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July 2, 2021

Three focus points for hard-to-hire specialties

The physician job market is constantly shifting. So, for recruiters like yourself, it’s hugely beneficial to stay on top of the latest changes to be in the know when recruiting certain specialties.

With this opportunity in mind, PracticeLink develops the Physician Recruitment Index each quarter to outline which physician specialties are currently most in-demand and which are the hardest to recruit.

These indexes are based on the supply and demand of specialty jobs and specialists. The more jobs per candidate in the system, the more difficult the search may be when recruiting those specialties.

Check out the lists below:

15 Hardest-to-Recruit Specialties
15 Most In-Demand Specialties

As you skim the data, what stands out to you in these lists? Do the findings mirror the current recruitment challenges and needs at your organization?

In order to sidestep the pitfall of open positions and better appeal to in-demand and difficult-to-recruit candidates, it can be helpful to have an idea of what they will be looking for long term. One Merrit Hawkins study surveyed final-year medical students to learn what preferences they use to decide where to practice.

Here’s what they found:

Geographic preference

It may not be surprising that location is one of the central decision-making factors for new doctors. Every individual is different and will have various reasons for being drawn to one area or region over another. For some, family is the focus; they may want their first job to be near their hometown, or maybe they’re just starting - or about to start - a family and are looking for a warm community to do so.

On the other hand, some individuals will be drawn to a certain location simply for the environment. When you engage candidates, focus on the positive attributes of your health system’s location.

Are you in a busy city with endless possibilities and experiences? Are you a charming organization comfortably nestled in the hills of a quaint small town? Does your location offer opportunities for visits to the beach, a national park or other attraction?

Whether your organization can be found in an urban or rural area, every health system has a positive geographical attribute to expand upon. Figure out what makes your location, region or immediate community different - and use those details to appeal to new and difficult-to-reach prospects.

Good financial package

It makes sense that compensation ranks high on the list of important factors for those stepping into medicine for the first time. There are multiple financial bases to cover when leaving residency training - everything from coordinating next steps for living arrangements to navigating student loan repayment.

When delving into your compensation packages with prospects, step one is making sure you’ve done your research. More specifically, you know how your offer compares to other organizations and you’re prepared to describe the salary model used at your health system.

This is necessary for a couple reasons: First, it guarantees you’ll be apt to answer any questions coming from your prospect, and it also helps you fill in the gaps when comparisons are made to other opportunities. For instance, if you have a lower base salary than your competitors, perhaps your package’s benefits are better. Ultimately, the more you know and can describe your package in detail, the more likely it is to effectively capture the attention of candidates.

Adequate personal time

Work-life balance: one of the greatest needs of any satisfied employee, especially physicians. With long shifts, constant rounds and physically and emotionally demanding work, it’s critical to emphasize your organization’s dedication to not only physician wellness, but physician happiness.

When considering opportunities, new doctors will be looking for a position that allows them to maintain structure in their personal life. This means the recruiters and employers who acknowledge this need and are specific about the flexibility they can provide will have better success recruiting these challenging specialties to their organization - and retaining them.

Channel your own experience and consider the amount of personal time you need to recharge. Then, consider how you can make work-life balance a key focus in your conversations as you share the best of your opportunity.

With these things in mind, you’ll be more successful filling difficult to recruit positions and building your talent pipeline for future openings as part of your talent acquisition strategy.

Read PracticeLink articles by Alexandra Cappetta

Alexandra Cappetta

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