In medicine, people less likely to hire based on connections

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Having an 'in" doesn't matter as much in the medical field. (Mambembe Arts & Crafts/CC BY 2.0)

The old saying goes: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. But that’s apparently not so true when it comes to the practice of medicine.

New research from LinkedIn suggests that people working in medicine differ from those in other industries when it comes to connecting with peers and identifying new job opportunities through their professional networks. In its survey, LinkedIn found that only 13% of those working in medical practice hire based on their networks—putting it in the top 10 list of industries that hire the least from their networks. Medical practice was number nine on the list, according to a LinkedIn blog post.

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Medical practice, alternative medicine and veterinary medicine all had a low degree of intranetwork hiring, possibly because many medical positions are decided on a more geographically random application process and often value quantitative results such as test scores over culture fits or referrals, the blog post said.

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In other industries, particularly in the technology, entertainment and defense sectors, connections matter more when it comes to people’s next job. In fact, 70% of global professionals were hired at a company where they had a connection, according to LinkedIn, which looked at hiring and professional network data around the world to determine which industries were most likely to hire individuals within their employees’ networks. While learning about a job opportunity from someone in their network and finding an “in” is often the best road to success, that’s not so much the case for medical careers.

While managers in medical organizations may not hire someone they know, it should go without saying to conduct a thorough background check and check references for new hires. For instance, when hiring a practice manager, talk to doctors the applicant has worked with, as well as employees who have worked for your potential manager.