Community Integration of Relocated Healthcare Workers: Building Connections Beyond the Hospital That Drive Retention

Chances are, your hospital has expanded its recruiting efforts to attract out of market candidates. That’s a smart move. But it’s not enough to hire—and relocate—them; you need to keep them, too. The best way to do that? Help them feel like they belong! 

The top reason relocations don’t stick is because new hires—and/or their families—don’t acclimate to the new environment. They never feel at home. 

Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this, and they’re not complicated or costly. Considering all the time and expense you invest in recruiting, relocating, licensing and credentialing new physicians and nurses, it’s worth a little effort.

Community integration doesn’t happen overnight. But you can get things off on the right foot by laying the groundwork, even before they relocate.

5 Ways to Facilitate Integration (Pre-Relocation)

When you’re courting candidates, you show them your organization and area in its best light. That’s a great start; keep building on it. 

This may mean expanding your relocation process to provide more hyperlocal information and support, helping newcomers make wise decisions. Here’s how.

1. Provide Curated Community Information

These days, anyone can find tons of information about any city online. But is it current? Credible? And how do already-busy healthcare professionals find time to sift through it all?

Relocating families need carefully vetted, relevant data, which relocation companies can and should provide. Housing, schools, neighborhoods and transportation options—this information is necessary to making informed choices that lead to happier, better-acclimated employees.

2. Help New Hires Find the Right Housing

Finding the right home starts with the right real estate agent—one with a proven track record. One who understands the complexities of relocation and, ideally, the wants and needs of healthcare professionals. Make sure your relocation company vets its suppliers and partners with top-performing agents.

And when it comes to relocation benefits, don’t skimp on house-hunting trips or even short-term housing. In some cases, they may be required to help new hires find a home that feels like home.

3. Offer Destination Services Benefits

Destination services programs help employees and families adapt to new environments and all they entail. Most often used for international relocations, they’re sometimes used domestically, too. Elements include:

  • Cultural training 
  • Language training 
  • On-the-ground tours and orientations  
  • Support for spouses/partners 
  • Settling-in services

Often, family members have the toughest time adapting, which is why destination services are geared to entire families.

4. Give Employees an Inside Look at Your Organization

When candidates interview, you give them a tour of the hospital and introduce them to potential colleagues. Don’t let that be the end of it when they go home.

Once a candidate accepts an offer, continue to provide them with detailed information about your facility, its role in the community, news, etc. The more familiar new hires become, the more quickly they’ll fit in once they arrive.

5. Share Co-workers’ Collective Insights

There’s nothing like getting the inside scoop on things from peers—people like us. From the best restaurants to commuting shortcuts to local-things-to-avoid, these folks are the ones in the know.

Yes, new physicians and nurses get great tips from colleagues once they’re on the job. But why wait? Some relocation companies have vehicles for collecting employees’ tips and suggestions, then making them available to relocating workers. (At UrbanBound, we call these Co-worker Insights—and they’re one of the most frequently-visited pages of our relocation portal.) 

Helping New Hires Fit in Once They Arrive 

The more you can do to welcome new hires upfront, the better. And once they’re on the job, it’s important to keep them—and their families—busy and included.

After all, the first few months are the loneliest for newcomers, who don’t yet have friends, local affiliations or a set routine. To that end, you might:

  • Host a welcome reception, introducing new hires to as many peers as possible
  • Pair them with a guide or mentor who’ll show them the ropes
  • Make sure they’re invited to all hospital activities, sports leagues, etc. 
  • Connect them to hospital-sponsored community service projects and volunteer opportunities
  • Host and promote family events, so family members are included, too 

When you help new hires feel like they belong, everybody wins. And when it’s part of your relocation program, even better. For more on UrbanBound’s community integration solutions, visit  UB Home and Company Pages—as well as our specialized healthcare relocation solutions


Stay up to date

Subscribe to the blog for the latest updates




Human Resources Today