoing activity by the recruiter/employer. Active recruiting methods include such things as: employee incentive programs, postcard mailers, cold calling, in-service programs, student internships, open houses (requires a lot of prep work), scholarships, and using outside recruiters.

Passive recruiting methods include:

Internet Job Board Posting

These job boards are suited to advertise to a national audience. We don’t recommend non-healthcare sites such as; since posting on those will often create leads from someone with no healthcare qualifications. There are some companies that guarantee your job board placement across dozens of different sites. While multiple job sites may sound great; I believe in posting on a few selected sites is the key need. You should be sure that you market heavily in sites that specialize in the healthcare community. For therapists, we recommend, & the professional associations (AOTA, APTA, ASHA) for therapists. There are a multitude of nursing sites, but these are not as dominant.

Newspaper Ad

Newspaper ads work, sometimes for nursing; but, they rarely work for therapists. These are probably best utilized by hospitals for nursing, or support staff, in urban areas.

Journal Ad

Effective journal ad campaigns can be very expensive; since they require reoccurring ads of larger size. They work if you repeat larger ads for months to build your brand. Large companies publish often and strong.

Writing Articles

Keeping your name out in the professional community will build your professional reputation. It’s passive recruiting and can pay off, in time, with people wanting to work for the experts.

Employee Incentive Programs

It’s positive to have your employees recommend co-workers… assuming they recommend someone you like.

Social Media Sites

Social media is pretty new and lots of people are trying to figure out an affordable approach with recruiting. At this time, I think they are positive for promoting your name for friends of employees. I also believe these sites are useful as a link to show people more about your company and opening. Use QR Codes and other methods to let tech-savvy candidates search off direct mail to find your social media page.

Employee Incentive Programs

If you run a good organization, your employees can be a great resource to their friends. Incentive programs can be tailored to your needs and those of your staff. They can be directly tied to recruiting (such as referral bonus or hiring bonus) and to staff/brand development (such as training and continuing education programs). Tailor and mix the programs; and advertise these in your recruiting materials.

Final Thoughts

Passive techniques are effective, but also tend to be less aggressive in recruiting. I like to consider recruiting to be similar to a clinical practice. You evaluate your patient, use baseline knowledge of the clinician, determine a treatment program, and then use a mix of techniques from home program to active treatment. Recruiting is similar, you need to evaluate your program, know the tools you have available, then put together a mix of techniques.

The following two tabs change content below.

Steve Passmore, DPT

Dr. Steve Passmore graduated as a Physical Therapist in 1977 and has enjoyed a unique career from clinician, to management, to operations, to consultant. In 2002 he established Healthy Recruiting Tools and later Focused Mailing Services. Healthy Recruiting Tools provides the “tools” for companies who need to recruit healthcare workers (primarily therapists and nurses). Focused Mailing Services, on the other hand, provides discount direct mail services for any company that needs to advertise by direct mail. We work with mega corporations, to charities, to the mom-and-pop operations who need to grow.

For additional information please feel free to contact at Steve at [email protected], visit our web site at or, or call at 888-993-9675. Also available is an in-service training course for conferences and our book Recruiting in Healthcare: Unlocking the Methods and the Magic 2nd Edition available thru Amazon hard copy or kindle.


  1. Pingback: Active Recruiting - Comparing Methods of Healthcare Recruiting – Part 3 -

Leave a Comment