The Family-Centric Approach to Physician Recruitment

By: curativetalent

In today's competitive healthcare landscape, recruiting top-tier physicians requires more than a solid salary package and an attractive work environment. With physicians often relocating their entire families for new opportunities, successful recruitment strategies must consider the needs of the whole family. In fact, 46% of physicians cited concerns about their family's quality of life when considering a career move. 

While the medical profession has often necessitated sacrifice on the part of the physician's family, a new model of recruitment seeks to address these issues head-on, ensuring that the physician's family also benefits from the relocation and new opportunities. In this blog, we will outline steps your healthcare organization can take to successfully implement this model. By following these steps, your organization can stand out in a competitive landscape and attract, and retain the best medical talent.

Understanding Family Needs

The first step in this holistic recruitment strategy is understanding the needs of the physician's family. Tailoring your approach to accommodate these factors can increase your chances of attracting and retaining talented physicians.

Consider the educational needs of the physician's children. The quality of local schools can be a deciding factor for many families when considering relocation. Parents are four times more likely to choose a job in a location where their children have access to high-rated schools. If your clinic is in an area with a high graduation rate or reputable schools, make sure to accentuate this during the recruitment process. 

Another element to consider is the spouse or partner's career ambitions. Your recruitment process should incorporate resources for spousal or partner career opportunities. This could be information about job opportunities in your organization or finding connections with other local businesses and professional networks to accommodate the spouse or partner's career path. 

Understanding and accommodating the needs of a physician's family is a crucial aspect of the recruitment process. By demonstrating that your hospital or clinic can provide a positive and fulfilling environment not only for the physician but also for their family, you can increase your chances of successfully recruiting and retaining top-tier medical talent.

Promoting Your Community

After understanding the family's needs, the next step is promoting your community as a whole. With more than 60% of physicians considering geographical location as a critical factor in job selection, according to a report by Doximity, the appeal of your community plays a crucial role in attracting potential recruits. Here are some ways you can promote your community:
  • Emphasize local amenities and infrastructure: Showcase the quality of your local public services, transportation, and healthcare facilities. Highlight any recent or upcoming infrastructure projects that might make the area even more appealing.
  • Highlight recreational and cultural opportunities: If your community hosts music festivals, has renowned museums, or offers a variety of culinary experiences, these can be attractive to potential recruits and their families. Communities with abundant outdoor recreational activities, such as parks, hiking trails, or lakes, should also be emphasized.
  • Showcase testimonials or case studies from physicians who have moved to your community: Hearing about positive experiences from peers can be a strong persuasive tool. An effective approach could be to schedule casual meetings between potential hires and their future coworkers—this provides an opportunity for candidates to gather authentic insights and feedback directly from existing employees.

Providing a comprehensive picture of your community allows potential recruits to better envision their family's life outside the hospital or clinic, increasing your chances of securing their commitment.

Spousal/Partner Career Assistance

Another element to consider is the spouse or partner's career ambitions. Approximately 49% of married-couple families in 2022 were dual-earning. In order to address this need, your recruitment process should incorporate resources for spousal or partner career opportunities, as well. Some steps your organization can take to accommodate this support might include:

  • Developing partnerships with local employers who may be able to offer job opportunities to physicians' spouses or partners. For example, if a local university or research institution is in your area, a partnership might provide opportunities for a spouse or partner in academia. 
  • Providing flexible job opportunities within your own organization could be a potential draw. This could be part-time positions, consultancy roles, or opportunities for remote work, which have seen a significant increase in popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Offering career counseling or transition services can also be a significant advantage. This could involve resume reviews, interview coaching, networking assistance, or even entrepreneurial advice for those considering starting their own businesses.

Proactively addressing the career needs of a physician's spouse or partner demonstrates a holistic understanding of the physician's family needs, setting your organization apart in the competitive landscape of healthcare recruitment.

Welcoming the Family

Once a physician has shown interest in your organization, involve their family in the decision-making process. Once you have understood a physician's family needs, promoted your community, and provided resources for spousal or partner career opportunities, the next vital step is to personally welcome the family—a welcoming environment plays a significant role in physician satisfaction, thereby affecting your recruitment efforts.

One impactful way to welcome the family is by offering personalized community tours. These tours could include visits to local recreational facilities, cultural landmarks, prospective neighborhoods, and more importantly, local schools. Given that parents prioritize the standard of education when considering a move, organizing tours of nearby schools can prove to be a significant advantage in the recruitment process.

In addition to schools, arranging meetings with key community members can also be valuable. This could include introducing them to potential neighbors, members of community organizations, or colleagues' families from your hospital or clinic. This helps to establish a social network, which 57% of adults find crucial for their overall well-being.

You might also consider arranging activities that cater to physicians' family interests during their visits. This level of personal care and attention can help a family envision themselves as part of your community, thereby playing a significant role in their decision-making process.

By making the family feel welcomed and valued, your organization can effectively communicate that it cares about the holistic well-being of its staff and families, which is a crucial aspect of recruiting top-tier talent.

Build a Family-Centric Culture

Fostering a culture that supports not only the physicians but also their families can serve as a powerful recruitment tool. Recruitment and retention of physicians is highly correlated with their satisfaction, including the satisfaction of their family. What are some ways you can build a family-centric culture?

  • Provide flexible work hours and the ability to work remotely when possible, and provide resources for family emergencies. 96% of professionals believed flexibility was important when considering a job.
  • Organize family-inclusive events and activities throughout the year. Company picnics, holiday parties, or family days at local attractions can go a long way in making families feel part of the community. These events also provide an opportunity for families to socialize and build connections within the organization.
  • Ensure open communication lines between your administration and the physician's family. This could include regular surveys or meetings to check in on their satisfaction and address any concerns or difficulties they may be facing.
  • Offer wellness programs that cater to the whole family, such as group fitness classes, mental health resources, or nutritional counseling. 45% of employees with access to wellness programs reported feeling more satisfied at work.
  • Form a family advisory council made up of family members of physicians and other staff. This council can provide feedback, suggest improvements, and serve as advocates for the needs of the families within your organization.
By fostering a family-centric culture, your organization not only strengthens its ability to recruit physicians but also promotes a supportive, connected community that retains current employees.

Thinking Beyond Traditional Recruiting Strategies

The recruitment of physicians extends far beyond the individual doctor—it encompasses their whole family. By understanding and meeting family needs, your organization demonstrates a holistic approach to physician recruitment. This strategy not only attracts high-quality talent but also promotes a higher retention rate, given that a satisfied family often translates into a satisfied physician. In this dynamic and competitive healthcare landscape, a comprehensive, family-oriented recruitment strategy is not just a good practice—it's a vital one.