HealthJune 19, 2024

Smart strategies to help you close the deal during the physician shortage

Are you advertising to hire top physician talent in healthcare? Consider these strategies as the nationwide physician shortage gets worse.

The years-long physician shortage in the U.S. continues. According to a 2024 article from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the U.S. will reach a physician shortage of up to 86,000 physicians by 2036. This shortage will impact job markets differently across regions and specialties.

Fortunately, you can elevate your recruitment game—not to mention your institution's position—by grasping these trends. You can become more informed and agile in your efforts to attract the best physician talent, especially in today's fiercely competitive market. In this article, we uncover the real challenges and opportunities that occur when both recruiting and retaining talented physicians.

How to bring your best recruiting game

There is no shortage of studies about what physicians want from their jobs. According to Clinical Advisor in their article discussing several recent studies, physicians prioritize empowerment and autonomy, support from leadership and colleagues, and striking a successful work-life balance, among other factors.

Even so, while communicating with physicians and offering these advantages can help retain physicians, these advantages alone don't contribute to better recruiting practices. We are in a "buyer's market" for physicians evaluating open positions. Recruiters therefore need to "do more with less," quickly communicating the value and advantages of careers with their institutions before job-searching physicians turn their attention elsewhere.

For example, a recent guide from the American Medical Association suggests recruiters "should be able to articulate the positive of [their] practice in a clear, concise, and intriguing way" in no more than five minutes.

What does that look like in practice? Let's start by discussing three major strategies: uncovering your organization's most attractive qualities, crafting a compelling message, and engaging in targeted advertising.

1. Identify your organization's key selling points

Start by identifying what differentiates your open positions from other job options. Advantages can include compensation, benefits, work-life balance, location, unique services or specialties offered, and any support for ongoing education and professional development.

For example, a 2024 Becker's ASC Review article reports that at 42%, "flexible scheduling" is the most-often cited advantage physicians look for when choosing a new employer — far exceeding even "salary and pay rate" at 29.9%. You can survey your own physician employees to better understand what aspects of your organization are most attractive to them, then work to communicate those advantages in your recruiting efforts.

You may also want to ask about any negative aspects of your organization that could potentially deter physicians from applying. You can address these weaknesses by preparing talking point should they come up in your conversations with candidates.

2. Create a strong and concise message

Once you have identified your organization's selling points, it's time to craft a compelling message that showcases these strengths. This message should be concise, engaging, and tailored specifically for physicians. Consider using data or testimonials from current employees to make your message more authentic and impactful.

Additionally, it's important to emphasize the opportunities for growth and development within your organization. Physicians are highly driven professionals who are always looking for ways to improve their skills and knowledge. By highlighting the potential for career advancement and continued education, you can attract top talent who are seeking such opportunities.

3. Use targeted advertising

Once you have a strong message, you can reach out to potential candidates through targeted advertising. This can include job boards specifically designed for physicians, social media platforms popular among this demographic (such as LinkedIn), and targeted email campaigns.

In our 2023 article about enhancing engagement in physician recruiting, we recommended advertising alongside relevant content as well, such as "specialty-specific magazines, journals, newsletters, and similar publications—both in print and online." By focusing on sites and publications with related topics of interest and including clear calls to action for connecting with your organization, you can be more effective in reaching and capturing the attention of potential physician candidates.

Remember to stay positive and stay motivated! The current physician shortage may seem daunting, but it also presents an opportunity for recruiters to showcase their organization's strengths and attract top talent. By identifying key selling points, crafting a strong message, and using targeted advertising strategies, recruiters can elevate their recruiting game and successfully attract physicians who are the best fit for their organization.

Contact us to develop your multichannel campaign to recruit qualified physicians.
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