Recruiting quality doctors in rural areas is a big challenge for rural healthcare facilities. For whatever reason, doctors often prefer to work in large metropolitan areas, and this makes it difficult for rural hospitals to attract talented health care professionals.
However, these challenges can be overcome; here are six tips to hire skilled physicians to your rural health care system.
Rural health care systems can’t change their location, but they can target recruits who might like what their area has to offer. Rural areas are generally slower-paced and have a more relaxed atmosphere. Likewise, rural areas also offer outdoor activities that might appeal to some healthcare professionals. A rural hospital can attempt to target physicians that would enjoy living the country life. Moreover, make the compensation package attractive and offer to help with relocation.
Before approaching a physician, do your due diligence; investigate the candidate before making a proposal. Be sure to interview any candidate regarding what they might need and want out of your community. Make absolutely sure they really want to practice in a rural area before you hire them.
Prepare a Presentation Tailored to the Individual
After doing your due diligence into each candidate, prepare presentations tailored to each. Focus on the opportunities available in your community that appeal to each individual physician. Don’t get into the minute details of how many patients per day or collection percentages, instead, emphasize what it’s like to live and work in your rural community. Highlight all the things that make living in your neck of the woods so special. You know that living and working in a rural community has a lot of benefits many people don’t consider, such a greater sense of community, fresh air, and a slower pace of life.
Engage Your Current Staff
Doctors who are considering moving to a rural area will naturally want to know what it’s like to live and work there. Engaging your current physicians in the interview process can help promote the opportunity from the perspective of a fellow doctor. Let them shine, and talk about what a great place your hospital and community is.
Cast the Net Far and Wide
There is no sure way to find qualified doctors in a highly competitive market, so a rural hospital needs to search in a wide variety of ways. Post your jobs on job boards, use direct mail and email, as well as social media. A rural health care system can also try advertising on websites and in magazines geared towards outdoor activities; you never know if there’s a doctor out there who dreams of living and working where he can fly fish on his days off.
Start the Search Early
A rural health care position can take a while to fill, so start searching as soon as possible. Likewise, respond quickly; doctors are inundated every day with new job offers. Moving in quickly when someone shows an interest. You’ll want to fill the position efficiently and quickly. But don’t forget to take the time to do your due diligence.
While the nation-wide shortage of doctors in rural communities is a concern, pinpointing which candidates to pursue and tailoring the job offer and highlighting your location is the way to attract top doctors to your rural town.