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How to Leverage Physicians’ Job Search Motivations to Improve Physician Recruitment Results

Jackson Physician Search
August 9, 2022

Physicians search for jobs for a variety of reasons. Some hope to earn more money with a new employer. Others may want a physician job with better work-life balance or more collaborative leadership. Then, there are those who are looking for new jobs because their families want or need to relocate. Whatever the reason, each year, approximately 7% of active physicians look for new jobs. This, of course, is in addition to physicians coming out of residencies and fellowships who are seeking employment for the first time. All of these physicians have different motivations, priorities, and expectations for their physician job searches. 

For those tasked with recruiting physicians, it’s critical to understand the variety of reasons that may be driving a physician’s job search. The most effective recruitment strategy will tailor the physician job ads, the interview experience, and the offer to speak directly to those reasons. Keep reading to find out how to leverage physicians’ job search motivations to improve recruitment results.

Target the Potential “Whys” in Your Digital Recruitment Marketing 

Before you begin marketing the physician job, think about the potential motivations your ideal candidate may have. For example, if you are seeking someone coming out of residency, that physician is likely carrying a lot of student loan debt and would be interested in student loan repayment assistance. When you craft the physician job ad, highlight loan repayment in the headline, and in the details, call out the development opportunities and support provided to help the physician build a successful career.  

Of course, your physician job likely comes with a host of perks, which will appeal to a variety of candidates. Create several versions of your physician job ad that highlight specific benefits. So, in the prior example, you have created one ad that appeals specifically to residents or other physicians early in their careers. But your small town location might be an attractive alternative to burned-out city physicians. These physicians might be drawn to job ads promoting a healthy work-life balance and a slow-paced, family-friendly community. Craft a second version of the ad that highlights these benefits in the headline.   

In the early stages of the physician recruitment process, you don’t know which aspects of the job will be most appealing to your ideal candidate, but you can make an informed guess. Use data on what physicians of each generation want most and test physician job ads that focus on those specific wants and needs. By creating different versions of the job ad, you increase the chances of speaking directly to candidates seeking a specific change–no matter what that change may be. Once you meet the applicants and better understand their job search motivations, you can begin to tailor the process specifically to them.   

Tailoring the Interview and Offer to a Specific “Why”

After speaking to candidates on the phone, you should have a better idea of what is motivating their physician job search and what they are hoping to find in a new physician job. With this knowledge, you can tailor the on-site interview to address their specific wants and needs. For example, if a candidate shares with you that he or she is hoping to find an employer that gives physicians a voice and a role in the decision-making at the organization, you will know to schedule time for the candidate to meet with leaders who can explain the role physicians have in decision making and provide examples of suggestions and ideas that have been implemented as a result of physician feedback. The candidate should also meet with peers who can share their personal experiences with leadership. Be sure to tell the people the candidate will meet with that this is a priority, so they will adequately address the topic in conversations.

When ready to extend an offer to a candidate, be sure to incorporate what you know matters most to the candidate. If work-life balance is a priority, consider offering an option to work a 4-day work week or a work-from-home administrative day and document the option in the offer letter. If the candidate has expressed concerns about finding a house in the area, include a housing stipend to allow the physician and family to rent until they find the right home.  

By the time you are ready to make an offer, you should know what is most important and be able to tailor the offer to provide it. This not only serves to meet the need but also shows the physician that your organization listens and cares about what physicians want. 

Understand the Ongoing “Why” to Improve Physician Retention

Ideally, physicians continue to receive this message throughout the physician onboarding process and beyond. If the organization is successful in making physicians feel heard and responding to those needs, it will not only see better physician recruitment results, but physician retention will improve as well. 

It doesn’t take a mind reader to know what a physician wants from a job, but it does take practice. The recruitment experts at Jackson Physician Search are skilled at discovering what physicians want most in their jobs and tailoring the recruitment process to answer those needs. Contact a recruiter today to learn more. 

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