To be successful in the highly competitive world of physician recruitment, rural healthcare facilities have to go the extra mile to win top talent. When seeking to recruit an Internal Medicine physician who also appeared to be a perfect cultural fit, our client in Texas did just that by getting its community members involved.
The client, a 49-bed community hospital in a very rural community, had been working with another search firm but was having little success. Deciding to change gears, the hospital’s CEO agreed to a meeting with Jackson Physician Search Vice Presidents, Dane Altman and Brent Barnacle. The CEO expressed frustration with an ongoing search for an Internal Medicine physician. None of the presented candidates checked all the boxes. The CEO explained that he had rigid opinions about finding a candidate who had the right blend of skills and experience, and who would also be a cultural fit with the community.
Dane and Brent prescribed the digital physician recruitment strategies pioneered by Jackson Physician Search.
The Importance of Cultural Fit on Physician Retention
The CEO agreed to give the Internal Medicine Search to Jackson Physician Search. Search Consultant Dan Rixon got to work right away to learn as much as possible about the facility, the community, and what the hospital was specifically looking for in a candidate. While his goal was to cast a wide net for physician candidates, he only wanted to submit those who were likely to fit.
Working closely with the CEO and the staff, Dan gained an understanding of why cultural fit was such an essential component for the organization. This part of West Texas is very close-knit, family-oriented, and has strong community values, making it vital to find someone connected with these values.
Dan took it to heart when the CEO told him, “I don’t want to waste my time with candidates who are only going to stay short term.” Identifying physicians who share the same mission and values of your organization and community is the first step to long-term physician retention.
Knowing this, Dan focused on the family-oriented culture of the organization and leadership’s commitment to allow physicians to practice with greater autonomy. He crafted a physician job description to appeal to candidates with Texas ties and to highlight the robust compensation package. Dan’s strategy garnered a strong response, but it was still necessary to hone in on the specific qualities of each candidate to ensure he or she would be a great fit. While screening candidates, Dan wanted to be sure each one understood just how rural the location was in order to eliminate any candidates who wouldn’t be happy long-term in the role. He balanced this by explaining the benefits that would come with working for a strong, well-operated organization.
A Community Committed to Recruiting the Entire Family
Ultimately, Dan presented six candidates for consideration. From there, the CEO narrowed it to two. During the on-site interview, the hospital’s administration went all out to ensure the candidates gained an accurate measure of the community and all it offered. The CEO even likes to host candidates at his home for an informal dinner in order to get a better sense of the person, not just the doctor.
Physicians are invaluable to small towns, and this one sure knows how to make a doctor feel special. The community rallied together to make the chosen candidate and his family feel welcomed and engaged. Some of the women in the community generously spent an entire day showing the physician’s wife around town to be certain she felt at home.
If you can help a physician and his or her’s family to feel entrenched in the community, then you are on the right path to physician recruitment success. In our 2020 Physician Interview Experience Survey, 82% of physicians responded that the community tour had a positive influence on their decision to accept the position.
Because of the community’s commitment to recruiting the entire family, the Internal Medicine physician was able to imagine life in this Texas town. The community’s genuine nature and kindness made his experience feel like so much more than a job interview. Rather he felt that he found his forever personal and professional home. For rural healthcare organizations, this all-hands-on-deck approach can often make the difference in landing or losing a quality physician.
If you need a strategic recruitment partner to help you navigate physician recruitment and retention, Jackson Physician Search is ready to help every step of the way. Contact our experienced recruitment professionals today to learn more.
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