Top 10 Physician Recruitment Strategies & Tactics
Find out the leading strategies and tactics to attract top talent to your healthcare organization.
May 11, 2023
Throughout the country, healthcare systems are struggling to achieve adequate staffing with quality candidates. More and more health care organizations have unmet staffing needs - from large primary care networks to small specialty practices. Quality healthcare relies on caring, qualified physicians. That makes recruitment a top priority for any medical system that values providing top-quality care to patient populations.
Importance of Effective Physician Recruitment
With physician shortages across the country soaring, effective physician recruitment is critical. Large, well-established health systems can’t afford to rely on their reputation or size to keep new physicians coming in. For smaller healthcare companies with fewer resources and less name recognition — proactive physician recruitment is vital for success.
It’s not uncommon for medical residents to receive upwards of 10 offers when they prepare to enter the workforce. To remain competitive and staff the highest quality candidates, you must prioritize your physician recruitment efforts and partner with marketing and staffing experts who can help you maintain a competitive edge. Patient care is your top priority - and quality care relies on passionate, experienced physicians.
Healthcare Recruiting Trends
Recruiting trends have continued to evolve to meet current demand. Advancing technology and a strong push for more virtual healthcare options have created a need for flexible or home-based/remote healthcare jobs. Highlighting social responsibility and investing in brand awareness have become popular strategies for healthcare systems looking to attract new physicians. Which physician recruitment strategies work, and which are better left behind? Our list includes some of the top methods and unique approaches successful physician recruitment programs have adopted.
Top 10 Strategies and Tactics to Recruit Physicians
1. Engage Your Community
Community-focused care is a growing priority for many healthcare providers. When attracting new physicians to hard-to-fill positions, make sure to highlight your inclusiveness and community involvement. The knowledge that they’re making a difference in vulnerable patient populations can be a strong strategic draw when recruiting physicians.
2. Offer Competitive Compensation
As the job market continues to be highly competitive, attractive salaries and benefits packages are a must. Transparency is especially critical. Complicated compensation models can be frustrating for candidates, and they may be discouraged from accepting an offer if yours is not clear. If you have difficulty explaining your comp model, consider revising it.
If you cannot afford to offer higher pay than other competing institutions, consider your compensation offerings as a whole. Insurance, time off, flex time and other non-monetary draws can help make your open positions more appealing to potential physicians.
3. Promote Balance
One great strategy to attract physicians to your healthcare network is to emphasize balance. In a 2022 survey, 85% of physicians stated that work-life balance is the most important factor when job searching. As technology changes, the landscape of healthcare does too. Many medical providers, from Primary Care physicians to focus specialists, find the idea of a hybrid work schedule or entirely home-based position to be particularly appealing. Greater work-life balance, low commute times, lower risk of burnout and more efficient processes are all upsides to a hybrid or fully virtual model.
If you have open hybrid and virtual positions, you should implement tactics to reach these candidates. For example, you could include a filter on your career site for virtual and hybrid roles. Offering PTO, mental health support, sabbaticals, scheduling flexibility and similar benefits can also draw more physicians to your team.
4. Hire for Fit
This strategy may seem counterintuitive when you’ve got a high hiring need and are struggling to find enough candidates. However, retention is just as essential as physician recruitment when it comes to long-term hiring goals and outcomes. If a new hire does not work out, your company could lose a considerable amount of revenue. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), healthcare organizations can spend anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million replacing an existing physician. This includes the costs of recruiting, hiring, onboarding and indirect expenses from a vacant position.
By being selective about physician fit within your organization, you can ensure any new hires are more likely to stick around for the long haul. It is essential to look at candidates beyond their CVs. At PS&D, we screen and speak personally with physicians to make sure there is genuine interest in the role, your organization, and your community before we present them to you.This recruitment process requires more effort upfront but pays off as an investment in your healthcare facility’s future.
5. Conduct On-Site Interviews
When possible, on-site interviews are a great tactic to attract healthcare workers who are passionate about your organization’s values. You’ll be able to see them in the workplace and gauge whether or not they could envision themselves there. Just as important, your potential physicians will experience your workplace culture and environment firsthand. This experience often helps confirm a great fit and cements physicians’ desires to partner with organizations they align with.
6. Research Job Boards
Job boards are a way to keep physicians and advanced practice providers aware of your open roles. However, many boards are defunct, ineffective or unable to keep up with innovations in recruitment technology. Companies must research each board to ensure they are still credible and active. It can be difficult to determine which are the best to work with, so posting to as many boards as possible may not be the most successful or cost-effective strategy. If you’re not getting quality candidates out of your job postings or your team doesn't have the time to do the research needed, partnering with PS&D may be the best tactic for finding qualified candidates.
7. Work With a Recruitment Partner
Working with a well-connected physician recruitment firm can help transform your advanced provider hiring numbers. You’ll want to ensure your partner agency has an extensive network, an excellent reputation and delivers qualified candidates that are a good fit for your organization. Nonprofit, quota-free agencies like Provider Solutions & Development offer superior results for qualified, physician candidates.
8. Build Your Social Media Presence
While social marketing and organic social content campaigns shouldn’t make up most of your recruitment efforts, as an organization, engaging social presence is an excellent strategy to help attract physicians to your company by showcasing your company culture and the type of environment a physician might expect to work in should they join your team. Your profiles and content on social platforms should highlight the best parts of your organization. Featuring posts about benefits and community support are all great tactics to impress potential candidates.
9. Create Branded Material
A recognizable institution is easier to recruit for than one candidates are unfamiliar with. Investing in quality branded materials that feature your name, logo and positive information about your organization not only spreads brand recognition to your customers but to potential future employees as well.
10. Develop Candidate Networks
Building relationships with residents and physicians nationwide is a vital strategy for accessing top talent for your organization. Especially if you have a smaller healthcare company, it can be beneficial to partner with an organization that has a solid network of qualified candidates and a database of all doctors finishing their residency. Don’t let a small presence or offbeat location keep your organization from attracting the most qualified candidates for your patient populations. Offering incentives for referrals such as cash bonuses, gifts or time off can be a worthwhile tactic. Many successful physician placements come from internal referrals and networking.
What is the best way to recruit physicians?
There is no single best way to recruit physicians. That said, there are some effective strategies that can boost qualified candidate numbers. These include advertising hybrid and virtual roles, a solid social media presence and competitive compensation packages. Partnering with a proven physician recruitment agency like Provider Solutions & Development is another great way to recruit top-quality physician candidates to your healthcare system.
What recruitment strategies are most effective in healthcare?
Hiring for fit, on-site interviews and showcasing social responsibility values are all effective ways to increase the recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals. Experienced recruitment partner agencies with nonprofit models often provide the best return on investment for healthcare organizations.
How do physician recruiters work?
Often physician recruiters work based on commission or quotas. This leads to poor quality of leads sourced en masse to benefit the individual recruiter rather than the best fit for providers and healthcare companies. Nonprofit healthcare recruitment agencies like Provider Solutions & Development provide quota-free recruitment services that help healthcare facilities build relationships with the best possible candidates. Let's start the conversation.
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