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April 25, 2023

Recruiting physicians with children

Your primary objective may be to match the right candidates with the right positions for your facility, but sometimes your job doesn’t end there. When you’re talking to a candidate with children, it may take more than a healthy benefits package to make a relocation worthwhile. For some parents, the task of uprooting their kids from their schools, friends and activities may make a move so daunting, they won’t even consider it. So, what can you do about it?

Think outside the box

Here are some ways you can help make relocation easier:

  • Be transparent when talking to candidates about the salary and cost of living in your area.
  • Streamline your interview process as much as possible.
  • Consider covering relocation costs for candidates.
  • Consider a delayed relocation to allow children to finish out their current school year.

REALLY think outside the box

So, what else can you do to make your organization’s job offers more appealing to physicians with families? And when a candidate accepts your offer, how can you make their move easier?

One of the most helpful things you can do as a recruiter happens before the interviews even begin is networking!

  • Talk to your local Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau to see if you can get materials or welcome packets that contain information about local realtors, daycare facilities and local attractions that may make your area more appealing to parents.
  • Send tickets for family friendly attractions in your area, such as amusement parks or zoos so they can begin creating fun memories in their new location.
  • Invite the children for an onsite visit of your facility. Let them see where mom or dad will be working.
  • Attend Chamber of Commerce meetings to make contacts in your area that you could help answer questions new residents may have.
  • Take the family out to dinner or host an event with children around the same age to introduce the children to their first new friends in the area.
  • Contact your local Board of Education to ask if they have information about local school districts and available extracurricular activities.
  • Ask the Board of Education about local policies on letting prospective students tour their schools.

Gathering this information will take extra time but it will prove useful again and again, as it allows you to answer questions for your candidates and new hires or point them in the right direction to solve problems they may encounter when living in an unfamiliar area.

Make the extra effort worth it

What are the payoffs for this extra work? Having basic information to provide to job candidates can help them make a more informed decision about relocation, which could prevent a "buyer’s remorse" scenario. Also, being able to offer assistance or answer questions for your new hires helps to establish a relationship with them and lets them know you have an investment in them, which fosters contentment with and loyalty to your organization. Perhaps most importantly, a physician whose children are happily settled and thriving in their new environment will have less absenteeism and be more focused at work. This benefits everyone because a peaceful home life can help prevent physician burnout.


Over time, your organization will develop a reputation as being helpful and family friendly, which will ultimately make your job as a recruiter much easier. By going the extra mile for your candidates, you may make them more willing to relocate many miles to accept your offer. That means the first smart move may be yours.

Read articles by Jackie Farley

Jackie Farley

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