3 solutions to common rural physician recruiting challenges

3 solutions to common rural physician recruiting challenges

Recruiting / November 20th, 2017


Recruiting new hires for rural practices has many challenges. These three tactics can help you find a better way to appeal to physician job seekers:

1. Highlight competitive compensation

According to Merritt Hawkins, some physicians may be put off by rural settings because they believe they can earn more in highly populated areas. Though that’s true in many cases, it does not take into account the lower cost of living in rural environments, compared to larger cities.

For example, the median home price in Monroeville, Alabama is $125,000 compared to $398,000 in Atlanta, Georgia, according to the National Association of Realtors. Therefore, physicians in rural practices may be able to afford larger homes at lower prices or have the ability to save more toward their retirement.

2. Develop a lifestyle campaign

Sometimes, recruiting is all about marketing. How you present the location to potential candidates will inevitably impact their final decision. Practices in urban settings may seem like they have the advantage here – they can tout museums, theaters and five-star restaurants. Although rural areas may lack these amenities, it does not mean they are boring. It only means there are different types of activities available. Lifestyle marketing tactics highlight these unique draws.

Not every doctor attends the opera or frequents modern art museums, after all. Some prefer to ride horses, go hiking or climb a mountain. By playing to the strengths of the geographic location, you can develop a lifestyle marketing campaign that appeals to a different kind of physician – one who is more likely to accept a position at a rural practice.

Rural settings offer scenery that big cities can't. Rural settings offer scenery that big cities can’t.

3. Focus on work satisfaction

Before you can appeal to physician job seekers, you should be able to define what it means to be satisfied at work. It may help to write out a list – imagine a physician at a rural hospital and try to place yourself in his or her shoes. You’ve just come home from a long shift, but you feel good about the work you did today. What made you feel so satisfied? Was it the support of your staff? The impact you had on a patient? Did the changing landscape help you seperate your work life from your home life?

When you can answer these questions, you’ll have a better understanding of how to appeal to a certain type of physician – hopefully one with interests that roughly line up with the expectations of the job.

Now that you know a little more about how to effectively recruit physicians for rural practices, post your next job listing on myHealthTalent.com and start making matches today.