[Infographic Guide] 4 Physician Hiring Trends to Inform Your Physician Recruitment Strategy


Despite the tightening physician recruitment market, Jackson Physician Search is placing more physicians year after year, and the average number of days it takes to place them has decreased. This demonstrates that physicians can indeed be found when the recruitment process is strategic, and the offer is right.

This leads to the question,”What does it take to recruit a physician in the current market?”

There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but in a 2023 report, Physician Recruitment Trends: Responding to a Changing Post-Pandemic Market, the Jackson Physician Search Regional Vice Presidents of Recruiting, based in offices around the country, discuss their clients’ most pressing challenges and share the recruitment strategies they find most effective in today’s evolving market. The key physician hiring trends and takeaways are as follows.

4 Physician Hiring Trends and How to Respond

A recent report from Jackson Physician Search, Physician Recruitment Trends: Responding to a Changing Post-Pandemic Market, identifies several developments in the national recruitment market. The following four trends, seen in our placement data and observed by our tenured physician recruitment team, serve to inform your approach to the tightening market. 

Physician Hiring Trend #1: Increasing Need for Primary Care, Mental Health, and Advanced Practice Providers

  • Primary care placements increased 24% in 2022, with OBGYNs seeing the most growth. 
  • Mental health placements increased 85% from 2020 to 2022 as mental health problems climbed nationwide. 
  • Nurse Practitioner placements in 2022 were 4 times the volume of NP placements in 2020. 
  • Demand for CRNAs is at an all-time high, as are the rates to staff them.

Takeaway: Know which specialties are in the highest demand and be prepared to try something new in your recruitment strategy, be it a signing bonus, more flexibility, or broader search parameters. 

Physician Hiring Trend #2: Rising Demand for Specialists Who Care for Broad Patient Panels

Specialists coming out of training today want to focus on a subspecialty and treat patients in their niche area of expertise rather than a broad patient panel. However, organizations need specialists who will see a broad patient panel, as many retiring specialists do today, specifically neurologists, urologists, and ENTs.

Takeaway: Get creative to find ways a subspecialist can pursue his or her passion while also providing care for the broader panel of patients. 

Physician Hiring Trend #3: More Signing Bonuses and Higher Salaries

Signing bonuses, once nice to have, are now standard, and starting salary guarantees are often above the median as reported by MGMA DataDive Provider Compensation

  • Nationally, 3 out of 4 placements included signing bonuses.
  • In the Midwest, 92% of placements had signing bonuses attached, and 60% had salary guarantees above the median.

Takeaway: A signing bonus may not be in the budget, but when you factor in lost revenue caused by a vacancy and the cost of a locum tenens provider, if it allows you to fill the position faster, a bonus will save the organization money in the long run. 

Physician Hiring Trend #4: Shifting Expectations

Physicians old and young seek better work-life balance. 

  • Flexible schedules such as a 4-day work week, 7 on / 7 off, or 3 weeks per month are increasingly standard.
  • More or unlimited paid time off, paid sabbaticals, medical mission opportunities, job sharing―organizations are getting creative in order to differentiate themselves and satisfy new expectations.  
  • Specialists that can work via telehealth (psychiatry, radiology) are difficult to recruit for positions that require them to be in the office full-time.

Takeaway: Organizations that offer flexible schedules, more paid time off, and the option to spend time working remotely are more likely to succeed in attracting and retaining physicians.  

The market is always changing. Trust a physician recruitment partner with national reach and regional expertise to advise on what’s happening in your specific market.  Reach out to the Jackson Physician Search Team today.  

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